Take back Ramadan

So, I have been thinking lately about ISIS and how they might be properly marginalized or defeated. Bombs? Not so much, apparently, as they are currently being hammered by half the world, and yet, well…

Ramadan began, this year, on june 5th and runs until Tuesday, July 5th, culmination with the feast of Eid al-Fitr. Muslims observe the holiness of the month through fasting and religious observation. It also occurs to me, as a non-Muslim, that this is the month extremists of that faith traditionally undertake acts of headline grabbing acts of terror. It further occurs to me that it is predominantly Muslims who are victims of that terrorism.

Most of those killed at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, nearly all the victims in Syrian and Iraq and 121 lost today in Baghdad’s worst bombing since George Bush and Bill Clinton were Muslim. That would tend to accuse the support, sympathy or silence of most Muslims over ISIS as Trump and others would have us believe. And while it is true that many Muslims are silent, it is the silence of victims not sympathizers.

The world has become so distracted by ISIS terrorism that the holy month of Ramadan has been all but forgotten. Ramadan 2016 is almost passed, and I have neglected my Muslim friends while being blinded by hyperbole. And as it draws to a close I realize that I never wished Muslims I know a blessed Ramadan. That is terrible. I mean, it would be sort of like a bunch of bankers and hedge fund guys who call themselves Christian concocted  a scheme to tank the economy and then lobby for massive bailouts, while all the while gobbling up 401ks and foreclosing on millions of working people, and because of that we forget to celebrate Christmas. Or their media surrogates instead distract us by declaring there is a “war on Christmas.”That would never happen, of course, but I’m just saying.

Most Muslims, regardless of the outcome of the 2016 election, no doubt are expecting all sorts of grief coming their way. Even the Left legitimizes profiling, greater scrutiny on Mosques, more aggressive FBI tactics and a strengthening of no-fly lists. A major American presidential candidate is calling for bans on Muslims, and hate crimes are up. I live within a large American Muslim community here in Chicago. I have felt and witnessed the community recoiling in apprehension and even fear.

So, given all of that, I was thinking that Christian and Jewish and atheist friends and neighbors need to help some Muslim Brothers and Sisters out  bit, and that just might be the best way of marginalizing ISIS. There needs to be a take back Ramadan campaign, but I don’t think Muslims are in a position to do that given the current social and political environment. The first part of that starts with a big old “I’m sorry!” for allowing  a bunch of a-holes in the desert derail an important and beautiful holiday. Worse, they tricked me and my nation into abandoning and mistrusting fellow Americans. Sort of like those “bankers” ruining Christmas by, oh, I don’t know, kicking fellow Christians out of their homes before the holidays out of sheer greed.

Indeed, the bankers, I mean ISIS specifically chose Ramadan to foment chaos, and to drive the biggest possible wedge between communities. Given that, who is the real fool if we allow ISIS to accomplish that, them or us? So take back Ramadan. Make it about what it is, rather than what it is being perverted to resemble. Reach out. Strengthen those bonds. Build hat community and defeat that common enemy.




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