The morning two towers fell from the skies,
Still can’t walk outside without questionable eyes
Staring at me through preconceived lenses;
I fit their stereotype.
Fingers pointed at me -my beard too dark for their liking.
I pray for peace.
But they like to believe that I crave hate and fighting.
Looking like an Arab with my kufi fitted snug,
Been labeled a “sand nigger”; someone pass the love.
They despise me for what I’m not.
They know nothing of my creed or of what lies inside,
If they gave me a chance I’d pry myself open wide,
To show them that I’m just. like. them.
They see only my outer covering and shut their mental doors-
My voice echoes in vain.
I have no way of letting them know that I’m sick of the killing, raping, bloodshed, death and wars.
I stand for peace and happiness.
I consider them my brothers and sisters; humanity is one.
They consider me a threat, violent, hateful and dangerous; brainwashing has begun.
Please hear me when I say that Islam teaches respect and amity,
That murdering one person is like killing all of humanity,
That if my neighbors don’t feel safe then it’s my duty to change that.
They use the word "Jihad” without knowing its true meaning –struggle.
My Jihad is to better myself with every passing moment,
My Jihad is to wipe the dirt off my religion; to clarify through this poem.
My helping hands see no color, religion, ethnicity, or nationality.
My duty is to all of mankind; I’m required to give charity.
This is Islam. This is what it means to be a Muslim.
I have beliefs and dreams.
One day, they’ll look at me and realize my sincerity bursting at the seams.