Since 9/11, living in America as a Muslim has been a tough ride over a rough road stumbling over Islamophobia, racism, and war on terrorism bumps. In time of the Coronavirus pandemic this may change; there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The horrific Virus that has infected more than a million people around the world and killed more than 50,000 so far has dramatic changes, and the worst is yet to come. The ramifications are not going to affect just the financial structure of our economy, but also, more importantly, our culture. AS professor Schultz of Hamline University explained on my show, America in time of the pandemic is becoming a nation of strangers, in Camus’s proportion. “Every disaster shakes to lose the old order. What replaced it is up to us”. Rebecca Solnit wrote in the Times.
9/11 disaster brought us Homeland Security, and Islamophobia, every Muslim suddenly became a subsect, and Trump banning of Muslims was looked at as leadership and presidential. The country and Muslims have come a long way. Americans finding out the real terrorist that threaten our civilization and lifestyle is a fragile virus with a life span of a few hours. Muslims finally off the hateful hook and being a Muslim not as scary anymore, and Trump of the people is making veil/hijab cool again. Trump announced on Wednesday that people could cover their faces with scarves, (Veils) “It doesn’t have to be a mask. It can be a scarf,” Trump said. I think in a certain way, a scarf is better; it’s better.” He explained! Hijabi Muslim women who have been the main target of Islamophobia and hate attacks may finally get a break here. Trump so desperate that he starts praying with Muslims at the white house, you thought Obama was the closet Muslim as Trump, and Americans are getting closer to Muslims and don’t mind hijab-wearing. Arab dictators, however waging war against Islamist and Islamic traditions. in Egypt, a country that ruled by the western darling dictator, el-Sisi the champion of moderate Islam who eradicated the Muslim brotherhood, banning wearing the niqab in public, closing mosques, and opening his prisons filling them with practicing Muslims. Saudi Arabia, MBS who started his modernization of Islam, encouraging people to stay out of politics and have fun; Opening bars, discos, casinos, cinema, western cafes, let women drive, now the whole world shutting down these places. Since the coronavirus pandemic hit the country, The media headlines have shifted from their daily dose of Islamophobic fix. War on terrorism and Islamic terrorist threats, now the most significant terrorist now is the coronavirus, it hits anyone, everyone, and everywhere, no one is immune. One of the main reasons why America was late responding to the corona pandemic, American sense of cultural superiority, overconfident attitude, we can take this Virus heads on, as Trump announced several times, blaming the Chines for the yellow Virus. Americans now shifted their hatred to, Asian Americans, they became the others, the strangers and the new threats. Muslims in America, after a long time of being the stranger in Camus’ novel, the fall guy, responsible for everything horrible in America, now everyone is a suspect a stranger, we all living these days under the threat of the virus-like everyone The hijab Muslim women who had the brunt of hate crimes and attacks, weaning a scarf becoming a life saving and being a Muslim may be cool again. Since Muslims have been in self-Coronteened since the 9/11 tragedy, now is the time to come out and help in this pandemic. There are lots of Islamic traditions that could help Americans to deal with the pandemic. The CDC guideline for protection of the Virus, making Muslim Wudu/ washing hands and faces cool again! Muslims do it five times a day. Wudu, which is an Islamic cleansing practice, a type of ritual purification, or ablution that involves washing the hands, mouth, nostrils, arms, head, and feet with water. That is why Muslims aren’t rushing to the supermarket, grabbing toilet papers, and other cleaning chemicals. For Muslims, water is the only cleaning solvent agent. America is a toilet paper culture, time to use the Shattaf/Bidet that Muslims have been using for years. The average American uses 100 rolls of toilet paper a year,(20,000 sheets), it takes 384 trees in one man utilizes within a lifetime, the daily production of toilet paper is about 83,048,116 rolls per day. These are a lot of trees and wastes. As people crowding shops and supermarkets early in the morning, I wait till everyone has done grabbing their toilet papers, hand lotions, and canned, I went and found most what I wanted untouched; feta cheese, pita bread, hummus, rice, black-eyed peas, and all the spices left alone on the empty shelves, even this pandemic did not get Americans to add spices to their food. The Muslim fasting month of Ramadan which is coming soon, which Muslims are fasting, cutting down on activities, giving Zakat/ charity to the poor, and praying a lot, all for the better, we all need it now. So, When you walk in your neighborhood’s empty streets, see a hijabi Muslim women with her family, say Salam Allykom/ Peace upon You, after all, she may have a scarf or two to spare.
Ahmed Tharwat, host and producer of the local Arab American TV show “BelAhdan with Ahmed,” writes for local and international publications. He blogs at Notes From America: www.Ahmediatv.com. Follow him on Twitter: @ahmediaTV