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An open letter to our non-Muslim allies

Dear Non-Muslims,

Thank you. Thank you for your Facebook posts, outraged tweets, and supportive vlogs. Thank you for using your privilege as a non-Muslim to tell the world our truths. Thank you for channeling our voices through your own chords and letting our experiences be known. Thank you for sharing that video of Reza Aslan. Thank you for sharing that visual of the percentage of Muslims who are actually terrorists. Thank you for sitting next to us on buses and trains to ensure we aren’t harassed. Thank you for standing with us, hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder, to ensure we are safe.

It must be difficult to face your friends from home. Or perhaps it’s your racist family members who pose a larger threat. So thank you for dealing with the hateful comments and downright ignorant responses. We know your Trump loving relative was your favorite aunt growing up and the refugee hater gave you the best hugs at Christmas. We know it is courageous to stand out in the sea of intolerance and we cannot express enough how much it means to us.

Thank you for using your social media as a platform to clear our names. Whether it was once, twice, or twenty times, each post has an impact. We know people aren’t prone to supporting overly political content – so we are here to like, retweet, favorite, re-blog and whatever else your posts. If you have lost friends over your support for our rights, some of us are great bakers and we would love to share our meals and smiles.

thank you gifI guess at the end of the day all I’m trying to say is thank you for doing what we could never do. Our beards, accents, and hijabs preclude us from being reliable sources when it comes to the war on terror. We are labeled over-sensitive, under-surveilled, America-hating, violence-loving maniacs. (Shout out to Fox News for giving us those labels – your thank you letter is in the mail.) So when someone who looks like you says nice things about people who look like us it has the power to change minds.

We know a time will come, as it comes with every group, when you will need us to take your hands and stand by you. We will not waver. We know our religious beliefs may differ but we stand together when it comes to discrimination. Until you need us we will be here, reaping the rewards of your refusal to remain silent.

Sincerely,

Your Muslim neighbour/friend/class-mate/co-worker

Lina is a recent graduate of the University of Rochester where she studied Psychology and Spanish. While she enjoys reading Islamic literature as much as the next sister, her true passion lies in the intricacies of developmental psychology. On any given day Lina can be found snacking her way through books and thanking Allah (swt) for chocolate covered almonds.

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