The driving force for most religious institutes for the past month or so has been interfaith, or the programming of different faiths meeting together to socialize, interact, and get to know each other.
We as a community must ask ourselves the question, "Are we only doing this because of recent events? Or are we truly committed to changing the narrative that Muslims generally tend to be a closed society?
It isn't a foreign concept that we as a religious body have a major setback of not getting involved with other organizations and religious institutes, always keeping to ourselves.
Although it is almost mandatory for our social and spiritual well being that we use this opportune time to truly build bridges with other cultural and faith groups, it is imperative that we take time to reflect.
As a community we must change the mindset that Muslims are people who do not reach out.
Throughout the past few months, we have seen so many groups of people reaching out to us and offering their aid to us. For example, on Feb. 1, the Comunidades Unidas en Una Voz (CUUV) organized a heartwarming and uniting march against bigotry and hate.
We should understand that at least half of the purpose of that march was to stand with Muslims that were unjustly denied access to this country to visit family, friends, and loved ones.
In the Qur'an, Allah (SWT) says, "Whoever does an atom's weight of good will see it."
We pray that CUUV is rewarded with the best of rewards. But at the same time we pray that Allah allows us to have the opportunity to stand behind our neighbors of different faiths during their times of need as well.
Because that is the true meaning of neighbors- people who stand behind each other during times of ease and during times of hardship.
People of all backgrounds march together for a mutual protest.
Photo by Sameer Mansour