I know what you’re thinking..where is the next part to the 10 things I learned in 10 years of marriage series?? I’ve been holding my breath waiting for it this whole time! Worry not, it’s coming!
As I sat down to put final edits to the marriage series post, I thought I would write a little bit about getting ready for the actual anniversary day- which happens to be today!
As part of my anniversary festivities, I decided to get my hair done:, wash, cut style and a hot oil treatment- the works.
My usual place(if you can consider 6-18 months usual) for haircuts used to be a chic salon at the mall. Not only did they do an amazing job but they had a specific section built for Hijabi’s!I feel it is our obligation as Muslims to support businesses that cater to our needs so beautifully- and if I get a gorgeous style out of it then all the better, right??
I called them last night to book an appointment. Apparently they changed names and split into two locations. The receptionist was friendly until I mentioned that I would like the woman only room. I couldn’t help but notice that she sounded cold all of a sudden.
I brushed it off at first. There’s a lot going on in the news lately and maybe I was being a tiny bit paranoid. So I justified it to myself.
Later that evening as I was PINning haircut ideas I kept thinking about what might happen the next day. What if my stylist was a Muslim hater? Enough to give me the haircut from Hell? What if I get attacked? I’d be in a pretty vulnerable position. Seated. hijab-less. Eyes forward. Under an apron. Arms sealed away. This woman bearing sharp shears and swaying and snipping to and from my head.
And then I thought to myself Wow, it’s just a haircut!
Why on earth was I thinking like this???
Then it dawned on me.
The memory. That moment that no Muslim can ever forget. Those images that played thousands of times for the past fourteen years. So shocking that to this day, every person can remember exactly where they were when they heard the horrific news.It was the moment I officially felt like the world chose sides and became ‘Us verses them’. As I cried over the lost lives and walked over to the Us side, the media pushed me to the Them side.Apparently I was responsible somehow. I should apologize, agree with the
war attack on Afghanistan and kinda understand why my neighbours and community might want to attack me. I must be sympathetic to the Qu’ran burning bigot, they’re only upset about what my people did to them.
I remember forcing my head up high and trying to look confident as I begged God to not let anyone hurt me. I felt unsafe . I felt like the whole world inherently hated me and ‘my kind’. That was when I stopped watching the news, or reading the papers. I couldn’t bare to know about the Muslims being slaughtered in Afghanistan, tortured in Guantanamo, and harassed and killed all over the world. Every time I took the bus to University or walked between buildings I wondered if I would end up beat up, shot or harassed, like the terrible stories I’d heard about.
Until this weekend,I had forgotten how crippled I felt because of the ignorance the world had shown. I would begin and end every day with fear, thanking God for protecting me when I was safe in bed. I hated who I had become, pessimistic, anxious and constantly worried. Immediately sizing up every single person I walked past as friend or foe.
What I hated most was that I had become so weak that I couldn’t bare to hear about the people that were suffering, let alone think about being in their situation . I would shelter myself from these stories because they would disturb me to the point I couldn’t sleep. Perhaps it was a protective mechanism or I was simply weak and selfish- I shamefully adopted the ‘Ignorance is Bliss’ attitude. I retreated into a Muslim bubble. My friends, the on campus clubs I joined and even the jobs I applied for; everything was about protecting myself from anti-Muslim psycho’s.
I don’t want to be that person again.
My fear turned into anger.
I’m sick of being asked to apologize for something I didn’t do or condone . Do I really need to explain that Allah doesn’t want me to kill and terrorize you? Why do I have the brains not to associate an entire group of people with the actions of a few people and you don’t?
I wish I could mourn like everyone else. I wish that when a tragedy occurs my first instinct is to worry about the victims instead of praying “Please don’t let the Muslims be behind this!’
I wish Muslim blood wasn’t cheaper than water and that people didn’t feel so comfortable saying the cruelest and rudest things about us.
I wish the world knew that we hate these ‘Islamic’ groups more than anyone else. They kill us everyday and then they get the rest of the world to turn on us.
I wish I didn’t have to worry about what some fool was going to do next ‘in my name’ forcing me to watch my back
I wish I was strong enough to not only stomach hearing about tragedies around the world but to change them.
I wish getting a haircut was more about hair texture than about questioning someone’s humanity and intellect.
A wish is nothing more if not followed up by action.
I didn’t cancel the appointment. I ignored whatever fears I had. I couldn’t become that same weak and crippled person again.
So I’m telling you that I’m here, I’ll do my share to make the world a better place. I’m not going anywhere, so let’s be friends.
It’s not fair that I assume you are an ignorant bigot ;I’m working on that . In case you are, I know a thing or two about self-defense.
It’s a shame if you don’t want to get to know me. Maybe you haven’t met an awesome Muslim yet. Allow me to change that.
My name is Sahar, I’m a recovering Pinaholic, I like to take long walks to the fridge and I believe there’s more good in the world than there is bad.
Let’s have chai together!