I am Muslim. There I said it!

by | Oct 1, 2014 | Shahnaz Blog (Previously They Throw Rocks)

This is really a difficult topic for me to write about because deep down this is not about religion or faith.  It’s truly about humanity and about being human.  I’m not the best writer in the world.  Not even close, but I will do my best to help you walk a mile in my shoes.
This blog started when I went out to lunch with a friend.  Nothing special really.  McAllister’s deli, a giant big spud and conversation.  We talked about our lives and since I love to talk about myself we talked a lot about my crazy life.  My adventure through becoming an actress and now a director.  We talked about how busy I was and didn’t have time.  We talked about acting and culture and the topic just slipped into the topic of being a Muslim.  And then we talked about how people hate us when they find out that we are Muslim.  We talked about the denuded image of Muslims and Islam in this country.  We talked about the Boston Marathon bombing.  This is really what prompted this post.  It was eye opening to me when my friend and I were saying the exact same thing to each other.  I said, “you know with the Boston Marathon thing, when I found out…”  She and I finished the statement with, “My only wish was that the bomber was not Muslim.”  And we looked at each other and I don’t know about her, but a realization swept over me.  We both cared about one thing and only one thing – we hoped the aggressor was not Muslim.  We could have cared less about how many people died or who got injured.  We cared about the religion of the bomber.  We could not afford yet another hit to our religion and the way people perceived us.
When did I get so cynical and stop caring about all the people who died and are suffering?  I think it happened when I keep seeing the media portray my religion in a negative light and I take it personally.  I’m sorry.  I’m Muslim.  I’m not a terrorist.  A true Muslim cannot be a terrorist.  Why is the media tagging my religion with terrorism.  When someone fires a gun in an elementary school, they have a mental condition.  What?  Are they not a terrorist.  What was their religion?  How is it that religion is not tagged there?  I guarantee you if that person was of Islamic background or faith, the media would have tied religion to it.  And who would have taken a hit.  Me, my friend and all the 99.9% of the Muslims who are peaceful and just living a normal life like anyone else.
I’ve heard people claim that President Obama was a Muslim.  Whooptidoo.  I mean, seriously?  I personally don’t think he is a Muslim, but my question would be, so what if he were?
I know every religion has blood on its hands.  But why is Islam incriminated now?  Why are people so ignorant and believe the ignorant who claim they are murdering because of religion?  What makes you better than them, then?  They misunderstand and kill.  You misunderstand and make millions of people hate.  What does it mean to be human?  To have fears, doubts, happiness, excitement, love, wonder, jealousy, pride, passion, and the million other complex emotions that make us, us.  And all religions help us be better “humans”.  To get past our judgments and to respect one another.  After all, I’m just another human being, like you.  And I am Muslim.  What do I want in life?  What you or anyone else wants.  To live a fulfilling life and to be happy.  To not harm others.  To be kind and helpful.  To want a peaceful world.  Yes, this Muslim wants a world of peace.  Go digest that!
I’m tired.  I’m tired of the cynicism.  I’m tired of having to go to lunch and talk about distrust and hate.  I’m tired of the shock when people realize that they just liked me as a person and the person they liked is a Muslim.  I’m tired of myself backing into a corner and not being able to breathe and not being able to care because I’m too busy defending myself and my religion.  I’m tired of ignorance.  And I’m of the fear and hate.  How about give us a break and let us blossom to show you that the path of righteousness is not the path of slaughter or murder.  Let us show you that we are not aliens and we are not the enemy either.  We are Muslim.
I had to get that off my chest.  Thanks for reading.


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