I’ve been pretty excited about visiting my friend in New York for the weekend. I love travelling, but haven’t had the time or money to do it lately. I haven’t flown in so long, I forgot what it was like.
However, right when I got to O’hare, it all flooded back to me.
Ah, yes. Flying while Muslim. We joke about it, but it totally sucks.
I get here, they write “Mus” on my ticket and send me to the line.
They scan my belongings twice just to make sure. They make me wait longer than others for the “decision” of whether I can continue, followed by a head pat down.
I tried to be polite, but it is soo hard with people continuously treating you differently and watching you with a careful eye.
So I walk to my gate with eyes following me along the way, lingering on my head scarf which apparently discounts my identity as an American Muslim who wouldn’t even be noticed otherwise. I am a Caucasian convert to this religion which I love dearly.
I don’t feel free to wander around in the airport exploring the shops with all of these watching eyes.
As I’m sitting here, people are even still watching me…
I can not be a girl going to visit her friend in New York City… I am only a threat. Stereotyping my religion is acceptable, even welcomed. Stereotyping of any kind is wrong and just hurtful.
So I sit here, depressed. Vacation slightly dampened by the perception people have of me as an American Muslim, a person they have not even met.