Are You Scared of Me?

Self, Thoughts

I am a Muslim and I have dreams and aspirations just like you.

Shortly after I was born in Missouri, my parents moved us frequently during my childhood till my dad could get a stable engineering job and till we found the perfect “home” that met all our needs. New Jersey was wonderful. I grew up there with the few cousins I have in America and I immensely crave that sense of family and homeliness.

New Jersey was too cold and pneumonia every winter wasn’t something I looked forward to every year. On the day of my 8th birthday, we hopped into our Denim Blue Mica Toyota Sienna to drive to Texas, where my dad found his ideal job. Houston is my home now and I wouldn’t want to have been raised anywhere else. I am taken aback by the beauty of this city, it’s cultural diversity, and friendly Texans who ride horses to school (don’t tell me you fell for that).

Since I was a child, I always knew I would do something artistic in life. My dream has always been to go into the film industry and it still is. Now that I started wearing a headscarf two weeks ago, I am putting acting on the hold, but I can always direct films. For now, I am focusing on becoming a journalist. It’s not going to be easy at all but this is a choice I made for myself. Not going to lie, I question my decision more frequently than I should. But I know that this scarf only makes me unique and stronger.

Maybe I am one step behind in my career. However hard others have to persevere to break into the journalism industry, I have to try twice as hard just to convince people I am not a threat before they even consider looking at the resume I so carefully put together. That doesn’t stop me from pursuing my dreams. I am going to strive just so I can put an end to this discrimination and make life easier for headscarf-wearing women all over the country.

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This one article of clothing changes everyone’s perception of me and I don’t understand why. I am still the same quirky, funny (at least I think I am), creative, ambitious and generous person I was two weeks ago when no one even assumed I am Muslim at first glance. Come on, I am that girl who cries when she sees an animal in pain. I just changed my sense of style and now I am seen as some kind of criminal.

My parents are somewhat lenient in these kinds of things and I am so grateful for them. Not once have they pressured me into doing something I don’t want, so don’t tell me I am oppressed. What is oppression? Merriam Webster defines oppression as “the state of being subject to unjust treatment or control.” The only people oppressing me are those people denying me jobs in a career I know I am skilled in. It sure as hell isn’t my religion.

And for those people who randomly shout “Allahu Akbar” at the Muslims they see, does anyone actually know what it means? It means “Allah (our name for the same God Christians believe is Jesus’s Father, just through the preachings of their own religion) is greatest.”Atheists and people of other religions, you do you. I still respect and love you as humans.

Just because stereotypically, terrorists scream this phrase before murdering innocent people like us (because they psychotically think that’s what God wants them to do) doesn’t mean “Allahu Akbar” is a bad phrase that you say to insult Muslims. You can kill someone saying “Potatoes.” Does that make potatoes bad? No. I still love my french fries. And you know what? God is awesome. So Allahu Akbar. I wish peace for every one of you and I hope all of you are given all the happiness you can ask for.

 

Do I still scare you?

How about now?

Please share this on your social media. Change must start now. Let’s end this struggle together.

52 thoughts on “Are You Scared of Me?

  1. You are an amazing person. And a great writer. You made me cry, but dried up my tears with the potato comment. I don’t see why your religion, look or anything else should hinder you from employment. But I understand. I had my fair share of incidents where I wasn’t the right skin color to work in someone’s office. I know I had been turned down for jobs because I didn’t look like the rest of the employees. It’s ok. I’ve seen these employers hire incompetent people. I’ve also seen another ad posted for the same job weeks later. It’s their loss. The right opportunity will present itself. Great post…and nope, I am not scared of you!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you so much for this comment. You made my day and haha your comment made me cry out of joy. I needed to hear that I am good enough for this career. I needed to know that I have impacted at least one person who read this. You are beautiful and don’t let some racist bimbo tell you otherwise. Their loss. When you do something great for your company, the people who turned you down will regret it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the message behind this blog! Being an African-American male I too understand the fear that an be attributed to being a minority in a society that lives off of stereotyping others. Although I do not know you I can tell through your writing that you have a heart of gold. Don’t give in to society’s ignorant ways, keep your head up and before you know it the right opportunity will most certainly present itself to you. Peace and blessings 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you so much! It really is hard for us people. You would think that since slavery ended, and we are already deep into 2016, times and thoughts have changed. But society is only moving backwards, discriminating us mentally rather than physically. I wish the best for you.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Come, in Christ there is not condemnation, Christ is love, pure love, pure unity, come my brothers and sisters, let us unite, I’m tired of watching a world under the grip of Satan, who stays behind all the wars and arguments, let us love one another as Christ Jesus did. Amen Hallelujah God Bless you my dear friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree with you. What we look like, our beliefs, preferences, and such do not make us a bad or good person. You are a skilled writer and should be hired due to your skill. Just as you shared – any race, religion, etc. has people who do good things for this world and people who do not. It is a personality and personal decision to harm others. I hope that you find your way and the heck with those who do not hire you – rise above and show them the right way. It always saddens me that all ‘white’ people are thrown into the same stereotype as well. Not all white employers are the same either. My dream is that one day my grandsons and granddaughter will live in a world where people are kind to all, where religion is your right, where respect, compassion, peace and love are the norm. Light and Love!

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    1. I agree with you too. This is a sad situation and it is getting harder and harder to raise children in the society we live in today. “White” people are stereotyped but you definitely cannot say it is to the extent of Muslims, where you are scared for your life every time you step outside your doorstep, not knowing if you will get physically attacked depending on where you live. Even “black” people are discriminated in the workforce and just treated badly in general. But till now, I haven’t seen them attacked either, like people trying to tear a hijab off a woman’s head.

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      1. What I was sharing is that we don’t all have the same hatred in our hearts that you are experiencing – not that we are facing the same treatment. The majority of people in this world are filled with love and fairness. There are always those that give a certain race, religion, culture . . . that response of fear and hatred that you are facing. The media thrives on promoting a fear based society, politicians react to the responses. However, there are people who want to kill, torture, and destroy others – it seems each generation – century – has its history. Violence and hatred do not bring about peace and security. There has to be a different way. With the recent horrendous murders in Orlando there will be more vigilance in protecting citizens – so there is a reality for the fear. However, we as a society can’t look at every Muslim in fear, we can’t look at everyone in the same race as being filled with hatred. The Japanese living in America lost their homes, belongings, careers, freedom during World War II. The African Americans were enslaved, tortured, and murdered made for generations. Many women were kept subservient and didn’t have rights until the last centuries. We only recently learned that my own great-grandmother was placed in an insane asylum so my great-grandfather could be with his mistress. Her rights were taken away and she was left there for three decades until her death. Now we have the supporters of the different Presidential candidates attacking one another. When does it end. If the world could focus on love and compassion for all, we could live together with our different faiths and beliefs in a world where all of our children could feel comfortable and safe knowing that they will be heard and treated with respect. Those who do harm should be punished and stopped – they should not be supported in any way. I work with people of many faiths, beliefs, ethnicities and find it interesting to learn from them. The more we learn from one another the more we understand how to respect others for who they are. There will always be extremist who try to divide and conquer and send fear out to the world. If we lived a life focusing on protecting our planet instead of fighting over the resources and material possessions there would be less to fight over. Sending love, peace and compassion to all so one day, hopefully in my lifetime, we can live in a world that focuses on preserving resources and protecting our shared planet! That is the world I would love for our grandchildren and future generations – everyone coming together to better the world for all. Sending love and safety to you and your family.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you so much for the clarification and you most definitely are right. There are always going to be politicians who care about nothing other than their stubborn beliefs and their popularity. I would have to say that most discrimination stems from ignorance of the explanation of others and the truth. I hope you have a great day. Make sure to follow my blog!

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  5. I am afraid. There, I said it! Not of you particularly, but of the idea that Muslims (many Muslims) want me dead – not because of anything I do, but because of who I am. It is unfair to pretend that because you are a decent person who would not kill me, that there are not plenty of people who would. I face discrimination every day, I cover my head – not as a fashion statement but a statement of who I am, that I will not let my fear make me hide who I am. It makes it harder for me in school, shopping, let alone finding a job. I am Jewish. Are you afraid of me?

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    1. No I am not afraid of you. I do not know you but I wish to get to know the kindness of your heart. We don’t have to like the same things to get along. As long as you are not a threat to me if we ever cross ways, then I consider you a human just like the other person beside you. Most of the millennials think this way as well. I have an entire university of muslims who will stand with me on peace with the common Jews. So there will be “people” who happen to be Muslims, who hate your “people”. But this hatred is not from all Muslims. I don’t have a violent bone in my body and I don’t think you do either. In fact,we should hate the war, not the people. You know how people say “hate the game, not the player,” that stands correct not too. I wish the best for you and I hope that you are safe.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well I agree with you when you say that one should not be stereotyped or judged owing to the religion they follow or the clothes they wear.Also that there are good and bad people everywhere.Just for the evil acts of a handful a billion people are looked down upon.I think it’s time people broadened their minds.

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  6. I can’t imagine what it must feel like to live with the added pressure of people stereotyping you because of religion/race/sexual orientation or whatever – whilst I did suffer bullying at school it’s nothing compared to what many people go through their entire lives so I don’t feel I can truly compare. But as long as people like yourself keep trying to educate the idiots out there, then hopefully one day everyone will accept everyone else for who they are and base any negativity solely on negative actions. And if your line about potatoes is anything to go by then yes, you’re funny! Great way to put across how silly the ideas of the ignorant sound!

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  7. I loved your post. I am not afraid of you because of your religion, I am only afraid of evil people and they come in all shapes, sizes, and religions.
    I was born and raised without belonging to any religion. Now, I have always believed in God and we considered ourselves Christian, celebrating Christmas and what have you. In my high school there were two types of religion classes – humanities for Catholics (taught by a priest) and MRE (Moral Religious Education) for everyone else. I was in MRE and in this class we learned about all religions. I think those of us in this class had a much better view. What I learned was that a lot of religions were quite similar and they all had the same basic belief.
    When I met my husband (a Catholic), I became Catholic. We went to church every week for years, but as our children grew, we found ourselves not attending church on a regular basis as we were involved with their sports and other activities. We started attending less and less but it wasn’t just because our lives were getting busy but also because of the hypocrisy. Church goers who went weekly and yet lied to your face or other things. (I guess maybe they needed to go every week). I am certainly not without sin but I’m not a hypocrite. I talk to God daily. I pray to him and thank him for what I have. I believe in heaven (or a better place) otherwise what is the point to life if there wasn’t something else much greater than this? If I didn’t believe in God or a hereafter, I would never have been able to “survive” the death of my daughter almost 21 years ago. I don’t need a building to worship God. God is all around me. To me, God is about love and tolerance. He loves us no matter who we are. Imagine what this world would be like if we all could just practice the religion of love.
    Peace, love, and light.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very well written! If only this world were based on love, respect and compromise. We could have exceeded all limits and possibilities, and lived in harmony. In my personal opinion, and also quoted by Dr.Burke from Grey’s anatomy, “I have to believe in something bigger than me. Because if I didn’t, that powerlessness would eat me alive.” It’s just so much easier for me to rely on something bigger than me when it is beyond my control. Also I agree with the hypocrisy. There are people who use a “show” of religion as an illusion, but their character is not religious at all. Similarly in an extreme example, terrorists believe they are doing something extreme for the sake of Islam, but they are literally going against everything that Islam preaches, non-violence and loving everyone.

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  8. Growing up in Biloxi, I have many met many Muslims who were neighbors and colleagues of my mother while she worked in the Air Force. They would come over to our house for parties, jokingly toss my mother into the pool, and even took care of me when I was sick with pneumonia. In college I met even more Muslims, one of whom helped me get my first production assistant job on a film set. Since I was never beheaded, shot, forced to convert, or subject to any violence whatsoever, I must conclude that most Muslims are decent, law abiding citizens. As a Christian I may not agree with Islam, but I feel blessed to have known many of its finest practitioners. I’m not afraid of you, for you are my neighbor, and I hope to call you and your kin my friends.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Perfectly stated. I completely agree with you about all faiths/atheists too. As long as they have a great personality, I don’t care about their beliefs. I respect all varied beliefs regardless of whether I agree with them or not.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You do not have to thank me. The whole situation of being afraid of Muslim people is absurd. Some are extremists but so are some Christians or Jewish people or other people with strong ideology/philosophy/beliefs. This was very well said in this blog, more than I would have been able to say it myself.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. You go girl! Reading this post made me admire you because you’ve never let anyone or anything stop you from reaching your dreams and aspirations. You’re a brave person with a kind heart and don’t stop dreaming 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you. I completely agree with you. It is one thing to punish the perpetrator, and it is just ridiculous to assume everyone in the broad religion or race are like that. I would appreciate it if you shared this post on social media to spread the awareness. ❤

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