Saturday, October 3, 2009

Everyone Has a Story: "Are you a terrorist?"

“Are you a terrorist?” How do you think you would feel if the first day you chose to wear hijab (headscarf) in public someone you don’t know just randomly asked you that. Now, imagine if every other person you saw that day asked you that. Well, that was my first day of school. I‘m not going to lie, it was hard for me to keep myself from taking my hijab off. Everyone’s eyes were glued to me. People that I thought were pretty good friends just walked right by. I felt ashamed to be supporting my religious beliefs. It was crazy how so people just acted so ignorant. Some boys even tried hitting it off. The sad part is, I let everyone get to me. The next day of course I didn’t wear it. I thought, well if I just cover up the rest of my body it will be fine. Boy was I wrong. Sure, those annoying questions and stares went away, but my feeling of being ashamed didn‘t. It was a different type of shame though. Now, I felt ashamed for not wearing it. Like, I let not only myself, but Allah (God) down for letting everyone get to me. It was on that day I made the decision not let people make me feel ashamed for being who I was. I was going to wear my hijab, whether they agreed or not. Soon enough, the people who used to frown at me started smiling again. My friends realized I was still the same jokester I‘d always been. And the questions changed from “Are you a terrorist?” to “Hey what’s that thing your wearing?” and “What do you believe in?” Now, no matter where I go wearing hijab, I hold my head up high and look pass all the stares. I was content in what I believed in, and no one can take that from me unless I let them. That wasn’t going to happen.

~Cheyanne Lennon
Muslim Youth for Truth Contributor