April - June 2002, Islam

Letter to Muslim Hippie Chicks

By Khadijah Rivera

Assalamu alaikum,
Since I reverted to Al Islam, I have not gone to any musical events. Oh I still love music but just did not want to be among the crowds. A while ago my son invited me to see Richie Havens. For those of you who are too young, let me tell you who he is. Richie was the opening act to Woodstock, a gentle African American man who then and now stands for human rights and love among the Hippies. Good lovin’ brotherhood-not Hippie love. His music is pure soul, folk music style. A great guitarist who places lyrics on and off the music pages. A wonder of a human being, if not a Muslim. Well he should be as his dress and his manner confirms it.

The crowd was mixed and that night I was among teens and people who were half a century old swaying to the claps of his guitar. I too was mesmerized as I stood over the stage in a music box. At one point, he stared at me directly in hijab and started talking about September 11th. He said that we were ALL brothers and that CNN was now the WAR MONGER station, but it was up to us to continue lovin’ and not profile each other. He talked about the Abrahamic religions as if he was a Jew, a Christian, and a Muslim. Told us not to let anyone divide us. I saw lots of tears at that folk concert. Were they tears of sadness or tears of Joy?!

I was sad that a non Muslim was the one to say such things, but joyful he did. And the others? I pretty much don’t care, because when he walked off the stage his message carried on. As I passed by the crowd, “Hippie people” smiled from the heart. The key word that night was PEACE and BROTHERHOOD and yes: Lots of Lovin’!

Groovy man.

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