It’s time for an uplifting story.
In 2008 I was part of a group that was doing fieldwork in Muslim communities around Los Angeles. One evening we were at the home of a Pakistani Muslim man. His name, I believe, is Malik.
There were a lot of people at this event. At one point in the evening I was talking to the mayor of a nearby city. I was nibbling on some snacks while I was talking to her.
About ten minutes after I left her, I started to feel very sick. I had a weird feeling in my throat. My face and arms broke out in hives. I felt like I was going to throw-up. Then… I couldn’t breathe.
I was having an allergic reaction to peanuts, which I had no idea I was even allergic to!
Thankfully, there were a lot of Pakistani American doctors in attendance. They called the ambulance and I was rushed to the hospital. The doctors pumped me with a ton of Benadryl or whatever, and I was eventually fine. I was definitely a bit shaken up though.
The next day I ran into Malik at a local mosque. He was very concerned with what had transpired. He started to ask me questions. How do you feel? How was the trip to the hospital? Do you have medical coverage?
I had an issue with the last question.
I had no health insurance. I had no way of paying the hospital bill.
Being the great guy he is, Malik offered to pay for my entire hospital bill. I couldn’t believe he even offered to do that. The bill was at least $2,000. It was one of the most thoughtful and gracious things anybody offered to do for me.
The reason why I’m bringing this story up is because I just read a comment on Facebook that went something like this: “Muslims can’t be trusted. We need to eye them with suspicion.”
You’re telling me I shouldn’t trust a guy like Malik? Please. I trust him with my life. Literally.
Islamophobic comments are completely unacceptable because they dehumanize good people like Malik for the simple fact that they happen to be Muslim.
Malik is one of the best Americans I know. Selfless, generous, thoughtful, caring. Yet people in the United States denigrate Muslims to the point of not even considering them “real human beings.” I beg to differ. Some of the best human beings are Muslims. Some of the best Americans are also Muslim.
Anyways, that’s just a simple little story to shatter some stereotypes. Hopefully you found it uplifting.