Being a Muslim woman is something I show pride in. I wear my hijab with my head held high, showing a true depiction to society of who I am, but I wasn't always this way.
Much like many, building confidence in who you are is a struggle. There is an internal battle with yourself on what is deemed appropriate for society, and you try to mould yourself to fit in with what is the norm. So when you’re living in a society where your religious beliefs are considered abnormal, how do you express who you are?
The answer is, you don't.
It was only through life experiences, and finally developing confidence and belief in who I am, that I was able to express myself and my religion openly.
It was many years ago that I personally experienced this, but it is still something that young Muslim girls experience every day. So how do we go about breaking this cycle and showing them that it is okay to be who you are?
Firstly, we work on the importance of raising awareness to how prevalent Islamophobia is in the lives of Muslim people, and work towards lessening the amount they experience.
They should not be suffering from a backlash to wearing religious items of clothing. A young girl should not have to experience prejudice during the most crucial years of her development.
We should be nurturing and helping her grow.
Racism amongst Muslim people is shown in many different ways, through jokes, through being treated differently to their peers and through emotional and physical abuse.
Racism is NEVER banter.
For a young impressional Muslim girl it is important to remind her of her importance within society. We need to show them that their faith is also their strength, and to be unconditionally themselves.
We see strong Muslim women every single day, from the likes of Malala Yousafzai, to Sayeedi Warsi, to the Muslim women we personally know. They have gotten to their positions, in spite of the odds stacked against them, and have taken the awful pandemic that is Islamophobia, and turned it on its head.
They are women we should look up to.
Your religion, your culture, your femininity, is your power. You are just as strong as those who have used this hatred to fuel their drive to success, and you will do it too.
Authored by A Person On Their Grind!