I just read an amazing blog post by David Shariatmadari on The Guardian website.
In it, David talks about how terrorism needs us. Without terror, the movement is powerless. Granted, it’s not always easy to leave those feelings behind, but I think it’s most important that we stop being bystanders.
A couple of years ago when travelling, I was in an airport. A muslim man and two women wearing niqab had left a pink wheeled carry-on sitting at the seat where they had camped out waiting for their flight when they walked away to get a drink.
Even before they had walked five feet away, the voices around me started whispering that maybe they had a bomb. Maybe we shouldn’t trust them. Maybe they should call security.
I started my own whisper campaign among the people closest to me… about how people needed to just not jump to conclusions. About how people could be so fearful…
I stepped up and asked the woman next to me (as long as she was not afraid that I was keeping bombs in my carry on. I mean, she had no way to know) whether she would watch my bag. If she were not willing, I’d be happy to schlep. But it would be simpler…
And I walked over to address the women.
I told them they could not leave their luggage. That people were talking about calling security. That I was sad that they had to be so careful, but people are stupid.
And then I walked back to my seat.
It was a simple gesture. And it was important.
I appeal to you to show generosity, kindness and understanding as you travel through the world. And I hope I have the opportunity to do the same.