Being Muslim in America is exactly what it is, being Muslim in America. You always get the weird, threatening stares from people on trains, buses, platforms, sidewalks, for either having a beard, Hijab/Jilbab, Niqab, or any other physical indicator, that tells people that you’re Muslim, or “looks Muslim”. Even though I’ve lived in the U.S. my whole life, I feel so very different & distant from so many people, even those whom I’ve grown up with. We sit around & chill and relax, then tell jokes & what not. Then, some person, or several persons always breaks out the typical “Muslim-Jokes”, which are funny sometimes, inappropriate a lot of times, down right disrespectful many times, and rather awkward all of the time.
However innocent these jokes may actually be, those telling these particular jokes are in fact expressing a great amount of subliminal hatred, fear, ignorance and insecurity, concerning all-things Islam & all-things Muslim. This is not always easy or simple to deal with-Knowing that people actually live in fear, just because of the very sight of you as a Muslim, is very disheartening. Even aside from all of the achievements that Muslims have made for our Humanity, in History generally and even for this country, we’ve still been categorized as a foreign people. We live in such a heighten state of fear of Muslims, that it’s so difficult for us to even assimilate into our society the way that many Americans say that we should. Many Americans have been feed the lie that if Muslims are in fact allowed to assimilate into American society that we’re going to commit a hostile takeover & immediately establish Islamic-Law.
Now, firstly, our jobs as Muslims are not to establish Islamic-Law in a place where, by nature of this government, it is not even compatible the U.S. Constitution-This is a secular society, and everyone already knows that Secularism & Religion naturally don’t mix anyway. However, we as Muslims do in fact wish & want to be defined by our Islam, as being Muslims, and not just by our citizenship status, as being Americans. We’re not just Americans, we’re Muslims first. Of course, all Muslims view Islamic-Law as being superior to any other political system, religious or secular. However, when the Muslims live in a land where the Oneness of Allah is not even established, and/or there’s immense debauchery & decadence, then by nature of our Islamic-Principles, we can’t try to accomplish one thing without completing another.
We do want Islamic-Law to reign supreme, because Islamic-Law is the only way to enact true justice for all, all over the planet. However, first things first-Muslims must at all times first contribute to the betterment of our societies, where we may reside. But, if we’re being painted as a people who want to conquer, as opposed to people who want to make people’s lives better, we’ll never get the true chance to provide people with the better alternative of Islam. And, honestly, that’s the reason why we’re being portrayed so negatively.
Money-controlled media wants the American people to possess constant disdain for Islam & Muslims, in fear of the fact that once more Americans start to embrace Islam, they’ll begin to see the true beauty of Islam, rather than the negative portrayals given to the American people, in order to keep Islam as a representative of something inherently negative. Now, how does all of this fit into my life, as a Muslim. Well, I’ve lived here my whole life, as an American, and since I’ve been a Muslim, even before 9/11, I’ve been the subject of ridicule by my family, my neighbors, my classmates, various members of my former Christian community, and the list goes on & on.
Any & every form of negative imagery about Islam & Muslims will always affect me, as long as I’m still alive, whether those negative things are true or false. As an American, the onslaught of negative portrayals of Islam & Muslims has definitely affected even myself, to the point where one day, I was on a train, this was after the NYC MTA came out with the “If you see something, say something” poster adds, I saw some persons who were visibly Muslims, I mean like these guys had beards & stuff-They were also foreigners, and this shows you how dangerous lies are, that if you tell a lie enough times, people will begin to believe it. I started to notice how just by their Middle-Eastern appearances, even I, as a Muslim began to be leery of them. And, that’s when I realized that even Muslim-Americans are affected by this great body of lies.
Even myself, even though people know that I’m Black, the fact that I’m Muslim makes them view me as someone who’s a foreigner, these are people that I knew before I even became a Muslim that I’m referring to, by the way. Anyone who’s seen me with the past 8 years, or is a friend on Facebook, knows that I’ve got a big beard. So, every time that I’m in a Federal/government building, a restaurant, a movie theater, an amusement park, or any where that I may be, I’m constantly view in a disgusting manner. And, I can feel how people view me, without them even having to say anything.
Their body language speaks volumes. Now, when a white woman clutches her bag when I’m sitting next to her on a train, I no longer think that she’s afraid of a Black man who may rob, or rape her. Now, I know that she’s afraid of a Muslim who might blow up the train. It seems a bit childish or even amusing to think this way, but for me, and hundreds of thousands of fellow Muslim brothers, just like myself, who refuse to be defined by the Non-Islamic societal standards of how a man should look or dress, or how much facial-hair one should have, we have been made open targets for ridicule, denial of jobs, discrimination among our peers, co-workers, schoolmates, etc.
This has gotten so serious, that even some of our Muslims sisters won’t even marry a brother who has a long beard, or even a beard period, and this is part-in-parcel of the negative propaganda that we as Muslims have allowed to invade our minds & hearts. For example: In 2010, I was pursuing a Muslim woman for marriage. And, she ended up calling things off, because she asked would I ever consider cutting or shaving my beard, and I said no. She then took the position that because of this particular conversation that we had that I was “too religious” for her, which is really like a code-word for calling me an “Extremist”. And, of course no one wants to be with someone who an “Extremist”. But, the irony is that out of all of the other valid reasons to not want to marry me, she purposely chose my beard as a reason-So, now I’m being indirectly labeled by my own fellow Muslims, as being an “Extremist”, just because I won’t shave my beard…..wow!!! Well, this is my story, it’s a never-ending struggle, but the struggle is always worth it.