To Everyone I Disagree With

To everyone I disagree with

To all the people I disagree with.

Who believe in inequality,
who read their belief into God’s own Word;
who think the world is better by teaching
folks that justice is flawed, and that
some people should get less, but that’s
okay because they might get more
in the next world, if they say uncle here.

To people who think there’s one reading
of every detail of religious law,
a single interpretation that
applies to all cultures, societies, times.

Who draw dark lines of judgement, as if
they were bouncers in religious clubs;
who flip little people’s meal trays over
in the religious cafeteria:

I can see that you’re clearly wrong.
Your opinions are your personal views.
They certainly don’t come from Islam.
They clash with the Qur’anic text,
out of synch with the Prophet’s way,
opposed to the message of the saints.

I can’t believe people think such things
as you do. I believe that no one
should listen to the things you say.

I think your priorities are all wrong.
Misguided by your ego, bias,
your fear, your childhood head injury.

I’m traumatized that there are folks
who think the way you do. And on
my jainamaz, sometimes, I weep aloud,
because I’ve heard you speak your mind.
It’s outrageous to me that you exist.

But then
in the relative sort of way
that I exist, so do you too.
Though I think there’s no room for you
in the world, yet here you are, because
God made sure you’d be around.

I still think you’re wrong. But if
the Beloved wants you to exist, well then!
I kiss His hand, kiss yours, and say:
He approves of your existence. So let
me sit at your feet, and say you’re wrong.

As I’m sure you’re wrong, there’s just the
faintest doubt, the fraction of a chance
that some of the things you say,
are right—-I know, it’s funny; it’s hilarious.

So as your speech may give me pain,
and as your existence is jarring to me,
and as your words are hollow, false—
I accept, embrace your place, right here,
even as I know you’re wrong.

So even as I know I’m right,
I dust the chair beside me so
that you can sit and take your place
in the rowdy classroom of the world.

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