Every Friday is usually the same at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City. We listen to our weekly khutbah (religious message based on the Qur’an and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad) before offering our prayers in the early afternoon.

On Friday, January 11th we were grateful to have been visited by our local County Commissioner, Carrie Blumert. Carrie is a relatively new official in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, graduating from Oklahoma State with a Bachelor’s in Science for Child and Family Services and receiving her Master’s in Public Health from the University of Oklahoma. Meeting Carrie gave me a great deal of reassurance; to know that there are people outside of our community who want to be allies and are willing to stand by us.

Blumert gladly toured the Masjid (Mosque) and its surrounding facilities with myself and other members of CAIR-Oklahoma, where we discussed the Shifa Clinic and all of the amazing work they relentlessly do. It makes me happy to be able to work with a woman as gracious and kind as herself for the betterment of Oklahoma City.

During Jumu’ah (congregational Friday prayer), our khatib (giver of the sermon) was CAIR-Oklahoma Executive Director Adam Soltani. Soltani preached about the importance of standing together as an ummah (community) against all odds and oppositions. We as Muslims should be fighting for the rights of those who can’t. Before ending the khutbah, Soltani quoted the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of God be upon him) with the following:

“All mankind is from Adam and Eve. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black nor does a black have any superiority over a white except by piety and good action.”

With Martin Luther King Jr. Day approaching on the 21st of January, I felt that this specific quote and khutbah were more than appropriately timed.

We sometimes forget the world around ourselves and how it’s progressing (or rather, regressing) with racism, sexism, homophobia, or any other hate towards a singled out-group, and I believe we need to realize that as a community we need to stand united for the sake of humanity and peace.