Featured image credit: Imgur
Last week, someone found a letter on a London bus that was apparently written by a Muslim girl following the recent terror attack in Westminster. In it, the 14-year-old schoolgirl describes how she was made to feel ‘almost guilty’ after the horrible event, before adding: ‘Every Saturday I pass through Westminster and I had to think twice about it this time. I was scared that maybe I would be assaulted because of the many labels that come with wearing a hijab.’
Please Read My Letter
From – a Muslim
I am a Londoner aged 14 years old I also happen to be a black muslim. After the tragedies at the Westminster attack I came to the decision that I wanted to do something. A horrible, horrible thing happened right in the heart of London a place I love so very much. After hearing of the attack I was very agitated and scared for the people of London and the victims. The next day I woke up early and I was watching the news it dawned on me that I would go into school and people would expect answers. As I walked out the door at 8:15 as I usually do and as I saw the familiar faces of my everyday endeavors I wondered what they were thinking I tried my best and walked on smiling, hoping for smile back. Some were returned and some weren’t. I went into form and as we spoke about the current affairs I felt all eyes on me. I felt flushed and not suddenly – almost guilty? What do I have to be guilty for? I couldn’t determine if I was being paranoid or eyes were darting to the corner of the room to where I was sitting. I walked into my first lesson and a girl had asked me where I was the night before, I laughed it off because I knew she was joking and that’s what humans do when they don’t know what to say. You don’t have to do or say anything to your muslim classmate or colleague. We may be muslim but we don’t want to hurt you. We aren’t terrorists. Every Saturday I pass through Westminster and I had to think twice about it this time. I was scared that maybe I would be assaulted because of the many labels that come with wearing a hijab…
I tend to digress a lot when I am writing so I will skip to the point. I am a hard worker there’s nothing more that I want than to finish my education and become a lawyer but London is my home and I want that to happen here. Sometimes I wonder if that will happen and if I will be able to get a job 10 years down the line. I hope I can. It’s scary being a muslim as these horrible acts of terror are happening and I hope that I can still live here 50 years down the line and that my future children will get so see the beauty of London and the amazing [people] who live here. What I feel is too much for me to express on paper and I hope I have communicated my message well to whoever is reading this. My last hope like the hopes of many others is peace. Thank you for reading this. I have spent time writing this letter and you may decide to scrunch it up, keep it or leave it behind for the next person to read. All I ask is someone learns something from this letter even if all they learn is that I have terrible handwriting.
The girl felt vulnerable knowing that there are some people who would expect answers from her, because one criminal did something terrible in the name of Islam; his inaccurate, warped view of Islam. Of course, this girl shouldn’t have to feel this way – it is terrible that there is a tiny minority who insist on vilifying Islam whenever something like this happens.
Despite this, the vast majority of Britain is accepting and understanding of all faiths and beliefs. Here are some of our favourite supportive reactions to the letter being posted on various websites:
This letter actually proves that there are so many supportive and wonderful people out there and that’s exactly what we wanted to show! As long as people in this country continue to work together to foster openness and understanding, anyone, from any faith or background, can get to where they want to be. Whether that’s university, local politics, an apprenticeship or, in the case of this girl, a legal career in London.