I Won’t Pay for the Crimes of Them

mmw_islam_1110Since 9/11, the lives of Muslims around the world have changed, none moreso than the lives of Muslims who were born or live in Western countries.

I was about 10 when 9/11 happened. I barely remember what it was like before then. But I can tell you what it has been like since then, especially since I wear the hijab.

Every. Single. Time. Literally, every single time a Muslim person commits a crime, an atrocity, I brace myself. I brace myself for the stern glances I get from passers by. I wait to be yelled at. Spat at. I wait to be told to go back to where I came from.

Following the brutal killing of a soldier by two Muslim men in London last week, I again wait to be told that my religion is by nature evil, and that essentially I am supporting the actions of terrorists by covering my hair up.

I wait to be told that we’re all the same, and I wait for the day that someone will come from behind and rip my hijab off or something much, much worse.

I wait, because this and much more has already happened.

In an act which fuses irony and hypocrisy, I’m told to condemn and apologise on behalf all Muslims, because I’m one of the few good ones. I’m here to say no. No more. And never again.

I am sick of feeling like a criminal every time something like this happens. I am sick at flinching every time ‘Islamic terrorists’ are mentioned on the news. I am not them. They are not me, they do not represent Islam.

There are over 1.6 BILLION Muslims in the world. We make up almost 25% of the world’s population. We are your doctors. We are your teachers. We are your researchers. We are your engineers.We are your public servants. We are your politicians. We are your stage managers. Your composers. Your poets. We are your friends.

We condemn, every single time.

We get hurt, and we cry. We fear for what the future will bring. We fear for what our children will face, and what they, as second, third and fourth generation Australians will feel. Will they too feel that they don’t belong anywhere?

But I will no longer apologise, because I see how much this propagates the idea that we’re all committing these crimes together, as one community. We are not.

Thank you to the strong women I work with who reminded me that I should not pay for the crimes of ‘them’.

Article republished here: http://www.mamamia.com.au/news/muslims-the-crimes-of-them/


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  1. Any person, or group who commits an act of violence in the name of their religion, any religion, should stop to think of the consequences this will have on their own people. I’m sorry for all you have suffered as a result of not only their actions, but of our ignorance.


  2. on the day of judgement we will all be accountable for what we did in this life as individuals – not as groups. 911 was a very testing time for an enormous amount of muslims including my family, my wife and i converted around february 2001 with 2 kids under the age of 4. We lived in an area that was against anything that wasn’t either australian or, at the very least under the commonwealth. our family in new zealand feared for our safety from reports that were making headlines there, they even suggested to my wife for her to take off the hijab until things mellowed out, from which she refused. We did the next best thing and moved into the the areas where there was a predominant Islamic following (Bankstown, N.S.W.) Reading your article inspired me to reply with a positive note: there will always be a few bad apples in the box, and thankfully not all people who are not muslim would have that type of mental containment.


    1. Thank you so much for your comment, Ali. I cannot even begin to imagine how testing a time it was for you. It’s difficult enough explaining anything new to your loved ones, but having to do it under a shroud of fear and hate must have just been so awful.

      I’m sorry that you had to move suburbs but I’m glad that you’ve been able to find somewhere more comfortable for yourself and your family.

      I think the Muslims unite and show what we’re really about, the more accepting society can be. Of course, the media is never going to really help, with nothing but the bad being portrayed to the masses.

      I pray that the burden eases for you and the rest of the community.


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