I am human too

Zaynab - Windsor, California
Entered on June 1, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Everywhere I go eyes follow me around, staring as though I am an alien. I was born in America, and I speak fluent English without an accent. Though, still they call me a terrorist, as though I have done something wrong or a crime. The only crime I have done was to be born in this world as a Middle Eastern girl. I cannot change who I am. Yet, still they glare at me because I am Muslim. I am just a 16-year-old girl though; they call me cruel names everywhere I go. They always target me, accusing me and my religion of terrorism, though I have committed no terror. They just judge my religion by its misguided followers. I believe in peace.

In the Quron it says “If anyone had killed one man except in lieu of murder and mischief it is as if he killed the whole man kind”. This is proof that my religion does not teach terrorism. My religion is about peace. I do not believe in killing others or myself. I would not even hurt a fly. Even when us Muslims greet people or meet someone we say, ‘Salaam’ which in English means, ‘I bring peace to you’. Does that sound threatening at all?

I wear this hijab to preserve my dignity and my modesty. If wearing a veil was such a crime then why do Christian nuns wear it? When people see a nun, they understand she is following her religion, but when people see me wearing it, they think I am oppressed just because of the way I look. I was not forced into wearing my hijab. I chose to wear it myself. So people can judge me by who I am, not by the way I look. In my opinion, recent fashions that are set up by male companies oppress women. They pressure women to look anorexic and wear skimpy clothing in order to look attractive. But I wont be fooled by those tricks. Hijab helps people forget about those things and focus on what is important, to focus on their life and on being human. I wear my scarf proudly no matter how many people stare at me because I know they are just ignorant.

Even some of my friends can be ignorant, they sometimes joke around saying they do not want to go places with me because I might have a bomb. Their words hurt, though I just laugh the pain off, pretending I do not feel a thing. Many do not know that I have a heart and I have feelings under this veil that I wear. I am human too. Do not just judge me by the way I look.