I went to the mall, and a little girl called me a terrorist.
My name is Ela. I am seventeen years old. I am not Muslim, but my friend told me about her friend being discriminated against for wearing a hijab. So I decided to see the discrimination firsthand to get a better understanding of what Muslim women go through.
My friend and I pinned scarves around our heads, and then we went to the mall. Normally, vendors try to get us to buy things and ask us to sample a snack. Clerks usually ask us if we need help, tell us about sales, and smile at us. Not today. People, including vendors, clerks, and other shoppers, wouldn’t look at us. They didn’t talk to us. They acted like we didn’t exist. They didn’t want to be caught staring at us, so they didn’t look at all.
And then, in one store, a girl (who looked about four years old) asked her mom if my friend and I were terrorists. She wasn’t trying to be mean or anything. I don’t even think she could have grasped the idea of prejudice. However, her mother’s response is one I can never forgive or forget. The mother hushed her child, glared at me, and then took her daughter by the hand and led her out of the store.
All that because I put a scarf on my head. Just like that, a mother taught her little girl that being Muslim was evil. It didn’t matter that I was a nice person. All that mattered was that I looked different. That little girl may grow up and teach her children the same thing.
This experiment gave me a huge wakeup call. It lasted for only a few hours, so I can’t even begin to imagine how much prejudice Muslim girls go through every day. It reminded me of something that many people know but rarely remember: the women in hijabs are people, just like all those women out there who aren’t Muslim.
People of Tumblr, please help me spread this message. Treat Muslims, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Pagans, Taoists, etc., exactly the way you want to be treated, regardless of what they’re wearing or not wearing, no exceptions. Reblog this. Tell your friends. I don’t know that the world will ever totally wipe out prejudice, but we can try, one blog at a time.
coming up next on white people solve racism
muslim women dont need your white saviour attitude, you might now finally realise what it’s like to be excluded from society because of a piece of garment but you’re never going to experience it in the way we do.
she literally worded this so well and so honestly and tried so hard not to be rude, she just tried to understand what you go through. she’s not trying to be a saviour, she’s trying to raise awareness. she never said she’d solve anything or experience it like you do. stop doing exactly what other people do to you and shut down someones ideas just because of their color or religion or anything. this is a valid and completely pure hearted thing.
It’s funny how people act like white people are the biggest douchebags, and then act like total asshats themselves, huh?
She did this to get a GLIMPSE into the shit Muslim women are put through. She never claimed total understanding; in fact she said that she “can’t even begin to imagine how much prejudice Muslim girls go through every day.” She ADMITTED that she doesn’t know everything these women go through, and yet she’s STILL attacked? I cannot fathom why it’s deemed “okay” to be prejudiced against white people, even when we try to understand what it is people of other ethnicities/skin tones/nationalities/religions/etc go through. If you want, we can stop trying to understand and let everyone wallow in their self-pity.
- President Snow: "Panem today, Panem tomorrow, Panem forever."
- Me: "Crying today, crying tomorrow, crying forever."