“You stayed by the 9/11 memorial for thanksgiving break? How ironic” jokingly, said a friend of mine after I told her about my thanksgiving break. It wasn’t something new for me or something that deeply affected me. Being a Pakistani Muslim, there were many times I came across these jokes or even serious comments that applied that somehow I was linked to terrorism. Many times I ignored these comments and sometimes I even joined these jokes and made fun of myself. While I was not that effected by these comments , many times they can have severe consequences for people, such as Waleed, a student in Sugarland, Texas. Waleed, after an insensitive comment by his teacher became a center of ridiculing by his peers at school. While initially I didn’t pay too much attention to this, however, instances like this made me ponder. I realized that every time I introduced myself as a Muslim Pakistani I would see the way people looked at as if I was someone really different.
The first time I visibly noticed this difference was with my freshman year roommate. We both went random and were assigned by the school as roommates. I was curious to know who he would be and I hoped that we would end up working well with each other. However, on the other hand the concerns for my roommate and his family were completely different. When he saw my name, “Muhammad Faiq Nasir,” his family and him were really concerned. And later when we got closer he told me that his dad tried his best to change his roommate, however it was too late. When I heard that story I tried to act calm and not be shaken by the story. However, in reality, I was completely shocked. I wondered that without even knowing me, they had already assumed the worst about me and they were not even...
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... rights for everyone, when it comes to Islam, the world comes to a silence. I believe the best things we have today is education, so we should use this education to learn about Islam and educate others about it. This will help people realize that learning about Islam is not taboo and it is not an alien religion. We just need to put in more effort and give Muslims a chance. This is why I made my friends realize that I was proud to be a Pakistani and a Muslim and I wanted to educate them about my religion and me. With enough effort we can change things, and a proof of this is that the roommate I mentioned earlier, I educated him about Islam and Pakistan and we have been roommates for three years and we are the closest of friends. I just wanted to convey that, I am an international student from Pakistan, I am Muslim, my first name is Muhammad, but I am not a terrorist.
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