I have lived a blissfully wonderful life here in Canada...you know, having been born and raised here (and my parents, and their parents and their parents...you get the picture) -- so growing up white in a white society wasn't that big of a deal for me...then I went all Muslim and ruined the whole thing.
Some of the reactions that I get are fairly typical such as this:
The loud talker -- this person wants to communicate with me but thinks either a) I can't speak English and speaking loudly will make me understand better or b) my scarf is made of sound proofing materials thus making my hearing ability severely reduced. So, the result is this, "HELLO THERE! CAN I HELP YOU?"
The Charades talker -- this person also thinks that I can't speak English and thus uses varying forms of body language to help me decipher what it is they're saying. The result is this, "Hello there (waves). Can I (points at self) help you (points at me)."
Then there is the polar opposite -- the people who are fluent in Arabic who speak to me in Arabic and then are upset with me as to why I can't respond. It usually goes like this, "Ahlo sahlan.. Keif halik? Min ein enti? Meen aalick? Leish ma tahki mai? Leish ma fahemtic al-Arabie?? Oh...you don't speak Arabic? Why? Why are you covered then??"
All of these people mean well, and I never really have a problem with them. I'll politely explain that I can indeed hear them, or that I do understand English, or that I'm a convert to Islam...and it all goes over pretty well. In the 12 years that I have been Muslim, I have never had to experience Racism....until a few days ago.
My daughter hurt her arm and so I was sent to the lab to get X-rays for her. I walk into the relatively empty office and hand over the forms and such...I had my tiny terror, Adam, with me...he's wanting to open doors, and do things that every 2 year old wants to do...to prevent this, I grab a mask that the clinic has out for patients who may be ill -- I thought let the 2 year old pretend he's a doctor or Iron Man or something. My goal was to prevent him from causing any major disruptions.
So, as I grab the mask for him and start showing it to him, this lady walks out...and as she passes me she says "Muslims are SO rude."
I was in shock for a moment...and replayed the event in my head -- did I bump into her? no. Did I get in her way as she tried to leave? No. Did my kid do something to her? No. So I simply looked up and said "Excuse me? What did I do that was rude?" Her daughter looked back, but the mother kept walking...I turned to the secretary and asked her if she'd seen something that I missed. She just replied with "That woman was a b*tch from the moment she walked in today."
Not an excuse. It's is NOT an excuse to throw racist comments around -- go ahead and talk to me and call me whatever you want, but NOT IN FRONT OF MY KIDS!!! How lovely that she not only demeaned me in front of 2 of my children, but was so freely willing to do so in front of her own.
My experience with Racism is hardly something worth mentioning -- it's so minor compared to what others have experienced - but I now understand how those who are victims of racism feel....and it's not cool. A small part of me wants that woman to be a follower of my blog. Maybe she was having a bad day, maybe she was just extra grumpy and had trouble controlling her tongue (God knows, that's happened to me before) -- but I want her to realize that her hatred spewing was wrong...I'd have been more than willing to have a conversation with her. I have met more than my share of rude people who happened to be Muslim, but I could say the same thing about Christians, too -- with her being a prime example -- does it mean I call down all the followers of Christianity? No -- that would be absurd, idiotic and racist...wouldn't it?
1 week ago