The first thing you see when you look at me might be that I’m a girl. It might be my skin color, brown. It might be my clothes, almost always a t-shirt and jeans. It might be my height, short– still young. But you wouldn’t be able to definitively guess my religion. You wouldn’t be able to confirm without a doubt that I’m not Hindu, not Christian, not Jewish– and while you could always certainly guess, simply based off my appearance, you could never really know for sure.
And that’s such a weird and sad privilege to have nowadays– the safety of a mysterious and unknown religion.
Meanwhile, other Muslim women who’ve chosen to wear a hijab, women who’ve chosen to live explicitly and unabashedly in their faith every day, are met with a completely different reality compared to myself. They should be praised for their devotion, admired for their discipline. And yet, all I see and all I hear in the news are these women being harassed, being assaulted, and now today, being killed.
A missing 17-year-old girl named Nabra Hassanen was found dead today by a pond in Sterling, Virginia. Reports say that she was walking back to the ADAMS Center, a local mosque, with her friends when she got into a dispute with a man who was driving by in a car. Apparently, the man had gotten out of his car and assaulted her– and when her body was found, a baseball bat was recovered right next to it.
My heart breaks today. Honestly, my heart breaks everyday that I watch the news and see Islamic Radical Terrorism flash across news screens in an effort to terrorize the average American while the innocent Muslim lives that this propaganda hurts and kills never receives air time. But my heart breaks today because of how young she was. How much potential she could’ve had. How she was just walking back to a place of worship. How maybe if she wasn’t wearing a hijab, she wouldn’t have been targeted by a random man on the street who would end up taking her life. How the news of this attack broke simultaneously to the news of 10 Muslims being run over by a white racist in London while they were leaving a mosque, as well. How it’s so dangerous to wear your identity explicitly and unabashedly every day. How all of this is happening– almost growing and manifesting in itself– during the holiest month of the year.
She didn’t deserve this. No Hijabi, no Muslim, no Sikh confused for a Muslim deserves to be living in terror, but Islamophobia has gone global. Today, I don’t have a solution, or a call to action, or anything that can make any of this better– just a link.
This is how you can donate to help Nabra’s family pay for her funeral costs. Any amount of money can help– but if you’re unable to contribute, then at least spread the word about Nabra and this fund; on Twitter, on Facebook, or to a friend. Tell them how brave Nabra was every single day of her life, living in America today as a hijabi. And tell them about the additional wound this story has certainly made in another Muslim-American woman’s faith. Tell them that this violence is just so senseless and sad and heartbreaking. Simply tell them. And send Nabra’s family your prayers. Send those affected in Finsbury Park your prayers. Perhaps that’s all we can manage to do today.
Thanks for stopping by,