On February 4th, Eat With Muslims went to Portland, Oregon in order to highlight the story of Salma Ahmed who is a Filipino-American Muslim woman. She took us to see the new school that the Muslim community had built. It’s called the Muslim Educational Trust of Portland, and Salma and her husband Dr. Musud serve on the Advisory Board. While we toured the facility, the man in this picture came to us and said, “I just wanted to let you all know that I stand with you. I brought flowers to let you know that so many of us support Muslims in our community and we don’t agree with any of the hate speech or crimes." Then he handed the flowers to Salma and we all chatted for a bit, reflecting on how we can be a better society.
When he left, the security guard told us that all the flowers on the front desk were brought by community members from all around Portland. It was an emotional thing to see, really. All those beautiful flowers reminded me that we are generally loving, kind human beings. And even though it feels like the hate crimes, racism, and bigotry are overwhelmingly sad, I believe we can grow from here and be proactive citizens that show love to one another. Americans always find a way to pull together when it counts. America is where the greatness of humanity can shine because everyone in the world is represented here. We can work to live up to the ideals this country symbolizes and also acknowledge where we have failed. How do we keep growing and appreciate one another? I think it does start with simply saying “I Stand With You” like our new friend was kind enough to say.