The Western World and its Misconceptions

August 12, 2010
By , Liverpool, United Kingdom
Islam. The word reminds you of many things. It may remind you of the Middle-East. It may remind you of hijab-clad women. It may remind you of Jihad. Or it may remind you of 9/11.

For me, being a Muslim girl in the Western world is hard. Today's society has its own misconceptions about me. Today's society looks at me and sees the light brown skin and immediately jumps to mislead conclusions. Some members of that society think that just because I am a Muslim girl, I am oppressed and I don't have any freedom. The same society labels me a potential terrorist. Because at fifteen years old I enjoy blowing up buildings in my spare time.

What that culture does not realise is that underneath it all, I am a normal teenager. I mean, I love my family. I love my friends, with whom I can be completely crazy and weird without worrying about what other people think. I love writing and losing myself in a world where I have the power to create characters and be whoever I want to be.

Those people don't know how difficult it is for me to be true to my faith and still fit in. They don't know that I would never discriminate against anyone, or that one of my closest friends is an Atheist whilst the other is a Catholic. Those same people think that I don't see the fear or disgust that is written in their eyes. It's hard when I go outside and people give me that ‘look'. The look with which they sneer and look at me through the corners of their eyes as though to say ‘You don't belong here.' The look that is meant to make me feel worthless.

But even when faced with this, I wouldn't give up Islam for anything. Whilst I'm a Muslim teenager, I'm still trying to figure out who I am. I don't drink alcohol, I don't eat pork and I dress modestly. But, even my sarcasm can't hide the fact that some sort of insecurity still lingers within me. And those people don't appreciate that I am still growing up and trying to understand myself, much less the rest of the world. The use that insecurity and trample on it. Those feet leave marks and those marks leave permanent scars.

Sometimes, I'm scared. I'm scared for the future, and of what the world could become. Of course I worry about global warming, crime and endangered animals, but I also worry about the order the world may become one day. Even though today's society has moved on from racial segregation and has a better understanding of the different faiths and cultures, it doesn't mean that hate has been eradicated. It will always be there. Those people in today's society use hate for their advantage and try to spread it. They try to create animosity and abhorrence between nations and civilisations. They don't try to understand the many different cultures in our world today, whether they be in China, Pakistan, Lebanon, Namibia or England. Those people need to grow up and open their eyes. They need to understand that we live in a multi-cultural world and treating others differently simply comes from their dislike or inability to understand and embrace different faiths.

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WriterFanatic This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 17, 2010 at 11:58 pm
I agree with you on every point. I am not Muslim but I believe that Islam is one of the best religions out there. Good job for speaking out. If only everyone was like you things in this world might be different
Thesilentraven This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 15, 2010 at 1:53 pm
I agree completely with this; old prejudices are tearing apart the peace that this world needs. I'm so sorry that you've been a victim of these prejudices. We would all be much better off if we accepted each other despite our backgrounds.
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