It’s been a long time but it’s finally time for another installment in the Note On series. They say that friends are the family you choose and that has been my motto for the entire stretch of my adolescent life. In recent times I’ve come to trust and become closer to my friends more than anyone in my real family. But as with all friendships there comes the danger of the volatility of the connection you share. After all, family is connected by blood and no matter how relations sour, that fact remains inevitable.
This also means that this family you build for yourself has the power to rip itself apart. On many an occasion I’ve had members of my second family tear up our relationship and leave me shocked, on my knees, wondering what just happened. At times, it was a childhood best friend who forgot my existence. Other times, it was a new friend who suddenly turned cold and joined the popular table that mocked me through my middle school years. Even more so, i have been caught between two of my nearest and dearest friends and their petty rivalries which caused a rift irreparable.
What’s common between these different instances is the fear, the pain, the loss of something so vital and so infused in your daily life. It’s left me scarred in ways i cannot comprehend where I think twice, no thrice before I let myself add someone to my second family. But I’m getting better now. I’m slowly learning to trust in others, bit by bit, piece by piece.
I’ve decided that it would be an interesting idea to write my thoughts on some of my work in a series of posts called “Note on”. The first poem i will be commenting on is “Terrorist”. I found it to be the perfect time to publish this on my blog given the recent attacks on Paris, Beirut and Kenya. The world is full of cruel people. Cruelty has no religion. The people in today’s world that claim to be killing other in the name of Islam such as the abomination that is ISIS are by no means representative of the average Muslim. If anything, these are the extremists that the average Muslim fear. The extremists that tarnish the reputation of Muslims worldwide. We fear these extremists just as much as any American or European. Sadly, most of the world does not see our fear and instead of seeing us as being as much victims as they are, they point their unforgiving fingers in our face and tell us to disappear.
I have faced Islamophobia first hand in many situations in my life. At my international school, a place where they claim to preach tolerance, i was constantly picked on and labelled a terrorist. The irony of it all was that i was a very timid boy, didn’t say much and most certainly never got violent with everyone. Yet they saw what they saw on the TV screens and they painted my portrait with that same bloody red. More recently, i’ve experienced bullying for my religion on the internet. ive met vicious, anonymous bullies who berated me for being Muslim.
So i used all of this sentiment and employed it fully in creating the poem “Terrorist”. I hope to see the Islamophobia end in the near future but more importantly i hope to see the terror people inflict on each other, on a large scale such as bombings or on a smaller scale such as profiling and bullying cease to exist.