Justice for Shaima Alawadi.
Justice for Trayvon Martin. For the people enslaved and lynched years ago, for the people who still live under a system of oppression today. Justice for all the people who’re attacked for the colour of the skin and the manner in which they live.
I have so many feelings I can’t even begin to form coherent sentences.
Tell me, how many Shaima Alawadi’s, how many Trayvon Matin’s, how many Troy Davis’s will it take for people to wake up? For how much longer are people going to turn their eye and pretend racism, hate crimes, stereotyping, blatant discrimination and prejudice does not exist? For how long will people keep insisting that this is a post-racist society, how how much longer are innocent people going to be murdered by people, often in suits and smug smiles as they stir teacups of spilled blood, and for how much longer are they going to be let go?
I cannot sit here and be expected to control my fear for my sisters and brothers, of my family, of my race, of the world. I cannot be expected to not be angry when another woman is killed and when her daughter speaks out in anger, her words are torn apart and criticized as fake, unreal, staged, and my reply is fuck you, may God have mercy on you for undermining the grief of a daughter, because I have no forgiveness anymore.
And when people say this is an honor killing made to look like a hate crime I say fuck you, may God have mercy on your for your ignorant and bias words, because I have no more forgiveness.
And when there is next to no media coverage on this, nor on other things like these, and people keep dismissing how huge this is, how devastating, I say, fuck you, may God have mercy on you for turning a blind eye, because I have no more forgiveness.
And you, every one of you who tell us to “go back home”, this is your fault. You, every one of you who says we’re terrorists because of how we look, this is your fault. You, every one of you who ignore the loss of lives in wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, who brush off the innocent dead as “collateral damage”, this is your fault. You, every one of you who support the wars despite knowing how ineffective they are and just do more hurt than help, this is your fault. You, every one of you who justify unjust imprisonment in Guantanamo Bay and the unjust torture of innocent men, women and children, this is your fault. You, every one of you who blame 9/11 on Muslims while completely ignoring that this is a work of a few extremists that have hurt Muslims, too, this your fault. You have directly contributed to a culture where anyone who has any connections to Islam at all are forced to live in fear for their very lives, despite being innocent, law abiding citizens who just want to be able to live. Is that too much to ask for? To want to live in peace?
You, every one of you who undermine this and try to downplay that this was a hate crime, that she was called a terrorist, that she was viciously beaten and left for dead, this is your fault. You are only adding to that hate culture, and you are undermining the pain we all have to go through, collectively, because of our religion, race, choices.
You, every one of you who has been, is, and will be blaming the victims of these crimes, who will say it was his fault for wearing a hoodie, her fault for wearing a hijab, this is your fault. You know very well that this is due to the racism that runs wild on this world, the prejudice and stereotyping. And you, you’re part of the reason why this happens.
And you, every one of you who’ll come to a person of colour and ask why we’re so angry, how on earth is that even a serious question? How could you look at all of this and not be angry with us? How could you expect us to not be angry? Are you really asking us to put aside our fear and grief and be calm so you don’t have to feel bad about yourself?
To you I say, fuck you and may God have mercy on you, because I have no forgiveness.
I am tired. I am tired and I am afraid, for my sisters and brothers. I am tired of having to worry about my sister, for being a woman of colour who wears a hijab and kameez, shalwar in public, at college. I am tired of worrying that something will happen to her in the night as she walks to her room from her late-night shift. I am tired of worrying about my mother, a woman of colour of who wears a hijab and kameez shalwar. I am tired of worrying that something will happen as she dives back from grocery shopping.
Fatima came home to find her mother in a puddle of blood. I am tired of worrying that I will come home to find my mother, my grandmother, my little siblings in a puddle of blood, in the sanctuary of their home. I am tired of worrying that I, a woman of colour who wears a hijab and kameez shalwar, will be hurt in any way when I am out. I am tired. I am afraid. I am angry.
To the people who know about this issue and are quiet on it, to the people who are not outraged, to the people who choose to reblog another picture of another skinny white girl in pale clothes and eight rings, I see you. For you, I only hold tired sadness. You have a voice, you can speak out. Why do you not?
There is an I am Shaima Alawadi blog, please follow it. Submit pictures, if you can.
There is a group on Facebook called One Million Hijabs for Shaima Alawadi. So far there’s no protests or vigils of any kind planned, but it’s a hope.
Please get #justiceforshaima to trend on twitter. Please. When you see news about her, please reblog it. Please talk about it. I’m begging you. Please don’t let her be forgotten. Please make the world know about her, talk about her, remember her. I’d like for there to be a protest or vigil for her, but even I know that unless more people know about her, it’s going to be for nothing.
I am begging. For me, for my sisters who wear a hijab or not, for my brothers who wear hoodies or not, for all the people in the world who suffer from racism, please. For your sister, for your brother, for your mother, father, daughter, son. For all the people in the world. For your best friend. For the person in the corner of the class almost no one knows, for the person who everyone does. For all the people in the world. I ask for justice.
Change does not happen because of a protest, or a change of laws. Change happens when people accept that there is a problem, that something must be done about it, when something is done about it. Change is when people change themselves, not when laws are made. I ask for change. I ask for the world to recognize that these issues exist. And to do something about it. I know it’s a lot. But for all the people in the world who suffer the consequences of this system, I ask for change. I ask for justice.