You’re going about your day normally when all of a sudden, as you’re sitting on the bus trying figure out who “Becky with the good hair” is on Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” album, you witness a hijabi become the victim of Islamophobia.
Just two feet away from you, a man is yelling “You’re a terrorist!” along with all the other possible stereotypes that could be associated with Islam, and you don’t know what to do.
In a recent article entitled “Someone Made a Guide for What to do When You See Islamophobia and it’s Perfect,” on Buzzfeed, the author provided a four-step guide for what to do when you see someone subjected to discrimination because of Islamophobia.
We loved the guide so much, we thought we would share with you some main points broken down in two easy steps. As a precaution, make sure to always have 911 dialed on your cellphone before attempting to help.
1. Make sure to be more productive than a bystander while still making sure to not put your own safety in jeopardy.
The multiple steps described in the article assigns the responsibility on you to ensure the safety of the Muslim and let them know they’re not alone.
2. In step two, you are encouraged to initiate a conversation.
By doing this, you are indirectly sending a message to the attacker that their ignorance and arrogance is not welcomed. To do this, the author advises to approach the victim with a calm and cool collective along a with an open and friendly gesture.
When doing this, you are creating distraction that reassures the victim that you are not another enemy, but rather a volunteered solider willing to fight in the battle with them.
At the end of the bus ride, you could even offer to escort them to a safe place. Take advantage of not looking like a target to the public and offer potential victims services that could increase their level of comfort and safety.
The author of the guide mentions that you should keep in mind that not all Muslims are seeking assistance. Some would rather not acknowledge the situation and go about their day as if it never happened. Respecting their wishes of whatever they decide to do is always advised as you want to make sure that you do not make yourself a victim as well.
When dealing with Islamophobia the main goal that is desired to be achieved is keeping your composure together. A common stereotype associated Muslims is that we are angry temperamental people.
Of course that is not true, but when you’re being attacked about your religious beliefs, who can resist the urge to not want to throw yourself at them, slap them in the face, and yell, “Shut up!”
Whether you’re a Muslim or not, defending people in times of danger is a moral and ethical stand we should all take. Sadly, America has prejudged and assassinated the character of many American Muslims by painting us all with the same paint brush, but there is still hope.
Many people understand the difference between right and wrong and are willing to stand up against injustice. We hope this guide, both the extended one linked in this article, as well as our cliff notes version, will help you in doing what is right.
Written by Muslim Girl Staff Writer Iman Ibrahim