Hello guys. Long time no see! So last Thursday I was in New York and one of the places I went to that day was the 9/11 museum and as I walked through and then left, all I could do was try to stop myself from crying…here’s the story:
So many of you know I’m a Muslim but if you don’t/are new, well, hi and I’m a Muslim. I don’t like to really advertise it but for this story it’s essential. Now back to the story…so like many others I don’t totally remember where I was on 9/11 as I was pretty young and I don’t have any family who lives in New York so for me, 9/11 wasn’t news to me until several years later. Ever since then, on the anniversaries, I’ve always been incredibly sympathetic and empathetic to those who were affected by the attack. But I had never truly thought of it as an everlasting attack on the world and future until I went through the museum. As I slowly walked through each “exhibit” and watched videos of the damage, heard and watched the news stories of the day, and heard people’s stories and tales, then went through and saw the exhibit on the terrorists, I felt like I was going to cry. (Note: as I’m telling you guys this, my eyes are tearing up again) I felt a little bit guilty to be honest. To be walking through a museum that was built around an attack by people who called themselves Muslims, I felt like I was violating something. I felt like I was being watched and that someone was going to come up to me and yell at me for something I didn’t do. And that’s so scary. And as I saw and thought all this I realized how monumental this attack is and how life-changing it is. I realized that I had believed that the hysteria around the attack and the hype would kinda die down after 10 or 15 years but I realized that day that the terrorists started a movement so much bigger than any of us. They created a day that began the hatred and prejudice against past, present and future Muslims who had nothing to do with the attack. They changed the viewpoints of so many people at the time and as those prejudiced people live on, meet new people and have kids, their viewpoints transfer to those new people and kids. They killed so many innocent people whose families now are missing someone or, God forbid, several people and now their memories, experiences, ideas, thoughts and beliefs are changed. And for those who died because of the prejudices against them, everything changed for them and their families and their lives too. And unless something major happens to counteract all of this, save for bringing back the dead, unfortunately, this won’t stop.
At first, I was just going to leave it at that and to just think about it but then I realized that if I wanted this stigma and these lives to hopefully change for the better I would do something. So I ask, tomorrow on October 31st, on Halloween, to use the #NotMyPrejudice and talk a bit about why this Muslim prejudice is so wrong, talk about how wrong ISIS is to be calling themselves Muslims or tell your story. Sounds so simple and so hard because most, if not all of you, aren’t prejudiced against Muslims so it sounds a bit dumb probably to say such an obvious thing but I’m hoping that some people might see this and change their minds and maybe this will evolve to something about other religions and races. Who knows, we could start a movement 😉
~ Angel, Avid Reader
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