2005 – Perth, Western Australia. I was walking home from school, just got off my bus, in that humid summer afternoon. I was wearing a navy hijab with a customized summer uniform. I was an AFS exchange student in a private Anglican Community School. The sun was very strong that afternoon and I went home late because I had a part time work at the school canteen. I was taking my daily route to my host family’s house and nothing seemed different. I turned left, and I saw in the corner of the street there was a group of boys in their school uniform. I didn’t really care at first. All I cared about was getting home a.s.a.p and feeling the cold breeze of air conditioner. But, not long after I passed them, they shouted me names. I was stunned. “Hey you terrorist, go to your own f****ing school!”, “You terrorist! Take off that thing on your head”, bla bla bla… It blurred. I stood up straight and froze. Yes, I lost my words. I was just stood up in that spot with my heart beating so fast. Finally I turned around to face them. But they already ran away. I was stupid enough not to walk back and talk to them. I caught my breath, turned around and walked home quickly.
Paris attack –and Donald Trump- suddenly brought back this memory. I went through the internet and found a lot of “I’m A Moslem, Do You Trust Me?” videos across YouTube. It is sad. Looks like people nowadays don’t see others –well, Moslem, especially those wearing religious symbols- as individuals anymore. Even worse, people don’t even need to know who they hate. They just do. But, is it really the world has become a very unfriendly place?
I remember being finally home and told what happened to me to my host family, and they said not to worry. They assured me those boys were just a bunch of woose. My host Mum was right. This kind of thing actually didn’t happen often. I can remember clearly how many times it happened to me and who did it. And mostly, it was the same people who did the bully over and over again. So I believe, this is not actually the world, it is just some crazy bullies. This Donald Trump person is a big bully, and he happens to have a big power in this world. So, yes, I’m afraid his voice will be heard, and there will be more bullies. So, thank you for those big people out there who raised their voice against him.
Right now I’m living in Indonesia, a country with a big population of Moslem. So things happened in Paris, or things being said by Trump, didn’t affect me directly. But I can only imagine being you guys, my sisters in Europe or USA. No, actually, I can’t even imagine how it is. I can’t imagine the doubts, will tomorrow be the same? Will people treat us the same way? Will they stare? Will they come to us and call us names?
Then again I remember, not everyone treated me like a piece of garbage, most people treated me normally. Very normal. They even had an open conversation about ‘terrorist incidents’ with me. So I believe, societies nowadays are not that bad. These good people just don’t show their voices like the haters do. Looking at the Moslem-trust-videos in YouTube, yes, I guess the hope is there.
I think our role in this society is as Moslem agents, who shows others who we really are. Let’s show them our best. Let’s be tolerant and walking in Islamic line in the same time. Moslems are hated because of the violent actions done by the terrorists. So why don’t we show them the exact opposite. Let’s show them we are caring and loving. Let’s show them the difference between a terrorist and a real Moslem. Let’s make a difference in this world!
I guess the rest is theirs to decide should they hate Moslems in general or not. If by doing our best people still call us names and all that BS, well.. you can tell what kind of people they are. So let’s just walk on and let them be.
PS: post ini pakai bahasa enggres karena sedang sekalian di-submit ke online magazine berbahasa enggres.