I was walking on Carmine Street two summers ago holding an iced coffee in my left hand, and my arm, decorated by a small Israeli flag bracelet, was bent toward my mouth. This was in the thick of an especially bloody conflict between Israel and Gaza and an oncoming looker, upon noticing the bracelet, shouted at me, “Racist murderer!”
It was one of few instances in which I’ve been the butt of anti-Semitic or anti-Zionist sentiment in New York. I felt violated and misunderstood.
In some ways, it proved the power of fashion — how what you put on your person will ultimately command what the world chooses to see of you — but mostly, I was frustrated. Perhaps by this very power: here was a man who’d written a story about who I was in the 5-second flash we intersected, and I remained silent.
Following the November attacks in Paris, December attacks in California, January attacks in Turkey, March attacks in Belgium and Pakistan and the violent persecution committed daily across the world without thundering coverage from mainstream press, I’ve found myself thinking about that summer day and how I felt and how those on the receiving end of an escalating anti-Islamic bias in America are managing the grim effect of unfounded judgement in an especially tumultuous and unique political climate.
Which is where the following stories, from seven Americans sharing their experiences with Islamophobia and, more broadly, being Muslim in America, come in. Now more than ever, we must demonstrate our kindness, recognize prejudice and with a common interest in mind — our safety and our freedom — honor the very simple virtue that, above all else, it is our humanity that keeps us alive.
Photographed by Krista Anna Lewis.
The post Real Talk: 7 Muslim Americans Open Up About Islamophobia appeared first on Man Repeller.
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