These are trying times. It is during such times that we need plenty of well, common sense. And kindness . . . as antidotes to prejudice and fear.
Like you, I’ve heard the reports of Muslim Americans and those of Middle Eastern appearance who have been harassed by other Americans: People responding to the horrific events of September 11th with prejudice and fear. I was saddened by those reports. But I was also heartened to learn of the outpouring of support and concern for those targeted. Hazim Barakat is store manager of the Old Town Islamic Bookstore in Alexandria, not far from where I live. Not long after the terrorist attacks, somebody hurled a couple of bricks through the front window of his store. Attached to the missiles were crudely written racist remarks.
Barakat was stunned and angry. But then he received 15 bouquets of flowers and dozens of cards from well-wishers. A local businessman paid for a new window. Rabbis and priests dropped by to express their sympathy and support. “The people in the neighborhood were so nice you don’t believe,” Barakat told the Washington Post. “This is like another family I have. This is my big family. I want to thank everybody.” “You have to give the credit to the people who are keeping a positive, friendly attitude,” said another Muslim man. “That’s what makes America great.” Such acts of fellowship have been repeated many, many times, all over the country. It makes you think: we’re going to make it. We’ll survive the blow, and we’ll remain who we are.
This is Common Sense.Â I’m Paul Jacob.