Should I Smile For My Muslim ID?

by Bushra on November 21, 2015

It’s been a week now since the bombings in Paris last Friday. I wanted to write something before about the Paris attacks but nothing seemed right. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families in Paris, along with the victims at the hands of ISIS in Beirut as well, and in other place where people were doing nothing but minding their own business when a group of people took it upon themselves to take their lives.

One of the reasons I couldn’t quite figure out what to say is because of all that has happened this past week. It’s been so disheartening to see all of the anti-Muslim sentiment even though the villains in this story were not, by all accounts, actual mosque-going, practicing Muslims. But it’s like that does’t even matter. People are still equating this brand of terrorism with Islam, which isn’t accurate or fair. To make matters worse, politicians are using these attacks as an excuse to deny Syrian refugees a chance to settle in their countries, even though the terrorists were not even Syrian refugees.

And then there are those like Trump. He has such disdain for a world religion and its followers to the point that he suggested that all Muslims should have a special ID card and be registered into a database. I saw this on Twitter and thought it was apt:

Now I reckon we just wait for the Sentinels to track us down. Or wait! Is this the part where one of us goes back in time, into a previous version of our own body, to change the moment where this all spiraled out of control?

But at what moment, which foreign policy disaster, does one go back in history to stop all of this?

Trump wants to run for president and he callously makes such remarks without any accountability for his words. This kind of talk is insane but it’s being allowed. What’s next, do we all need to get tattoos of crescents and stars to further identify us?!

Okay, on second thought, that would be kind of cool looking.

And I suppose, to be fair, I would be fine with a “Muslim ID” if it did one thing and one thing only. Close your eyes and imagine this. Wait, open your eyes or you won’t be able to read – You’re in a restaurant and instead of trying to figure out what you can or cannot eat on the menu (andouille = sausage? I didn’t know that!), you hand the waiter/waitress your Muslim ID, they’ll understand you only try to eat halal, and they can point to the items on the menu that would fit with your dietary restrictions! That would be awesome, my friends. It’ll be the least awkward way of finding out that everything on the menu is fried in lard except the Coke. I would be worried about my ID picture though. I don’t photograph well. My work ID is currently doing this whole Picture of Dorian Gray thing that I’m not too happy about.

Anyways…

If you’ve made it this far, let me be serious for a moment.

I don’t believe that Islam calls for the violence and hatred that ISIS and the terrorists responsible for the attacks conduct. Essentially, if you think your religion is calling you to violence and oppression, you’re doing it wrong.

You know what my fear is though? That friends/coworkers/people I know assume that ISIS encompasses true Islam and that I purposefully choose not to be violent even though they may think my religion calls for it – “Oh yeah Islam is a crazy mixed up cult but we know Bushra and she’s okay. She’s not like one of them.” If you know me and truly believe that Islam calls people to violence, let’s grab some coffee and talk and go over why you think what you do and work through it. Because if you still believe that Islam is what ISIS is after getting to know me, then I’m doing it wrong.

Take care folks.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Aimee Ann Chovan November 23, 2015 at 10:23 am

This is briliant! Thank you and Jazallah Khair!

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Bushra November 23, 2015 at 6:39 pm

Thanks for reading!

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Emma November 23, 2015 at 1:47 pm

JUST discovered your site (via someone’s Twitter link)… good job! I will def add you to my blogroll.

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Bushra November 23, 2015 at 6:39 pm

Much appreciated, thanks for checking out the blog!

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Anees December 9, 2015 at 9:16 pm

Awesome post, as always, when tackling such issues. California only made things worse.

You had me chuckling with the tattoo idea.

Seriously though, hope you haven’t had any trouble out there. I know the Bay Area is overall liberal , right, but there are always bad apples in every community.

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