Iam a Muslim. While growing up, I always wanted to be just like mymother and sisters. Similar to how most girls feel when they areyoung. I was born and raised in Texas. Living in Texas all of my lifeput my mind at ease when it came to applying my religiousrequirements to my everyday life.
Inmy religion of Islam, all females must wear a headscarf once theyreach puberty. I was certain that transitioning into a teenager wouldbe the best time of my life, or so I thought.
Mymom kept telling me that I was too young to wear a scarf especiallywhen I would wear it and stand in front of the mirror (Ewens 22). Iwould constantly remind her that I will be turning to the right agenext year. Summertime was drawing to an end, and middle school wasabout to begin. After my parents had dropped me off at school, Ibegan walking to the front door of my new school. Everything felt thesame until I opened the door. I had never felt as nervous and sweatyas I did that first day of the seventh grade.
Aclassmate then yelled and asked what that rag on my head was. I feltso embarrassed.
Mrs.Smith 🙁 my first period English teacher,): Where did you get thisbeautiful scarf from?
Me:(feeling relaxed): from the vintage shop in the mall.
Mrs.Smith: why then do you wear in front of your classmates.
Me:I am a Muslim and Muslim ladies require covering their heads andwearing full robes. The sacrifice of one’s beauty is believed toplease God in the Muslim tradition.
Duringlunch, many of my friends asked similar questions. I had accepted thefact that just as this was hard and awkward for me my friends feltthe same way. It was not their mistake that they did not understandthe sudden change in my wardrobe. As the days progressed, I startedfeeling more and more comfortable with myself at school. Even thoughthe majority of my peers respected my decision to pursue my religiousbeliefs, I still experienced some ongoing prejudice from an ignorantfew. Hurtful comments, such as a rag head and a towel head werethrown my way.
Thefact that those bullies did what they did make it more important thatI stood up for my beliefs. I pride myself in being a unique,self-respecting person. I am proud to have pursued my goal to lead areligious life in a diverse environment. I learned to respect myselfand always defend my decisions. This change helped me realize thateducating others around me is the key to a successful lifestyle(Banerjee Et al 44). I also found myself wanting to learn about otherreligions and cultures and expand my knowledge of all people aroundme. I do not let rude remarks anger me. Instead, I see them as anopportunity to teach others about myself and my religion. Learningthe belief as well as the religion of others is important to anindividual’s for a number of reasons. First, it is easier torespect the religion and beliefs of the other people one knows aboutthose beliefs. Finding a link or an association between the beliefsalso comes with a feeling of curiosity to know more about one’sreligion.
Banerjee,Ritwik, and Nabanita Datta Gupta. "Awareness Programs and Changein Taste-Based Caste ." Plos ONE 10.4 (2015): 1-17.Academic Search Premier. Web. 4 Nov. 2015.
Ewens,Michael, Bryan Tomlin, and Wang Liang Choon. "StatisticalDiscrimination or ? A Large Sample Field Experiment."Reviewof Economics & Statistics 96.1(2014): 119-134. Business Source Complete. Web. 4 Nov. 2015.