Written by Runna Othman.
Islamophobia is not a new phenomenon created by Donald Trump by any means. “Islam began as a something strange and it will return to being strange, so blessed are the strangers.” (Sahih Muslim 145) However, The Donald’s blatantly Islamophobic, hateful rhetoric has created a free-for-all when it comes to bullying Muslim communities in the United States, and abroad (re: #MuslimBan).
A hostile environment can breed two stark scenarios. In the first scenario, Muslims fear being openly Muslim. Hijabi women, and non Hijabi women alike, are afraid to leave their houses, rightfully so, due to the intimidating climate. However, the second scenario is one that I have already seen begin happening, and has inspired me greatly to be confident in my identity. Muslims all over the world have continued to openly practice Islam, and have inspired millions globally to band together to resist the new regime.
In actively resisting the bigotry, I have come to renew my faith in God. For many years I have taken for granted the gift of Islam, and have lost sight of what it actually means to be a Muslim. To be a Muslim is to reject racism. To be a Muslim is to help those in need; whether they have legal documentation or not. To be a Muslim is to stand up for your brothers and sisters, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, when they are being shot in the street without any justification. To be a Muslim is to give a voice to the voiceless.
So from now on, I will embody the Prophet Muhammad’s Sunnah to the best of my ability. I will proudly pray my five prayers wherever I please. I will fast the month of Ramadan, even if there is free pizza in the café at work. I will declare from the rooftops that God is One and the Prophet Muhammad is his Messenger. I will take a selfie in front of the Kabah, if I ever have the chance to make it there. And I will most definitely rock my hijab with the most badass outfit I can put together. I hope you will too.