An Unknown World

Growing up in the suburbs, I was never a skinny girl. I played in my backyard and was active, but my mom cooked delicious food and I began to gain weight. I didn’t realized how I was becoming until one day I was with all my friends and we were talking about how skinny they were. I felt strange for a while because I didn’t really have a story to share, and then I realized that I was feeling something, something not unknown to me when I was there: The feeling of not belonging.

The community I grew up in (not neighborhood, but centering around religious centers) was primarily South Asian immigrants and their kids. They weren’t really religious and frankly only liked to talk about others. They discussed marriage day in and day out and felt that it was more important than being happy with yourself. I wasn’t happy with their beliefs. They made marriage seem like the defining factor to be considered as a viable adult or complete in life. It wasn’t fair for a man to define your life. I was angry, and I felt alone, and then I realized what I was feeling. I didn’t belong.

This feeling has come to me throughout my young life, as I was excluded from the cool groups in the second grade to being one of very few who wasn’t flexible in the fifth grade. Now the reason I’m addressing it is because, I feel at times that I live in an unknown world, and sometimes feel like I don’t belong because people don’t realize who I am. You see, I’m a Muslim, and I’m proud to practice the beautiful religion, but when I’m linked to horrible actions and discriminated because of someone who’s practicing my religion wrong, I can’t help but wonder. I don’t belong in this characterization. I didn’t do anything wrong. It sickens me to think about how people have labeled me as dangerous and flick me off when I merely appear. The world used to be such an accepting place for me, people used to be there for me. But now, I’m scared of what will happen to me. I’m scared of how in the next few years, people will see me because of these lunatics killing innocent people in the name of my religion. They’re completely wrong and I would call them out any day, but it’s not fair for some people to say I am the same. I am nothing like them, I will never be like them, therefore I don’t belong with them.

I hate them as much as the next person. They have taken the lives of innocent people (someone’s mother, father, brother, sister, family), ruined the lives of those sharing the same religion (all 1.2 million of us), and made me lose faith in the inner human goodness. They don’t have hearts, and for that reason, I don’t want to be labeled with them. I want people to know that every Muslim they meet isn’t dangerous, honestly we’re all (the good ones) just here for the American Dream and to make a positive difference for society (like cure cancer, on my bucket list). I’m tired of living in an unknown world where I hide because of the labels I’m given and the way I’m spoken of (in the media, on Buzzfeed comments, in interviews).

At the end of the day, I just want people to go talk to a Muslim at their college MSA or at a local center and see how angered they are by these people’s mistakes and horrific acts. We’re living in an unknown world now as we are all being judged for the actions of the terrible, terrible few and feel like there is no where to belong.

Comment below if you feel the same way or share a story about a time you felt you didn’t belong. I can’t wait to hear them.

Until next time,

Mother of Peace

22 thoughts on “An Unknown World

  1. Yinglan says:

    It’s so frustrating that people judges someone by the action of others. What happened to get to know one another before judging? I’ve been in similar situations. Great post! I can definitely relate.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ida.K. says:

    I used to feel and still feel the same way sometimes. But, one advice that I can give you is to always protect your values no matter what. Sometimes It’s going to be hard and it’s going to be you against the world but you have to be strong.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Papatia says:

    I agree and it’s getting to a point that I am starting to be tired to apologize for extremists just because I share the same religion as them. I am also tired that we’re put in the bag. People that judge all Muslims based on incidents like these need to ask themselves these questions; are all White racists? Are all Blacks lazy bum and ghetto? Do all Asians look alike? etc. If the answer is no and it should be, then don’t crucify us because we’re Muslims. Mic meet floor! I am out!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ummesalmah says:

      Nice, and I definitely agree. Stereotypes are racist, discriminatory, and plain unfair. I’m sick of society labeling religions, cultures, and ethnicities and then preaching about how freedom reigns. I’m not free against racism involving preconceived notions of the danger I supposedly present. I just want to live here, get a job, and live as happy as I can. Is that too much to ask?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Rosa B says:

    What a well-written thoughtful blog. The truth it may seem like everyone is mean and horrible and discriminatory but the truth, most people aren’t, most people know the difference and that what these people do and have been doing for decades terrorizing Muslims for a long time, has nothing to do with religion. Most people know that and the people who don’t you wouldn’t want to associate with anyway. So head up Ummesalmah, you do belong, even though it may seem like you don’t but God created you here, and that means you belong.


  5. GretchenYuma says:

    Very heavy thoughts. I think at times we all feel that we don’t belong. At this particular time in history there seems to be lots of hate and anger. Continue to respect yourself, reach out, be a good example – whether you are female, Black, Asian or Muslim. That’s how we break stereotypes, stop racism, promote kindness and save the world. Hang tough Girl!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. delildel says:

    I’m sorry that you, me, and everyone else here have to deal with some type of discrimination just because we’re different in some way. It really sucks because these acts are based solely on the way people perceive on the surface.

    You shouldn’t have to change who you are to sort of “blend” in or become more “American,” just because Islam isn’t viewed as American enough. So you should continue doing what you value and continue sharing with us your experiences, and maybe one day it might get better 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Maggie says:

    Thank you so much for these thoughts… I know that I can certainly relate to that feeling of not being able to belong to a certain category and most of the time it can feel painful. I really appreciate your insight and it makes me happy to be reminded that even when I feel I don’t belong, there are countless others who feel the same way. I hope that you are simultaneously able to see the ways that “not belonging” can also be “standing out” and that you are aware of the way that you shine! Just from reading one post, I can feel your sincere heart and your gentle demeanor. Keep on standing out and owning it, girl. Be proud of who you are!


  8. nurunnahar says:

    This is quite an early post and I must say I love it. Your words are like marble beads on a thread of silk, it flows so well (excuse the metaphorical comparison) i really like this. Talented may I say, Maa Shaa Allah♥


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