When we feel fear, we have a choice: We can recoil from it and withdraw from anything in our lives that makes this feeling arise in us, or we can say yes, fear, you exist but I want to know what it is about you that scares me. The act of questioning it can transform it.
One way to address fear is to engage with an interfaith group. I live in Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C. There are several excellent local (county-level) interfaith groups and also a group in the greater D.C. area called the Muslim Women's Coalition that works with interfaith groups. The latter is part of a larger organization whose offices are in New Jersey: http://www.mwcoalition.org The link for the New Jersey office is http://www.mwcoalition.org/id9... .
A group like the MWO, a number of whose local members I have met, does so much good in overcoming fear through education and awareness and also good works, which in turn create positive relationships with the community. People who are compassionate and respectful both reach out and accept a hand that reaches to them.
In addition to working in your community through an interfaith group, consider establishing a group that uses the arts to identify and work through these issues of fear. Paint what this fear looks like; write it out in a poem; act it out in a play; set it to music; dance it out of your life. Perhaps find someone to sponsor an event for the community to show the paintings, read the poems, perform the play and music and dance, and have someone else mediate afterward a kind of town hall discussion about what it feels like to see and hear and be with another person's fear.
Be fearless in the face of the noise-makers. They don't represent America, and they don't deserve the energy and power you give them by fearing them.
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