Greeting from MAPS

Muslim Association of Puget Sound President, Mahmood Khadeer brought greetings to FAN’s Annual Dinner in November 2017, where MAPS was honored for its interfaith leadership in combating Islamophobia:

In the name of God Most Gracious Most Merciful

Reverend Paul Benz, Director Elise DeGooyer, the Governing Board of FAN, all of the friends present here today and the broad interfaith community: thank you so much for having us and thank you so much for this award. On behalf of the Muslim Association or Puget Sound and the entire local Muslim community, please accept our heartfelt gratitude and warm thanks for recognizing us as a leader of change for good in the beautiful state of Washington. We are truly honored by this recognition and we look forward to many more years of close collaboration with all of you to emphasize the noble values of justice, inclusion and diversity and make our state and our country a truly wonderful place to live.

In less than a minute, I want to leave you with a leadership framework for establishing good in the society. We all grew up learning the Golden Rule: “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. This is one rule that is common across all of our faiths and traditions. To emphasize justice, inclusion and diversity, I want you to rethink the Golden Rule in a more emphatic way: “do unto others as they would want done to them.” In other words, treat people the way THEY would like to be treated and not how WE would like to be treated. This simple twist to the rule is, in fact, very difficult to implement. It requires us to leave our own mental paradigm and take the perspective of the other. It requires us to relinquish the belief that what is good for me is necessarily good for you. It forces us to experience the emotions and thought processes of another person. It challenges us to see the world from somebody else’s viewpoints; to truly walk in his or her moccasins as the old Hopi proverb teaches us.

We live in an era of increasing diversity, be it diversity of race, religious traditions, political ideologies, sexual orientations, etc. And many feel anxious about this diversity and often times react in a way that hurt others. We in the Muslim community have certainly been on the brunt of those who fear us – increased hate crimes and hate rhetoric, widespread bullying, Muslim ban… You name it – we experienced it this past year. You can start solving these problems and the many problems that minority groups and others face by taking their perspectives, understanding their challenges and feeling their pain. Treat others as they want to be treated. And the world will be a better place.

Thank you.
Mahmood Khadeer, MAPS President

*The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are those of an individual and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Faith Action Network. FAN is an interfaith organization, committed to celebrating and embracing the diversity of faith traditions. If you have questions about FAN’s position on any public policy issues, please feel free to contact the FAN office at (206) 625-9790 or [email protected].
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