Challenges faced as an obvious Muslim

It hurts. It hurts to see that there are individuals out there who can so effortlessly attack warm hearted, benign people just because of their faith. News of shootings, stabbings, and assaults are filling up the media, as frequent as the daily weather forecasts.

It hurts to see victims of those families screaming in despair at the innocent losses, of ones they’ll never get to see again due to ignorance and misplaced contempt.

It hurts to see presidential campaigns endorsing my departure out of this country because I am a Muslim. It hurts even more to see that those presidential campaigns are thriving as they preach that cause. To see the crowd go wild upon hearing the proposed idea of banning Muslims pains me.

It hurts to see a brilliant teenager get called in for having the innate intelligence of building a clock from scratch on his own all because he was an Arab Muslim.

It hurts that every time I enter a mall, I’m looked at differently as if I am unlike the other shoppers. Or when I’m on the bus, people would rather stand, than sit next to me just because of my scarf.

It hurts to see that my own university, a place I deem safe, a place in which I also live in has “Stop Islam” written all over its buildings walls. This kind of hate is no longer something I view from afar, I am now face to face with it.

It hurts to see three auspicious, beautiful souls get shot in cold blood execution style in their own home for simply being of a certain faith.

It hurts that those attackers never—for a moment—stopped to get to know me or know my story. For if they would, they would know that there isn’t a single malevolent bone in my body.

My agony is crippled with heartache every time I see words like “Stop Islam” or “All Muslims are terrorists” plastered in huge letters over the walls of buildings. The redundancy of this hate is what brings me great anguish every single time. I am sick of it. I am Muslim, and Islam is my religion. I live by Islam, and I breathe Islam and for them to tell me to stop what I breathe is barbaric. For I won’t let them cut off my oxygen.

For the sake of optimism, I tried to look at the glass half full. It was hard but I gave it my best shot.

Following every act of hate or Islamophobic rhetoric, I’ve noticed a certain, fascinating trend. Every time an Islamophobic event takes place, the results that follow tend to yield some pleasant results.

I see a sudden magnetism from a plethora of benevolently affectionate non-Muslims towards all the Muslims assuaging them in different ways. Trying to make that thorn poke a little less.

The candor and humanity I witness in their eyes, reassures me that they don’t feel the same type of hatred, it gives me a shimmer of hope.

So you know what, thank you Islamophobics for the new friends I just made.

With Islam being the most talked about religion, it is perpetually scrutinized. I learned being overly talked about is what makes us popular, and that’s exactly what we want. Yes please, analyze and dissect this religion, because the more you do, the more you’ll fall in love with it. You can be the most sinful person ever, but if you sincerely return to your lord, he will treat you as a newborn as if you never sinned. What can be more beautiful than that?

I noticed that a great deal of individuals have become intrigued by this religion, that’s been hated on so regularly. In feeding their curiosity, they begin reading about it and learning about its true message. The more they zoom in, the more they begin questioning all the fallacies going around.

Most of the time, what starts off as a mere spark of interest develops into a burning desire to convert. And again thanks to those Islamophobics, they’re the ones who led them to this. We accept the new Muslims followers into our arms, no matter what drove them to the cause.

In addition to that, I began noting that many Muslims were returning to their roots in order to cement the knowledge they have about Islam and in the process acquire more. They do this to defend themselves with hardcore facts against all the loud-mouthed haters, just to remind themselves of the reasons they still hold on tightly to this religion in the first place. People will always try to tear down things they don’t understand. It is vital for us Muslims out there to preach what is true and not let these Islamophobics speak our truth by spreading lies. Defending your religion only amplifies the symbol of belief. This reminder is necessary every now and then and it wouldn’t have happened without those Islamophobics. So once again, thank you.


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