In a culture so multifarious across time, thought, action and belief, it’s easy to give into hate and negativity. We talk about tolerance but where does it go when we translate our social thoughts into civic action. Hate meed not mean terrorism alone. Hate need not mean racism alone. It means bullying. It means a lack of consideration. It means selfishness. It means consuming without regard for consequence, and without regard for others. But this man shows us that we have a choice. Every one of us does. Before we consume more than we need, and let ourselves be consumed by greed. Before we expel what we think we don’t need, and let precious material go waste. Before we decide to jump a light, maybe let the ambulance pass by. All in a day, without much consideration. This man’s choices and values, show that change is not far beyond reach, and that we all still can.
Throughout Zak Ebrahim’s childhood, his father — El-Sayed Nosair — planned terrorist attacks on a dozen New York City landmarks, including tunnels, synagogues and the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York. On November 5, 1990, when Ebrahim was 7 years old, his father shot and killed Rabbi Meir Kahane, the then-leader of the Jewish Defense League.
“In every religion, in every population, you’ll find a small group of people who hold so fervently to their beliefs that they’ll use any means necessary to make others see them,” he says in his talk at TED2014. “My father exposed me to a side of Islam that few people, including the majority of Muslims, get to see.”
A few months prior to El-Sayed Nosair’s arrest for the World Trade Center attack, Ebrahim’s father took 7-year-old Ebrahim and a group of others to a…
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