“I condemn terrorism.” Lately, because I’m a Muslim, these are the only three words people seem to want to hear come out of my mouth. Beyond the words themselves, the way I proclaim them is measured for sincerity. Perhaps even more than the days immediately after 9/11, I as a Muslim feel now that many of my fellow Americans believe that Islam and its adherents are evil, pure and simple.
I can’t help wondering if the fact that I’m identifiably Muslim through my hijab, or scarf, is so potent that the only response I evoke is anger.
Thinking through recent incidents, I try to assess the validity of my feelings – am I overreacting, or paranoid?
Last month, while driving home from the airport, I managed to get lost in construction detours. I rolled down my window and asked a woman in the car next to me for directions: “Will this road take me into Cambridge?” I couldn’t believe my eyes when she ignored my question and rolled up her window. (MORE)