Friday, November 28, 2014

‘Lovely days don’t come to you; you should walk to them’

By Khalid Saeed

The purpose of a religion is to teach morals and provide guidelines to follow in life. Perhaps the most important teaching is “love thy neighbor.” Islam and all religions try to bring order to society and eradicate evil.

On life, great Sufi poet Rumi said: “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

When I read this wisdom from Rumi, I was wondering if Jeff Reisig, Yolo County’s district attorney, really is a “Rumi’s whirling dervish” (disciple). The thought came to me because his office has worked hard and spent many months to establish a Multi-Cultural Community Council with a mission to promote understanding among Yolo County’s diverse population, develop historical and demographic knowledge and celebrate how cultural knowledge expands our ability to accept and appreciate differences.

Using Rumi’s words, Reisig’s “task” as a district attorney is not necessarily to seek love on the job, but he is a public official who represents the government in the prosecution of criminals. In a civilized world and in our criminal justice system, a person is innocent until proven guilty. The alleged criminals are still innocent while the DA’s Office is investigating and putting the case together. My hope is that investigation is fair when the criminal is still alleged and the charge is fair as the investigation completes.

Many may have complaints, and I do hear some stories where people feel they were not dealt with justly. But if the DA’s Office is trying to eliminate barriers within the system — barriers like prejudices, hate and discrimination — and lives up to the mission of the MCCC, in my view it is practicing the best of any religion, the best of any civilized society and the best of humanity. The DA’s office should be commended for it.

The MCCC has planned several community forums and recently held its first, which examined the Muslim and Sikh community. The audience at Woodland Community College included, among others, police officers from Woodland, Davis, Winters and West Sacramento, and representatives of the Yolo County Sheriff’s Department and the California Highway Patrol.

Reisig was quoted in The Davis Enterprise as saying that each police chief agreed it would be essential for law enforcement to be present at the discussion. He proved their — and his own — commitment to remaining sensitive to the issues introduced when he said:
“It will matter when they’re making a car stop, or when they’re out in the community contacting people. It was the group’s decision to get as many cops out here as we can, because the more they understand, the better it will be for all of us.”

“I learned a lot tonight, too, and that’s good,” Reisig continued. “I mean, issues come up all the time in the DA’s office where distinctions between cultures, religions and ethnic groups are important.”

In the Muslim holy book Quran, God Almighty the creator of heaven and earth, says to humanity: “O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah, witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness.” (Quran 5:8)

Quoting the Sufi poet Rumi again, “What is planted in each person’s soul will sprout.” There are many among us who are actively and intentionally planting hate, bigotry and prejudice, which create fear in the community and cause discrimination, which then gets in the way of justice.

I think all of us as a society need to be true to our American ideals. We should not be selective when we stand up to hate and discrimination. All of us should voice our opinions for justice and against hate for all Americans, regardless of their color, race, religion or sex, in a true American way.

I will conclude with Rumi: “Lovely days don’t come to you; you should walk to them.”

— Khalid Saeed, a longtime Woodland resident, is national president of the American Muslim Voice Foundation.



Special to The Enterprise



Shop-local focus highlights Small Business Saturday

By Bob Schultz | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Looking for the gift of life

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

The artistic process of a neighborhood legend

By Lily Holmes | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Davis MRAP didn’t go far: Woodland

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

Explorit: Water expert will speak Dec. 15

By Lisa Justice | From Page: A3

Ceremony Tuesday celebrates MU bus terminal

By Dave Jones | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Horse owners needed for online survey

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Sierra Club calendars on sale Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Enterprise holiday decorating contest is back

By Kimberly Yarris | From Page: A4

Free bike clinic, ride set Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Locals come through for families in need

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Travel the world at Logos Books

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Dormant-season pruning tips offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Junior high students set walkathon fundraiser

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Flyway Nights talk focuses on sea otters of Elkhorn Slough

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Chamber of Commerce lays out 5-year plan

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Holiday gifts galore available at crafts fair

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Shakespeare folio discovered in France

By New York Times News Service | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Students come together for sustainability

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Workshop will answer financial aid questions

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Wolks share their unique perspective on Davis

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Christmas Bird Count workshop planned Wednesday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Watch, then make, a holiday floral decoration

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9



Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

Tom Elias: Utilities look to soak small users

By Tom Elias | From Page: A6

Cheers and Jeers: Thankfully, no jeers

By Our View | From Page: A6

Many thanks for a great benefit

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

It all started at the bookstore

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

What can we do to help?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

What if we really need it?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6



Aggies out-Fox Utah State after dramatic Les shot to forces overtime

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Defense, depth lead Aggie women to home win

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Seahawks shut down San Francisco

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Youth roundup: 10 titles for the Diamonds Level 3 gymnastics squad

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B4 | Gallery





‘Horrible Bosses 2′: Fire ‘em all!

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

Mumbo Gumbo plays for post-Thanksgiving dance party

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11



Sonata evolves into more sophisticated car

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1 | Gallery



John Walter Neves Jr.

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4



Comics: Friday, November 28, 2014 (set 2)

By Creator | From Page: B3

Comics: Friday, November 28, 2014 (set 1)

By Creator | From Page: A10