I want to say something courageous
about love and light,
I want to talk about solidarity
but the words seem to escape,
My eyes are tired as rivers of sorrow
from the depths of my heart tell a story
I want to say be strong but I know how
weak I feel,
So alone and isolated.
Drowning in the silence,
Drowning in the noise of hate,
Knowing my life means so much less
because of the politics of fear-mongering;
Watching never again unfold here in Canada.
One year after a terror attack that was never called terror
Because terror only has black or brown skin,
While I worry for the lives of my children,
And my sisters, especially those who wear hijab,
And my Sikh brothers who wear the turban,
As we live a story that is not new,
A story repeated from the Indigenous, Black, Women, LGBT, people with Disabilities…
Now we – Muslims are the “other”.
#AvecQuebec whose politicians have forgotten us,
Even those who claim to speak “social justice” are silent
I’m exhausted by the platitudes of politicians
and leaders who speak words
But never change their actions.
Silently watching their neutrality engulf us in
tides of hatred and white supremacy,
Cloaked as free speech.
Can’t call the hatred directed against us what it is –
And our mosques supposed to be sanctuary
is now cloaked in safety protocols.
My hands are shaking as I write these words
As I prepare my heart and mind to smile tomorrow-
To answer, “Im ok” to the random “How are yous?”
To hide my tears and fears for a tomorrow where some do not see us
As I hold the deaths of fathers like me who will never see their children grow
We Will Not Forget
And perhaps it is here I draw my strength
I will not let their lives be lost in vain,
Where there is silence, I will raise my voice!
Where there are only words, I will take action!
When they erase us, I will be visible!
Where they tell us we don’t belong – I will speak the truth:
This IS our home!
When they erase our history, I will remind them that we were
here before Canada even had it’s name!
When they tell us to be like them so we can belong,
I will unapologetically be who I am!
And like the prophet peace be upon him reminded us,
When people throw stones at the date palm tree
It gives fruit in return.
Be like the date palm trees
So where the date palms meet the maple leaves,
I will bring who I am fully into being.
Though my heart is tired and soul is shaken
My resolve is firm and I will not back down.
So today and tomorrow, I will remember my brothers
Mamadou, Ibrahima, Azzeddine, Khaled, Aboubaker and Abdelkrim
Their seventeen children and their families
I will stand to honour their lives and their deaths.
And know, no matter how heavy the burden may feel,
We all have a responsibility to carry their legacies forward