The One About Speaking Out

To name what a person says or does an injustice carries with it a certain responsibility.  Once the accusation is made, it is hard to walk it back. If there is room for a misunderstanding, our first obligation is to seek clarification. History demonstrates and common sense confirms that to remain silent when political leadership makes public calls for acts of injustice, especially when such calls bring little direct harm to our own person, is a profound mistake. Even more reason to be sure that we reserve proclamations of injustice for those occasions, we hope rare, which represent a clear breach in what we recognize to be the basic rights accorded to all people.

I am part of the Sandy Spring community that has a long history of speaking out against public injustices.  For 300 years, Sandy Spring has been a community engaged in civil society, furthering the public good in innovative ways (not the least through progressive education), providing sanctuary to the innocent, abhorring violence, speaking out against cruelty, working for peace. So when things are done that are unwise and untrue, words spoken out of cold calculation, with the intention to manipulate, to deprive, to bring undeserved harm with the added potential to unleash storms of fear, hate and rage, our community’s sense of justice compels us to respond.

Those who seek to deprive our brothers and sisters of Muslim faith of basic freedoms, most especially of the freedom to live free of fear, are wrong to do so and are undeserving of our political support.  Those who call for our brothers and sisters of Muslim faith to have outsider status, to be marginalized and disrespected, are wrong to do so and are undeserving of our political support.

I speak out convinced that we must believe in our better selves, that fear begets fear and that love begets love.

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