Naaz Modan

A Letter (Again)

These are my people
We are white and brown and yellow and red
And every shade of skin, every kind of person, your eyes claim to “know.”
We are the ones with cloth on our heads
that you call oppression
and we call liberty;
We are the ones with beautiful voices
–like soft hands gliding over a harp that my heart dances to–
that we call prayer
and you call poison;
We are the ones with the strength to shake grounds and stir revolutions
–Kings and Queens, lions and phoenixes–
the Persians, the Spanish, the Africans, the Egyptians,
The Americans.
Never forget: my ancestors
Make your history.
Your world would be nothing
without mine.
But you say “my people” are those
We are not evil; my people are not them;
But you are an insult
To what we call humanity.
So tell me,
don’t you feel dirty
with the filth under your fingernails
from this illusion you’ve built?
Is your mouth sour
from the bitter lies it’s spit
to foolish ears?
Tell me,
do you feel your spine shake
and your bones rattle
from the weight of your sins?
Tell me,
are you scared
of the martyrs you’ve made
out of the people you’ve killed?
Remember: we warriors often fall
before we rise.
Phoenixes are called beautiful
even after they burn.
Even nature can’t help
but grow through concrete
And we are a storm
Stronger than any of your boundaries.
So run
run from your sins
run from your lies
run from every injustice
you’ve ever committed.
Because we are not terrorists
(I tell you again)
We are a beauty, a history, a faith.
We are a people to be reckoned with.
We are Muslims.