Thursday, September 11, 2008

7 years ago...

I'll let you look at that day through the eyes of an atheist Muslim...
Seven years ago today, I sat in a cold, windowless classroom, staring at a puddle of tears on my desk. I should have skipped class today, I repeated in my head. Today would have been the best day to skip class. Some of the other kids, boys mostly, were yelling back and forth about how we should just nuke them. We. Them. On an ordinary day, I’d be included in the we. But I was one of them that day, and the 20 pairs of eyes burning holes through my skin reminded me of that more and more with every passing second.

It wouldn’t have done much good to tell them that I wasn’t really a Muslim. I was an agnostic. Or a cultural Muslim. Or an I-dunno-what, but I certainly wasn’t a Muslim. I didn’t know what to say, so I sat there in silence, watching the puddle ripple as it grew bigger and bigger until it finally spilled over the edge of the desk and left dark spots on my jeans. For some reason, that was my breaking point. I grabbed my bag and walked out.

The grad student / teacher came running out in the hall after me and asked if I was OK. I’m not sure what I said to him — incoherent mumbles, I’m sure — but the next thing I knew, he was giving me a hug and apologizing. He said he thought asking the class to share their thoughts and feelings would help them cope. And he was sorry for what it turned into.


That day, seven years ago, I walked out to the parking lot and found my tires slashed. All four of them.
Go to her site and read the whole post, and all of the comments.

The best comment, imo, is this one:
We should not be arbitrarily proud of our country because it’s where we happen to live. We should be proud of what our country does when it does the right thing, and criticize it harshly and unceasingly when it does the wrong thing. It really bothers me when people eat up this crap about dissent being unpatriotic. It is truly the only patriotic thing to do when your country fucks up.
I'm ashamed of what the white people in this country do to those that are different, be it in skin color or sexual preference. And I'm pissed off over what religion has done to this country, and to the world. And I'm including Christianity in that mix, for sure.

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