DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT REPRESENT MY GENERATION AS A WHOLE, I'M JUST TRYING MY BEST
As a Gen Z, I may say "slay" 30 000 times a day, but I also try to stay updated on human rights issues in our ever-changing world. Many from my generation share this duality, thanks to our exposure to modernity, which has made us critical thinkers, rejecting the idea that we are a selfish generation.
We make noise to ensure that things are better for future generations. As a Muslim, I'm especially aware of the issues within and outside my community. Sometimes I’ll admit I get scared to check the news because hate seems to remain constant while the world is changing.
So, in light of the recent attacks in New Jersey, India, Palestine, South Korea and Canada. I hope to shed some light on how we as a community could move forward and be a united force against hate.
#1 Ask questions
Credit: Mohsen Esmaeilzadeh
Misconceptions and preconceptions often arise from a message that was mistranslated or misinterpreted. To dispel them, one must ask questions, even if it is uncomfortable. The co-founders of HHWT demonstrated this during a trip to Tokyo in the aftermath of the Paris bombings in 2015.
Japanese acquaintances asked them about the killings by Muslims, prompting the co-founders to realize the importance of spreading a message through their company. This is why the vision of HHWT is to foster peace and understanding between people of different backgrounds through travel. Travel has become one of the great forces of peace, breaking down stereotypes and biases people may have.
Read more about it here
#2 Step out of your comfort zone
We tend to stick to people with the same mindset as us because it's easier, but that's how we get a very close circle of friends while being oblivious about other communities or religions. It also allows us to be more open-minded and learn more as we move forward.
By opening ourselves up to diverse perspectives, we can broaden our understanding of the world and develop a more inclusive mindset. This can lead to personal growth and the ability to connect with people from all walks of life.
#3 Stand up for your friends and family
Admittedly, it is daunting to stand up for what you believe, and it may be hard to convey why you’re doing this. But one of the best ways to support one another is to stand up for your family and friends when put in a negative light. Especially in your everyday conversations, it is nice to know that you support your friends for who they are.
#4 View yourself as an ambassador of peace
This is one that always bears worth reminding (for ourselves, too!). When we travel, we strive to build relationships with others, and we hope you continue to do the same. It's also a great reminder to be kind and respectful to all - be it when we're travelling or even if we're just interacting with each other online.
#5 Be Respectful
Often, we all hold different beliefs and perspectives on various issues. Engaging in a healthy discussion while maintaining respect can lead to better outcomes than resorting to yelling or aggression. It is important to acknowledge that everyone has unique viewpoints, and it is not necessary for everyone to agree as long as we are respectful in our communication. However, it is never acceptable to use such differences as an excuse to promote racism, Islamophobia, or any other form of disrespect or intolerance. Remember to maintain a positive attitude and to live, laugh, and love always.
Did any of the points resonate with you? I hope you were able to take away some valuable insights. Remember, every day, you have the opportunity to contribute to making the world a better place. Use that opportunity, and let’s build a better and stronger community for our future generations.