First Amendment

October 4, 2011
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There are twenty-seven amendments to the Constitution, but the one that means the most to me is the first one. It grants citizens of America the freedom of speech, religion, press, and peaceful assembly. To most American teenagers, this may not mean much, but I am Muslim. Islam is what molds what I do in my daily life and makes my customs and habits very different from other people. If my family and I were not allowed to practice our religion freely in America, we would still be back in Pakistan, where traditionally, I would go up to high school and then get married. In America, we have the opportunity to pursue our dreams and live our lives the way we would like.

My parents lived a well life in Pakistan; we lived in nice house with spacious gardens, drivers, and the friendly cook who had helped raise me. I don’t remember much of this, moving to America at the age of three, but I do recall outside of our gated house was filled with dirt, slums, and disease. My parents wanted to move the family to America because it was their dream to have all four of their daughters educated the proper way. America was often thought of as the dream that came with a price. That price was a high one, they said that in America, no one was Muslim and there was no way for a Muslim to live there. My father, determined to make the best life for his family, gave up his whole life, and moved us to the Land of Dreams. We were all scared, but at the airport, no one stopped my mom because she was wearing a gown and headscarf, no one exclaimed at our traditional clothes, my mom even said a woman smiled down at three year old me and exclaimed how cute I looked. This really made our attitude towards America positive. It’s a country in which people respect you no matter what background you come from, what religion you are a part of, or what you believe in. The first amendment made it possible for people to worship however and whatever they want without being discriminated again. If it weren’t for this, then I’m sure I wouldn’t still be in America. America offers many opportunities that weren’t available to girls and women in Pakistan. In America, women can go to college, and get good jobs all while wearing the headscarf. The freedom of religion has helped many other people who have faced religious persecution in their previous country and has made people truly appreciate everything America has to offer.

I know that now days, people take this freedoms for granted and don’t take full advantage of them, but compared to many other countries, your voice can be heard in America and you are truly free. Our founding fathers made it possible for a small town Pakistani girl like me to come to America and achieve a proper education for herself. Many people read the First Amendment and think, those are our basic rights, everyone has those! In reality, a lot of countries haven’t achieved freedoms like these until recently, unlike America, which has been the safe haven and refuge for all the people who have faced persecution and injustice. Truly America has offered her finest.





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pinklily said...
Apr. 2, 2012 at 9:52 pm
Very touching and close to the heart; keep up the good work, rafi!
 
unicronsnrainbows said...
Nov. 14, 2011 at 3:48 pm
great job, very nice :)
 
cocochoco said...
Oct. 16, 2011 at 5:57 pm
awesome writing!
 
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