Hend and I arrived early to help the staff handle the crowds and swarms of media. CNN, Gulf News, ABC news, The Associated Press, and Huffington Post, as well as many local journalist, stormed the lobby of DSG in an attempt to get pictures, videos, and statements from the Imam. All this was to no avail because the strict policy that no video was allowed of the Imam and only 5 minutes of photography before he began his remarks. Of course they call them media dogs for a reason. They got their pictures during Iftar and during the beginning of his talk. Media is not a pretty business, they do what they want to get the story and shot they need. It was all a bit overwhelming. The snaps and shutters of camera lenses seemed endless. It really made me feel, if only a bit, for celebrities. How tiresome to constantly be followed by a pack of determined photographers. The plus side is, if you stood close enough to the Imam you may be pictured too!
|Compliments of The National|
1. America helped us "find" our deen. By this he meant that when growing up in a Muslim society when it came to religion “you practise your faith because it is a social norm,” But in America the choice to practice is yours. Society doesn't force you to practice. You make the decision and take the steps needed to strengthen your faith. “The more something is a choice, the more it is yours. The less something is a choice, the less it is yours. There is no responsibility without choice”
This struck me because it made me think of all the people I know, my parents included, who became better Muslims once leaving a Muslim country.
2. Muslims today have become consumed with protecting and promoting Islam as a noun. In reality Islam is a verb, it is something you do. We have forgotten to practice and fulfill our obligations within Islam. We are worried with what people say about Islam and give less mind to what is required of us as Muslims.
3.We bring people understanding of our faith through actions. Lead by example. If everyone was suppose to be Muslim, Allah (swt) could have made it that way. Compelling or forcing people to Islam is not the way. Even in the Quran it says: لَكُمْ دِينُكُمْ وَلِيَ دِينِ Unto you your religion, and unto me my religion.
Masha'Allah I think Imam Feisal to be very wise and educated. He is very level headed and moderate. No one in the media can accuse this guy of being extreme or radical; his wife, Daisy, (interestingly enough doesn't wear Hijab) is very active in the community promoting Islam and gender equality . His voice is a moderate and logical one. We need more Imam Feisals in America.