Suzanne Barakat and her family suffered a devastating tragedy in February 2015 when a horrible hate crime took her brother and his family from her. In a recent TED talk, she eloquently and courageously discusses how to take control of the narrative that’s so often skewed when the media is reporting cases of Islamophobia. She also stresses the importance of becoming an ally and speaking up when we witness bigotry and discrimination. Suzanne exemplifies the epitome of grace, perseverance, and strength. Don't miss this moving speech.
I love this video. I can only imagine how difficult it was for Dr. Barakat to speak in public with so much grief in her heart without shedding a tear. I see her and I see a hero. She doesn’t condemn those who hate with harsh words, instead she takes this unfortunate event and turns it into an opportunity to educate. I am a new convert to Islam as I was born with no religion nor given one at birth, giving me the choice of who I choose to be and I chose Islam. I came to this decision after many years of educating myself on many religions and interacting with those of different faiths. I see Islam to be the complete faith full of love, empathy, charity, community and accountability. It breaks my heart to know that our faith is distorted by the media and in turn, by society. I am not new to prejudice as a Japanese/American born in the early 60’s and immigrating to America as a pre-teen but Islamophobia has been escalated to the level that I cannot understand. As an educated woman and a healthcare professional I should not fear wearing a hijab to work because of the fear I feel, not only the possible violence but the possibility of damaging my career that I worked so hard for. I feel a heavy weigh in my heart that I cannot openly show my pride of being a Muslim woman due to such fears. Instead I fill my weeks with charity work and being kind to others of all race, faiths, and nationality which eases my sadness. Slowly but surely I am taking opportunities in educating others around me about what the Islamic religion is really about. Videos like this reenergizes my soul and makes me work harder and faster for me to take positive actions because I will not remain silent against atrocities against any faith. Thank you Dr. Barakat for your courage. We will reveal, Inshallah.