After 9/11, a big question I got a lot was, “why are you still a Muslim?” This was often followed by distaste, horror, or anger with my decision to remain in a religion that, until now, hadn’t received much screen time.
My religion for many, now, equates to American lives lost, and atrocities committed.
It is hard to justify in a world where many people make assumptions when they heard the word “Islam” so often equated with something terrible.
It is even harder since we don’t have holiday movies to point to, or music, or décor. Even cheesy Hallmark movies make people equate Christmas with good cheer and good feeling. When Homeland and NCIS depict Islam, it’s never a good thing if someone is a Muslim. On those shows, it’s more about perpetuating the stereotypes, and thus, the fears.
Apparently, it is still a question today, though, “why are you still a Muslim?”.
You know what’s funny? I now actually want to answer it.
Because I do, truly, see God everywhere, and I seek guidance in all that I do.
My religion teaches patience and understanding.
Islam taught me what a feminist marriage looks like, and has made my husband and I conscious advocates, allies, and feminists.
One act or belief does not exclusively make me a Muslim, and another make me less of one.
Please, the next time you assume something about what I believe, ask me about the way I believe.