My name is Zual. I am a modern Muslim woman.
Many Muslim women in today’s world struggle with blatant discrimination. However, because I do not wear the hijab covering my hair, I am not subject to the same harshness. I do not have a piece of my religion wrapped around me for people to judge and make comments on. People don’t see me in that light because I don’t look like the image they have in their heads of a Muslim woman.
When I watched this TEDx Talk (below) – ‘The Muslim on the Airplane’, by Amal Kassir, it made me laugh, yet it also made me want to cry. I felt a whole range of emotions that impacted on me deeply.
It is about being the elephant in the room: a young female Muslim wearing a hijab. A woman who is stamped ‘random search’ at the airport. A woman who is depicted as a whole religion and not an individual. And yet this women is not oppressed, uneducated or a foreigner, contrary to the stereotype. She is a traveller, a poet, a university student and a member of the community. She is strong, confident, brave and courageous.
But what I really loved about this video was its powerful delivery of a basic message, which is this – all our ideas, thoughts and judgements about a particular situation or person can be broken down, in a matter of minutes, by allowing that person to tell their story.
Written by Zual