Ten years ago, I would have spent my early afternoon reciting al-Fatihah at least four times, chanting Allah hu akbar seemingly endless times to mark my transition from motion to motion. Today, instead, I say the names of people I don’t know, people whose lives were cut short: Sharonda Coleman-Singleton. Clementa Pinckney. Cynthia Hurd. Tywanza Sanders. Myra Thompson. Ethel Lee Lance. Daniel L. Simmons. Depayne Middleton. Susie Jackson.
It isn’t that I think religious believers are apathetic when it comes to justice (quite the contrary), or even that I didn’t care about tragedy when I was a believer. It’s more that, without feeling like I know that justice will eventually be served and that the victims are in a better place, my immediate reaction involves a lot more anger. There is no way to immediately soothe myself, just a rawness and a sense of loss and of being lost. Continue reading “Haramadan Day 1: Religion & Tragedy”