Who speaks for me?

I was confronted with this question this past Friday at an event I attended through the Interfaith Alliance titled “What is driving the anti-Muslim sentiment in the U.S.?” 

I was invited to this event by a friend who knew that I am passionate about this issue and knows that I have dealt with this issue before. I am a hijabi (covered) after all! She did mention that some people might not be so happy to see Muslims there or just don’t like Muslims in general (Sadly, to be expected).

I got there and found that the president of one of the Mosques in the area was there. We were the only 2 Muslims in the audience, that I knew of. I did, however see a lot of people I work with through the peace community. (Again, to be expected)

The speak was a historian and has done a lot of research about this issue. He was well spoken and had made a lot of good points. Comparing the Anti-Muslim sentiment in Europe and the US. I didn’t know that Switzerland had banned minarets.

He also talked about how some Muslims leaders are choosing not to speak out or are too afraid to speak out. This is where I disagree, many are speaking out but no one is listening.

A man from the audience said that if something like this was happening to Christians they would have spoken up and then he said women don’t speak out because of the hijab. This is when the bells in my head were going off…Like WHAT!!?!??

This is when both the president of the Mosque and I raised our hands. The president spoke about how people are fearful of their ability to convey the message right, a lot of people are immigrants and English is not their first language. Also, that some people who are here aren’t citizens and feel they can’t speak out.

I spoke up and just stated that no one wants to hear what I have to say. No one asked me if I was oppressed, they told me I was. No one wants to hear my story because I’m not oppressed, or abused or whatever else they would like to hear. My story is normal, bordering on boring and that is why I am uninteresting to people. Now, if I said my father beat me and forced me to wear the hijab…then I’m sure I would get some attention, but that isn’t true.

So, that brings me back to my original question…Who speaks for me?

I, Samar, speak for myself.


2 thoughts on “Who speaks for me?

  1. I am sure it is more annoying to Muslim women than to men how non-Muslims think of the subject of Hijab.
    The only thing that those anti-hijab, Muslims and non-Muslims, want to hear is when a hibaji woman speaks ill of it. That she wore it because she was forced to other than that no one will listen or care to listen.
    For the past 9 years every single Imam in USA spoke against Muslim terrorist organizations yet until now, after 9 years, Many Americans still convinced that Muslim leaders in the USA didn’t say enough.
    I believe that the best way to speak out is to be confident of ourselves and our religion. When people see how confident we are they will stop arguing about what we believe in. Unfortunately, many Muslims in America are not confident of their religion and they always look apologetic for every aspect about our Deen, the hihab, Jihad, polygamy, halal food, etc.
    I envy you on having the passion and patient to attend such talks and speak out. May Allah rewards you for your good deeds.

    1. Ameen ya rab.

      You know it makes me sad that so many Muslims don’t understand their religion and aren’t able to speak out…So, the solution is to stop talking? Why not educate ourselves and start speaking out more.

      You are right, Many Imams have spoken out but no one listened. No one wanted to hear them. That is the frustrating part, people don’t get it.

      One of my earlier experiences with hijab in the US was these two Arab girls told me to take it off..It was my first time meeting them and they were like “you are in America, you are free here” I obviously didn’t listen and ironically, I met one of the girls again at another college and she was like I’m glad you didn’t listen to us back then. It’s interesting what people do and say when they are in a different country.

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