As I drove to the local Ahmadiyya Muslim Community mosque in Oshkosh, Wis. the morning of Dec. 3, I was supposed to be conducting cultural sensitivity training at the mosque with police officers from across Wisconsin. Instead I watched as group after group of students, eventually numbering over a hundred, were ushered into the mosque to seek shelter and safety after a stabbing and shooting incident across the street at Oshkosh West High School.
A young female member of the mosque, who was a student at the school, bravely punched in the code and opened the mosque’s doors too all, regardless of whether she knew them or not. The sign outside the mosque read “Love for all, hatred for none,” and the scene I witnessed truly exemplified that.
Perhaps a girl in a burqa in today’s climate of prejudice and fear may have been an unlikely candidate to follow, but at that moment it was bonds of trust and humanity that prevailed, as they always should. In the unity displayed that day is our collective strength as a nation, and I hope we always can open our doors to each other, in good times as well as in times of need.
By Hashim Mumtaz