What It’s Actually Like To Grow Up Muslim In A Religiously Diverse Country

being a muslim
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Let me first clarify that I’m not a very religious Muslim. I do follow Islam and its teachings, yet disagree with many ethical moral codes. I may have a very restricted knowledge of Islam but I do know it really is the religion of harmony and not what of it is perceived.

In these 20 years of my life, I haven’t faced much discrimination or bigotry anywhere directly. It was never something which bothered me physically or emotionally. But I may have gotten used to the muted things said to me.

In first grade I was asked if I’m a Hindu follower by a classmate. I refused, he looked away and asked his friends to stop talking to me. A child merely seven, actually contemplated whether being a Muslim a shameful thing? So the next time I agreed on being asked the same question. Not a very big deal right?

At ten, twelve and so on I was the only one asked to go back to our Muslim neighbor/enemy, Pakistan. My batchmates or friends never intended to hurt me as it was a very casual harmless expression for them. Something you’re supposed to take lightly and laugh it off. That’s what I did. But I’d be lying if I say it didn’t bother me. Being told you don’t belong to the country you’ve been brought up in is just demeaning.

But I do not blame you. It’s equally my fault. I should’ve stood up for myself. On being commented about my modern-not-so-covered attire being a Muslim woman, I should’ve spoken up. I should’ve faced their fallacious arguments.

Now that I think of it, there’s just one thing that comes to my mind, if I should be fighting for my right to live in my own country and the way I want? And I do not ask for acceptance completely. I just ask for consideration as a fellow citizen and human.

But as I said earlier, I’ve never received hate to the point where I start losing my mind. I love the country I live and the people in it. But I also am a Islamic follower and that shouldn’t be the basis of your detestation of me. TC mark

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