Salaam Alaikum,

Everyday, ignorant people make ignorant, biased comments that are of no value and worth to the one it is being directed to. Racists really make me angry and they probably deserve a slap across the face. Their mind is manifested with obvious hatred, bias, and stereotypes that perhaps brings them down to a lower level of mankind.

During my freshmen year of high school, I was the only Muslimah in the entire community life. I stood out from the rest based on physical appearance of how I dressed, behaved and the certain activities I engaged in. It was pretty apparent that I did not share the same views as many of the girls sitting next to me.

My first Ramadan at high school, I was unable to fast due to certain circumstances. Even during the month of Ramadan, I engaged in physical activities, interscholastic sports and any other activities while taking specific cautions as to how I presented myself, simultaneously.

One evening, during sit-down dinner, a formal dinner in which every boarding students and on-campus faculties had family styled dinner, I left a poster with the words “ALLAH” embossed in glitter on my bed to dry. A few days before the incident, many girls asked me in curiosity what it was and I figured it would be a good time to spread Dawah, so I did. I explained who Allah SWT was, why I prayed and why it’s important that I keep my fasts and dress properly.

Upon arrival from dinner, I walked up to my room and kicked my uniform shoes off into more comfortable ones. I noticed my poster missing from my bed and before I could panic, I decided to wash my hands. As soon as I entered the bathroom, I became aware of the fact that my poster was unfortunately dumped into one of the dirty, grimy sinks. Through tears, I let the proctor know and with my parents comforting words, I decided to let my anger and fury die down.

I receive obtuse comments all the time and though I awfully wish to say a little back in retaliation, I hold back because I understand that most of the things that come out of people’s mouths are those of ignorance. If they were better educated, learned to tolerate differences and possibly open their eyes to different situations, they may conceivably gain knowledge of a variety of customs, traditions and practices.

There are times when I either ignore a statement or try to shed some light on their ignorance, such as the time my friend replied to my explanation of why I can’t wear shorts during soccer practice and matches as “That’s stupid and dumb.”

Sometimes it’s not entirely their fault but maybe if they opened their eyes a little bit more and took the time and patience to learn something new, they would be able to step forward a miniscule amount in the direction of awareness and appreciation.

Allah SWT says in the Qur’an:

"O Mankind, We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other. Verily the most honored of you in the sight of God is he who is the most righteous of you" (Quran 49:13).

Wa Alaikum Salaam