I AM A CONFIDENT MUSLIMAH AND I AM NOT OPPRESSED. I AM AN #EMPOWEREDSOUL
With so much calamity, distress and upset in the world today, we sometimes forget and live in a bubble oblivious to that which does not effect anyone else but ourselves. We become selfish. Some enjoin in broadening the gap between people by highlighting their differences instead of looking into that of which we share or are similar. Though in reality, we are all human. None are superior or none inferior, we are that of the same and we should be strengthening one another with positivity and love.
In a bid to stop social injustices, I have created a social media movement to celebrate differences instead of shunning them. What I really want to do is destroy images that have been created by stereotyping certain groups of people, regardless of what that stereotype may be. And I ask you and anyone out there to join in this campaign to fight against bullying, prejudices and racism so we may empower one another by celebrating diversity and differences. This is the #empoweredsoul campaign.
Let me start off with this…
When you think of a Muslim woman, what do you imagine? Do you see her ashamed of her religion? Head down? Withdrawn? … Do you feel she is awkward? Scared? Forced to cover by either her parents or her husband? Do you think of a woman who doesn’t know how to assimilate, who keeps to herself or only mingles with her own kind? A woman who doesn’t have freedom? Someone who is mistreated or is looked down upon due to her gender? Do you see a “terrorist,” a corrupt person who hides behind a drape of black? Or an “OPPRESSED” woman who is helpless?
Undoubtedly these thoughts have been created and fuelled by the global media enterprises and from people who have fear of the unknown. Yes, I am treading there. There are many things wrong in this world, some we turn a blind eye to, some we argue against and some we do not get involved with. Whichever the case, as a Muslim woman who lives and was born in a Western country, I feel it is important to remove the stereotypes, learn to embrace equality and celebrate differences.
I am not asking for anyone to embrace Islam (as in to convert/revert). No. All I am asking is respect, kindness and understanding. To have an open mind and a clean slate to base your opinions around by seeking answers from the correct sources and this can be as simple as asking someone such as myself. I do not claim to know everything but I will try my best to answer or seek the correct answer for you from someone who is more knowledgeable than me.
I am speaking from not only a voice for myself as a Muslimah, but also a woman, a person of mixed race heritage, a mother who hopes for better times in the future for her children, a daughter of migrated parents and a person who always seeks to find beauty in each and every person regardless of differences, religion, colour, culture, race or gender.
I am here to take a stance, to demonstrate and say, “I may be different, but I am not inferior. I am a Muslim woman and I am everything you think I’m not.”
I need not to deal with hate, prejudice or uneducated people who put little to no effort in trying to understand categorisations of minority groups which I fall into. One of these being Muslims or Islam. Wait. Hold up. Islam is the second largest religion in the world. We are NOT a minority. Though, we are made to feel inferior by being called a minority. We still all bleed the same.
To all my groupies out there, no matter what your difference is, keep yo’ heads up! Stand with me against any prejudice towards our differences whether it be religion, colour, culture, race or gender and let’s start an epidemic. I want to create a movement, a social media campaign to speak out and call for justice. Chuck this up on your social media handles and take a stance against your haters.
“I am (something you are fighting for or against/personal battle/raising awareness about a particular issue/a characteristic that represents yourself/a difference you want to celebrate + a statement to empower
eg. a sufferer of depression/an independant woman/a Muslimah who is strong willed). I am an #empoweredsoul.”
You can attach a photo of yourself chucking up some dueces or you doing the head up nod or even putting yo’ hands up. You can either just share the #empoweredsoul statement or attach your photo.
We’ve all heard of Aretha Franklin’s Repect song released and hitting the charts in 1967 and being played throughout the early 70s. It is one of my favourite R’n’B songs of all time and was one of the songs that represented Civil Rights and Women’s Rights movements in the United States. But it is also my anthem when it comes to taking a stance on differences and for me, it reminds me to show the world that Muslims are not what the media portray them to be. To all my lovers out there, “R-E-S-P-E-C-T”