Vernon Vine

Punish a Muslim day: Yes, it is a real thing

Mina Butt, Staff writer

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It was April 3, 2018 and I thought it was an normal day.

I woke up thinking that nothing was out of the ordinary- I begrudgingly rolled out of bed,  did my daily bathroom routine, and got dressed for school.

Just as my sister and I were getting ready to leave the house, my mom told us that she didn’t want us going to school.

“It’s Punish a Muslim day today,” she said. My mother was afraid that my sister and I, along with other Muslims, would be targeted.

I hadn’t heard about this and immediately researched it. I discovered that this event was mainly taking place in the UK, but despite this, my parents were still too scared to send us to school, even though we live in a county that promotes religious freedom as a constitutional right. However, my sister and I refused to stay home, insisting that nothing bad would happen. So instead, my dad drove us to the bus stop and stayed with us until the bus came. Then, we were instructed to text or call my parents when we got to school and when we were on our way home.

I told myself that today was nothing, that being a muslin meant that everyday was Punish a Muslim day.

It was Punish a Muslim day on May 26, 2017, when a white terrorist was harassing two Muslim teenagers. He fatally stabbed two men and assaulted a third who tried to defend the girls. It was Punish a Muslim day on June 18, 2017, when Nabra Hassanen, a 17 year old American Muslim, was assaulted and killed when she was on her way to a mosque. It’s Punish a Muslim day everyday because I know that somewhere, some person is facing bias, prejudice, and hate for simply practicing a religion.

I shouldn’t have been shocked when I heard about this. I shouldn’t have been scared. I shouldn’t have been disappointed. Hate against my people is common; I should be immune to it by now, yet I was shocked, scared and disappointed.

I tried to be strong but I couldn’t stop my tears when I rode the bus to school. I was so frustrated because I knew that most people wouldn’t care about and/or be affected by today- they didn’t have to face the struggles that Muslims face on a daily basis.

Even though this event was occurring in the UK, I still felt afraid and upset because April 3, 2018 was a day that my people were publicly and blatantly targeted. However, my frustration soon wore off and I went about the day like nothing was wrong. I refused to let fear take control of me and I was comforted and supported by friends. Punish a Muslim day was created by  xenophobic, ignorant, hateful individuals and one day, a time will come when they are the ones condemned instead of Muslims or any other oppressed group. Until then, I will not let hate win.

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Punish a Muslim day: Yes, it is a real thing