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.
When you go to someones house for the first time and you sit there like
Okay, this is actually what you do if you’re being sexually harassed in any kind of public space. Draw attention to it, preferably pull away and let EVERYONE know that someone is touching you. This will not only get him to get off you but he’ll definitely think about this situation next time he wants to do something like this.
Spreading the word.
My mom and I were talking about this today after hearing about a woman who was molested on a plane who said nothing until she was picked up at the airport by her parents. My mom looked at me and asked what I would do in that situation and I looked her dead in the eye and I told her “it would take me .02 seconds to realize what was going on and yell angrily, and then I would be straight on to bitch slapping him so hard he wouldn’t be able to see the punch I’d throw with the opposite hand”.
She nodded and accepted my salty language like a seasoned sailor.
I’ve had experience with this before, in Prague a group of five girls and I were followed by three men at night. After a while they started yelling at us, the most common being “how much?” Meaning how much we “cost” as prostitutes. Seeing as they weren’t going to stop, I turned on my heel, faced them (which surprised them), spat at their feet and responded with “You couldn’t afford me.” This prompted the other girls to start yelling back at them as well, starting with our spitfire Czech friend to start slinging curses in Czech as she and the rest of the girls came up beside me. Needless to say the men backed off and pretty much fled. They weren’t expecting a fight. It empowered me and encouraged the rest of the girls to yell back too.
I’ve heard that a lot of people don’t know what to do in this situation because they’ve been taught all their lives to be polite and non-aggressive. Keep your heads down or whatever.
Keep in mind that studies have shown that rapists look for victims who won’t fight back.
Remember that nobody has the right to touch you without your consent or harass you, and you have all the right to make the biggest fuss about it that you can possibly make.
Get angry. Be in command.
If someone is doing something that makes you uncomfortable like this, you do not need to be nice. Swear, kick, scream, make the asshole cry. You don’t have to nice, be as rude as you want