This week I want to start sharing the personal stories which inspired this campaign in the first place. Our very first story comes from fellow WordPress blogger Yusra Zainab. In her experience she writes:
“I was mocked by a girl for my faith. I was insulted on the face over a matter that any muslimah would find highly offending. I was told, …. I can’t say that. I just can’t. It was something like being humiliated for my reservedness towards the other sex. A mockery that hit the point of my hypocrisy in faith. Being told that I actually wasn’t what I potrayed to be and ‘she knew’.
The situation was well tackled by my lovely friends while I sat quiet feeling within myself the effect of her words. It had damaged something. While a part of me wanted to shout back at her and put her in her place, the other sensible part, acted intelligently and kept unexpectedly calm. I shook hands with her as we left and made sure it was followed by a kind smile.”
Stories like this are all too common. A hijab is the main way to identify those of the Islamic faith and so, women are the main target of racist tirades. Though in Yusra’s situation her friends were there and willing to stand by her, in many cases, this does not happen. Furthermore, the effects of such an incident are felt throughout the rest of your life. Knowing that there’s an issue with yourself and that your difference is not embraced but rather shunned is a cause of sadness to the extreme.
it is also worth pointing out that in many cases, perpetrators are not directly Islamophobic but indirectly. It is important to notice the signs and intervene. For example, if someone tells an Islamophobic joke, it is often worth asking why it is so funny. Many people will be embarrassed and hopefully not attempt the joke again. It isn’t about ‘lightening up’, it’s about changing thought processes one question at a time. If you have a story to share, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Remember, one word can make all the difference.