A contagious deadly virus; that is how I feel when I step into an airport of a foreign country outside the Middle East. Prior to 9/11, I never experienced discriminate hateful actions towards me as an individual. But post 9/11, people started reacting differently around me as a covered woman. Automatically I was stereotyped. I started reading fear, disgust and pity on westerners’ faces.
I came across many incidents where mothers would rush to their kids, who would happen to be playing next to me, to be taken so far away, and being told to stay away from people like me! That I am dangerous! Other incidents where grownups would chose to completely ignore me.
My faith promotes tolerance, forgiveness, development, humility and compassion towards the elderly, towards ones parents and siblings, towards the neighbors, the poor and even animals. We greet you by saying السلام عليكم , alsalamo alaikom, which means, peace be upon you. How would you believe that the same person was raised to bomb you!