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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Spiritual Reflections…

Spiritual Reflections...
Spiritual Reflections…

Depending on one’s social community and environment, there will always be factors that push a person to either become stronger or weaker. The key is deciding which path one wants to take, as well as what they perceive as strong or weak.

Growing up in Massachusetts as a Muslim-American makes an individual open to self-reflection. An important choice I made was to stay on the path of Islam as a Muslim. As a Muslim-American I have an obligation to educate non-Muslims about Islam.

What does it mean to be Muslim in a non-Muslim country? Personally, growing up here had its struggles. The important part of growing up here is realizing my identity as a Muslim first and foremost. Islam is a way of life

connecting to every possible aspect of a human being’s life. By praying five times a day to fasting thirty days every year, a believing Muslim doesn’t need to be in a Muslim country- we know God Knows and Sees all. By realizing such a simple yet profound fact, I set out to realize my mission in life. Growing up here made me see there are certain voices in the media constantly heard while, more often than not, plenty of voices are silenced and disparaged, if not distorted. From the moment I realized the hijab (headscarf) was part of my identity, I felt the difference in daily interactions within American society. With a simple head cover, people treat you like an outsider. That’s when it hit me- I need to represent the silenced voice of the Muslim-American in an integrated manner.

True, Muslims are continuously being stereotyped in the media. However, I realized that we, as Muslims, need to represent ourselves, be proud of who we are and let people learn about us as neighbors. To put it simply, the hijab is a way to teach people. Many will stare and continue the negative stereotypes. But there will always be that one person who is brave enough to come up to me and curiously ask, “Why do you wear that?” If we can bridge the gaps of misunderstanding within the diverse melting pot of American society, then that is progress for humanity in the long run. One nation at a time trying to connect people, bringing peace by understanding and dialogue will bring about a better world at large. The more Muslims speak up and are a part of American society, the more our voices will outweigh the negativity sparked by the media.