Monday, January 30, 2017

Speak. Don’t be without a voice.

Remember Khizr Khan?  The Pakistani-American who spoke at the Democratic convention?  And he was later savagely attacked by the man who was elected to the White House by Republicans?

Yes, that Khizr Khan.

The New Yorker has an interview with him.  By Robin Wright, whose writings on global affairs are always phenomenally educational.  The executive order by the POTUS is the context.  You know which one that is:
executive order banning the entry of Syrian refugees indefinitely and all refugees for four months. The executive order suspends the entry of all citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries—Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen—for ninety days. 
 I cannot even begin to imagine what an Iranian-American goes through.  I think about the sweet and gentle Shahab, who was an Iranian-American.

It is terrible what this POTUS and his people are doing to Muslim-Americans, Muslims anywhere, and to the entire world.  Terrible!

As I wrote, back in June 2016, in an op-ed:
The anti-Muslim rhetoric makes a mockery of the noble idea of freedom to practice religion — a freedom that has been a foundational principle of the United States. ...
When we know people and have developed meaningful relationships with the “other,” it becomes difficult to tolerate sweeping statements that condemn hundreds of millions of Muslims because of a minuscule minority that bombs and kills. 
Anyway, I read Wright's interview with Khan.  His message not only to Muslims in America but to "all American patriots" includes this:
Don’t be without a voice. Speak about the issues that affect your society.
I wonder if perhaps Khan was also channeling the poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz, who became a Pakistani after the horrible partition of India.
Speak, by Faiz Ahmed Faiz
Speak, your lips are free.
Speak, it is your own tongue.
Speak, it is your own body.
Speak, your life is still yours.

See how in the blacksmith's shop
The flame burns wild, the iron glows red;
The locks open their jaws,
And every chain begins to break.

Speak, this brief hour is long enough
Before the death of body and tongue:
Speak, 'cause the truth is not dead yet,
Speak, speak, whatever you must speak.

2 comments:

Ramesh said...

Yes, it must be tremendously disconcerting for a Muslin in America today. The bigotry of the man is mind boggling.

As for speaking, this blog is speaking loudly , all right :)

Sriram Khé said...

The man is bigotry personified, yes.
But, it is not as if that was an unknown. Which is why I am infinitely more depressed that 63 million had no qualms about voting for such a horrible human being. Which means, there are quite a few million bigots parading around in my country as honorable, god-loving, "humans" :(

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