My social media accounts have received more nasty comments than usual. I am not sure what has sparked this development, as I have been relatively quiet due to teaching obligations. I want to take a second to reflect on some things that have been on my mind.
These nasty comments directed towards me certainly do not faze me in any way whatsoever. They do not intimidate me. They do not stop me from speaking the truth. They do not disrupt my life in any manner whatsoever. As my mother says – “let it go in one ear and out the other.” Thank you mom. That is my motto.
With that said, some people have shared messages on Twitter claiming I am a Council on Islamic American Relations (CAIR) paid informant. I can assure you that is not true. I do not receive any money from anyone outside of my job at Rice University.
People have claimed I am paid by the Saudi royal family to spread “Islamic propaganda.” That is also not true. I am not a propagandist. I am an advocate for human rights. I champion interfaith dialogue. I condemn all forms of extremism. I also do not – and will not – compromise my integrity only to see a few extra bucks in my bank account. I cannot be “bought.”
Another person on Twitter called me the anti-Christ and linked me to Pope Francis, who he also described as “satanic.” That is absurd. Let us not get it tangled and twisted here. I am a peacemaker. I am a scholar. I harbor no ill will towards any person or group. My aim in life is to build bridges of understanding and friendship between communities. That is it. Period.
I am guessing these accusations will persist as my research and messages continue to spread. Thankfully, there is an army of peacemakers around the world behind me. They give me the strength to move forward. Unfazed.