I'm P, a SmartGirl just like you! I go to high school and love it! Well, except for all the work. Anyway, here's the deal. Have you ever had anyone judge you just because of the way you look? Or even worse, had someone label you because of what something someone else has done? As a Muslim girl, I've had many incidents like that. I'm sure many of you have also met with someone who didn't like you because of your race, skin color, etc. Once, at my school cafeteria, a boy who was serving lunch looked at me and called me "Saddam Hussein." I've never met him! Another time we had to share our family tree with the class, a boy raised his hand and asked me, "Are you related to Osama bin Laden?" My teacher took my back, but I still felt so helpless. We all have so many problems, but there's one I want to talk about because I think many of us are feeling the same way.
We're growing up in a little bit of a scary generation. There are wars, violence, and an increasing amount of fear in the hearts of many people. But along with all this comes a much more nerve-wracking thing: Stereotypes. Stereotypes are rumors that people make up based on opinions. An example of a stereotype would be that in the times of slavery, every Southerner wanted slavery. That's not true. Some Southerners even helped slaves to escape! I want to talk about a stereotype that I have in mind.
Right now, there isn't much love for Muslims in the world. Why? You may have heard that Islam is a violent religion and that the women in Islam aren't treated well. What you heard was a stereotype. Now, I'm not an Islamic scholar or anything, I'm still pretty young, so I have more to learn. But I have a lot of knowledge about my religion and I can tell you for a fact that Islam is not a violent religion, neither is Christianity, neither is Buddhism, neither is Judaism, etc. Stereotypes hurt a lot of people. Haven't you ever been called a name because of people's negative opinions? I've been called a terrorist, and people have made horrid remarks to me because I'm Muslim. I've never hurt anyone, and I never will! Every religion has its share of fanatics. They're crazy about religion the same way most girls are crazy about Zac Efron. But these fanatics take things to the extreme and make their own rules while bending others. We shouldn't have to suffer for others' actions! Why do we allow ourselves to suffer?! Only we, the upcoming generation, can stop this violence and pain. I welcome anyone's opinions and questions! I'd be more than happy to answer your questions! But treat me with the same respect that you would want to be treated with because although I don't know any of you, I respect you for reading this letter of mine. Remember: I'm just one voice in the crowd, YOU can help fight stereotypes and prejudice too! I welcome you to share you experiences! I'll post up another letter next week - it will address the ten most known misconceptions about Islam. Thank you sooo much! Take care! Bye!