Originally Published in Abury Park Press
Today, the general public views the religion of Islam with malevolence. I have experienced this myself as a 14-year-old Ahmadi Muslim, living in the suburbs of New Jersey. My mother and sister both cover themselves in public, and I pray five times every day. Because of these practices, people look upon Muslims such as myself as different.
The attack on Sept. 11 gave us our infamy among the world and has given us the surname “terrorist.” Growing up in a public school system has exposed me to different people, and I have faced the different reactions of each upon revealing the fact that I am Muslim.
Most people ignore this fact completely and would rather imagine that I was an atheist. Others simply choose to cut off all communication after just uttering the word Muslim. And others still have abhorred me and have chosen to call me derogatory names.
There are some, however, who overcome public opinion and make their own judgments. Rather than judging through hearsay, they judge through experience. Judging the whole Muslim world by the actions of a select few is shortsighted. I, for one, prefer to be judged by my own actions.