Muslim In America

Constant stares from strangers, I smile at them to know that I’m not in any way trying to hurt them. Having to be alert everywhere I go so that no one blames me for something that has happened. Hearing racist slurs from people you’ve never seen let alone met a day before in your life. Being afraid to be profiled at the airport, always having to go through “random inspection” where they take you to a private room and strip you of your whole identity.

They blame you for events that happened before you could even walk. Wondering if I should show a little bit of my hair to show that I am just like them, wondering if I act like them or dress like them maybe they’ll finally accept me for me. Having your religion blamed for terrorist attacks, but killing is the biggest sin you can commit. The first time I experienced religious discrimination, I was 7 years old. A woman who has never met me or even seen me a day in my life, shouted at my siblings and I telling us that she’d “find our church and blow it up,” I didn’t know what to say or do about the woman who threatened our lives for walking down the street. I never thought my religion would make someone want to kill me for being proud of my religion and wearing a hijab. Every day I walk around hoping to never cross someone who has so much hate in their heart that they would want to kill a innocent person.

Every time I enter an airport I get scared about what might happen while I’m there. I get nervous when someone looks at me, I feel like they call security or are in fear for their own lives because they don’t know me. I got chosen in the “random inspection,” this lady who has never met me thought I was suspicious looking. She took me in this back room where she made me take off my hijab and patted me down. I felt so scared of the fact that they assumed something about me, when all I wanted to do was get home safely. I was asked if I was holding anything for anyone, and I thought to myself why would I a 17 year old have to go through the pain of feeling like a criminal. I will never understand why my religion automatically makes someone assume the worst about me.

Living in America, you deal with ignorant people on a daily basis. People affiliate Islam with extremist groups that in no way represents Muslims at all. If they were true believers they would know that killing is in fact the biggest sin you can commit. Islam is a religion of peace. As a Muslim, it’s so offensive when someone tries to say that these Terrorist groups are a representation of Islam.

Children get blamed every day for things that happened before they were born, they grow up asking their parents questions. Why do people call us hateful words? What does terrorist mean? Children don’t know what is going on, every hateful thing other children say is taught not learned. Strangers will come up behind you and try to tear off your hijab because it’s not normal or not what they are used to. I just wish people could see Islam through my eyes and see how beautiful my religion and the people are.