Muslim teenagers are hoping to reduce racial abuse with poems addressing Islamophobia.
Islamophobia has been on a massive rise in the U.S ever since the 9/11 attacks. Many Muslims have been the victims of targeted attacks and discrimination. Even in schools and colleges, Muslim kids have been found to be the victims of bullying, name-calling and rejection by other schoolmates. Since the killing of Lee Rigby, almost 200 attacks that are all directly connected to Islamophobia have been registered.
In the light of rising Islamophobia in the U.S., four American Muslim teenagers have boldly come out with an appeal to end this discrimination. Their appeal is a poem titled “Wake up America.”
In an attempt to do their part to clear Islam of the bad name it has gotten, the four girls have taken to slam poetry, which they presented at the international youth poetry festival known as Brave New Voices. The four girls from Vermont, Kiran Waqar, Hawa Adam, Balkisa Abdikadir and Lena Ginawi formed their quartet Muslim Girls Making Change after getting involved with a non-governmental organization in Vermont known as Young Writers Project, which aims at providing a platform for young writers to go ahead with their talents and hone their skills and abilities.
The girls have composed a number of poems that address fiery issues like discrimination, racial abuse and targeted violence. The poems talk about the expectations of the refugees when they come to America, where they believe they could lead a peaceful life and how these expectations have been let down by a biased society. Other poems that the brave quartet has composed include Chameleon, Welcome, American Dream, etc. The YWP calls the girls “radiant and powerful young women.” The girls hope that slam poetry will effectively get their message across. They feel that whenever the word “terrorism” is mentioned, people immediately associate it with Islam, and this automatic association is what they want to eradicate. In-fact Ginawi asserts that Islam is a religion of peace, and the actions of terrorists actually go against everything Islam stands for.
— Faye Wilson Kennedy (@fayetalking) July 25, 2016
The girls are worried about Trump's views on Muslims. The whole Muslim community in America is in fear that if Trump ever gets his way, hard times will fall on them. The girls hope that their poems will help the American citizens realize that Muslims are just like them and like other people, are only looking for peace and unity.
- Muslim Girls Making Change
- The Guardian
- Associated Press
- Huffington Post
- World Religion News
- Young Writers Project