Article by Nathar EL
Date of Event: May 11, 2013
A remarkable woman with an extraordinary story, Lauren Booth left me entranced and wanting more. On a collaborative mission to support the cause of justice in America, Ms. Booth joined Mr. Khalil Meek, co-founder of the Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA), as they travel the nation in hopes of impacting, and changing lives through fundraising one city at a time.
On their stop in our humble city of Buffalo at the Islamic Society of Niagara Frontier, Khalil Meek and Lauren Booth captivated our hearts by sharing their stories, and stories of others who have also struggled for something greater than themselves. Khalil Meek brought to our attention the MLFA, a charity that supports legal cases impacting civil rights and liberties in America. MLFA was established to promote justice by informing the public of the important issues and cases it supports. In light of the negative stereotypes of Muslims, civil rights have been abused within the criminal justice system. This charity’s purpose is to offer all who fall victim to this injustice, a chance at legal council they could not otherwise afford. It is admirable to know that Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists and people of other faiths are also involved in protecting all freedoms and to promote justice by giving their time and money in support of MLFA’s mission.
Lauren Booth, a revered journalist and sister-in-law of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, shares in this sentiment, as she shared her passion behind her becoming a peace activist and, later, a Muslim revert. To think her window of enlightenment came from an image she had seen, as a journalist, of a little Palestinian boy, head held high and his arm held behind his head with a stone in his hand. She described him as fearless and proud. It was the sentimental notion that he was protecting his family, believing the power within that stone, once released, would destroy an entire tank. That was her stepping-stone toward her journey to renewed faith, her faith in Islam.
The world today may seem like a scary place, however with knowledge comes power. Khalil Meek and Lauren Booth’s aspirations to enlighten Americans and, perhaps, the world are commendable. Their concerted efforts to spread knowledge will inevitably generate peace through understanding.