Her eyes widened. "Do you have the curse of Ishmael?" she asked, breathlessly. According to what she had been taught about Abraham's progeny, the children of Sarah's son Isaac were blessed. The children of Hajar's son Ishmael would forever be cursed. That means me.
"Yes," I wanted to tell her. "I have ‘666' on my forehead," identifying myself with the sign of the devil according to hardcore Christian apocalyptic interpretations.
Ours is now an opportunity to erase the symbolic ‘666' off the foreheads of the ‘other.'
I gazed at Shibli, sleeping peacefully, and hoped that we each in our own personal lives rise to the occasion. And then I plucked his Ben 10 shoes out of the closet and stirred Shibli awake for a new beginning.
Asra Nomani is the author of Standing Alone: An American Woman's Struggle for the Soul of Islam. A documentary about her activism at her local mosque, ‘The Mosque in Morgantown,' will air on PBS nationwide on June, 15, 2009. She teaches journalism at Georgetown University.