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The NYC Women’s March

January 24, 2017
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Words Sakina M.  

Sakina Behn is a student currently living in New Jersey, USA. Creator of @rida.apparel, she hopes to inspire behno with her love for fashion. Her immense passion for art, literature, politics, and fashion shape her identity as a global citizen. The name Sakina means peace, and this is the philosophy Sakina Behn lives by through her personal life and world views.

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In the eyes of the world, a post-Trump era meant the hateful rhetoric echoed throughout his campaign had become legitimized. Women, Latinos, immigrants and Muslims- felt as if their opinions and voices didn’t matter. Amina Bhen Madhwala, who was featured on The Huffington Post said, “Ever since the election, I’ve kind of felt like everyone was against me, based on my appearance, based on my religious beliefs.” Her sentiments ring true with many mumineen in the US.

As a result, women, men, and children from across the globe marched the day after the inauguration to show solidarity. As i was driving by, I bore witness to this crucial juncture in American politics. The streets were covered with signs and pink hats. An elderly woman ran up to our car with a beaming smile, and said she wanted to show us something after seeing our ridas through the car windows. She proudly held up her sign that read “ALL IMMIGRANTS WELCOME HERE” and “NO MUSLIM REGISTRATION.” I beamed back, honored that she went through the trouble to show her support.

Immediately our ridas drew attention. Drawn to the bright colors and unique style, photographers repeatedly asked for our permission to take a picture. I saw a woman holding a sign with a Muslim woman with an American Flag as her hijab. Soon a crowd gathered around us, wanting to take a picture as well, inspired by my interaction with the white woman

An estimated 400,000 people enclosed the space between skyscrapers and buildings.  Looking out at the sea of signs, I could see an array of causes that brought people to the streets. Climate change, immigration rights, and women’s rights were all represented. The causes represented were innumerable, but everyone called for one thing: Love.

Our faith stresses the importance of love in our lives, and how no action is complete without it. Mumineen across the globe gather for that one chance to inshallah have the naseeb of being graced with the sight of Syedna Mufaddal Moula TUS, with endearment filling their hearts.

On this day I witnessed the power of love. People chanted and chanted.  The words “no hate, no fear, everyone is welcome here,” “this is what democracy looks like,” and more resonated on the lips of everyone there. It was gratifying to witness just how much people took “Love thy neighbor” to heart. Jewish men in yarmulkes, elderly women in wheelchairs, women in hijab, babies, and more, all stood as one. People had hearts traced on their cheeks with lipstick, symbolic of the feeling that dispersed through the air.  

Everyone there knew that this march would not change the state of the government. The beauty of it was that it was never meant to. Everyone was gathered there for the sole reason of showing love and unity, and getting their voices heard. No one was arrested, and no one was angry. This overwhelming feeling of love and unity restored my faith in the people of this country, and the good we could accomplish. Arwa Bhen sums it up best, the march “made me feel like this country is my country.”

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