January 20th, 2017, Inauguration Day.
It’s official. The country’s direction for the next four years has been confirmed. President-elect Donald J. Trump is now President Donald J. Trump.
There was a time between the election results and the inauguration where the nation started to question and reassure itself.
"It can’t be so bad."
"He won’t do what he’s been promising."
"Is this real life?"
The first week of office proved otherwise with a flurry of executive orders that shook the nation and affirmed yes, this is real.
We could discuss how terrible this is and constantly remind ourselves that our worst fears have come to full fruition. I’d like to think however it may just be the jolt of life we need.
When was the last time we saw thousands of people take to the streets side by side with different faiths, races, cultures, and backgrounds in support of one another? When have Muslims praying been protected by circles of other faiths?
It has opened the door for people to come together in ways never seen before and Muslims are at the front lines.
A strong loud outspoken hijabi woman led over a million in a nationwide Women’s March.
An Imam in Dallas is at the forefront of protests and providing the voice for Muslims that needs to be heard.
A renowned resident scholar in Memphis gave a powerful speech where Martin Luther King Jr. once walked.
An alternate dimension where Trump isn’t president may show us a continuation of the status quo, a comfortable complacency with the flawed world around us.
Instead we’ve now been presented with a platform and an opportunity to change the narrative. It is up to every individual to take advantage of our new platform not just our community or religious leaders.
Everyone has a voice. Everyone has a purpose.
As the Quran says in Surah al-Anfal (8:30), “But they plan, and Allah plans. And Allah is the best of planners.”
Video of Memphis March on the "Travel Ban."
By Anwar Arafat