A couple of weeks ago, I was eating at a restaurant and a trooper entered the establishment stopping me dead in enjoying my meal. I swear I became uneasy and chugged my food and left quickly because some old and troublesome events stirred to the surface.
It was 6 or 7 years ago while I was teaching one of my younger brother how to drive. I experienced something close to the beginning of Sarah Bland’s ordeal. We were driving in the college parking lot at night and a cop stopped us.Upon looking at my driver’s license and my brother’s the officer realized we were Muslims. Back then I wasn’t wearing hijab but my brother’s name was a dead giveaway! He gave us a hard time about the age of driving which we both had met but he was trying to find something. Then the school cop made assumptions that were both racists and stereotyping (If we had bombs in the trunks..etc…no Osama business going here right? he added). I went mad and cussed him out! I mean I was really close to get his license plate and name so I could report that cop to the school. But alhamdullilah after a while, he backed down and left us alone. Reflecting on the events make me tremble. I mean he could have booked me and hurt us for my audacity.
Now, I’m more mature and more patient. But being Muslim has become a fitnah for everybody; covered or not. And if you’re Black, it’s an ‘added bonus’ for the people targeting you.
And with the past events of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Ahmed Mohammed and many more that don’t make it to the headlines, I’m left to believe that this is politics. This has to be a twisted pharaoh project where black males are targeted. And if they’re Muslims, they are under even more scrutiny. I know my brother has and he’s only using his middle name now to avoid uncalled for scrutiny. And I can’t tell you how many times I had a dream that he was in danger. I always call him the next morning when he’s at school to see if he’s okay. Insha’Allah he’ll be okay.
Sure, some of these boys they arrest commit petty crimes or are carrying something illegal every now and then but the penalty they receive is heavy and uncalled for a lot of times. It’s just not fair. Why?
It makes me worry for my own family like clockwork. I swear, being in an interracial marriage, I feel that uneasiness that my own son will not be safe in the USA. Another mom who has a mixed child told me straight up, ‘Make sure he hangs out around White folks and he’ll be fine’. While her advice was disturbing, it’s the sad truth! So we’ve made our decision, we’re moving to a Muslim country insha’Allah. I love the USA but the future of a black man in this country is very blurry and alarming to say the least. While it’s Allah that protect us, we want to put all our chances on our sides and make the move. We pray that it’s mubarak for us, amiin.
When I voiced my fears about my son to my Caucasian friend, she agreed with my fears as well and we joked a bit but we both knew it wasn’t an easy discussion to have and forecasts looked bad. That said, she also thought Africa and the Muslim Eastern Europe didn’t look quite safe these days and that I rethink my position. While I understand where she’s coming from, we’ve made up our minds, the boy will grow up in a Muslim country insha’Allah. We’ll travel to my African country as well even if the media always make the non-citizens of these places feel like every country outside the USA is a war zone. Maybe Africa and Eastern Europe aren’t politically safe right now but at least my son and I won’t be targeted for being Black and Muslim. We don’t see the future but we certainly hope.
May Allah help us be patient, show more sabr, stay below the radar, and protect us amiin!