Muslim History Detective’s log, 10/16/2012.
A wise woman once said, “Whoever tells the story writes history.” Well, I want to write history, and I want to build community through telling the stories of diverse people in America who happen to be Muslim.
Several years ago, I presented on the history of Muslim women in America for a panel titled “Women of Faith in the Struggle for Social Justice: Abolition to the Present.” Later, one of the other panelists, a representative from the Jewish Women’s Archives, gave me her card and expressed her amazement at the amount of common ground shared between Muslim women’s struggles and Jewish women’s struggles in America. She shook my hand and encouraged me to keep in touch with her.
This is often how community building begins, in these little honest moments where sincere history sharing is involved. And in these moments, it almost never fails that we begin see a little bit of our own humanity in the so called other, and they in us; and it is that learning from one another, for the betterment of humanity, that is such a beautiful thing.
Accordingly, my vision is to educate and inspire audiences of diverse faiths and backgrounds about America’s unique Islamic heritage, and the full diversity of the Muslim American experience, in a way that empowers them with the tools to build community through a deeper understanding of this history.
This is my vision because I truly believe ignorance about the so-called “other” is ignorance about our own rich history as a human family.
Ignorance, the condition of being unaware, uneducated, and uniformed, poses a great danger because when, as a result of ignorance, we hate or misunderstand that which is a part of who we are as a nation or as a world community, we essentially hate ourselves, and we open up our minds to the possibility to dehumanize, oppress and abuse that which we do not understand.
Sharing our stories, and really hearing the stories of others, helps us to grow in our own humanity with respect for the very essence of human dignity that can often begin with the first step of telling the truth about each other in a way that leads to understanding.
This is my vision: To build community through history.
This Muslim History Detective blog is but one pathway to this goal.
Will you join me on this journey?
Your sister in humanity,
Precious Rasheeda Muhammad, aka “the Muslim History Detective”
A special thank to you Anika Sabree designer of the Muslim History Detective banner and founder of Distinct New Africa Designs, Inc.