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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Letters to the editor: Expressions of the Oppressed

By Reem Abou-SamraUMB Student

Asalamu alaikum means peace be onto you. It is a common greeting I use when talking to people, whether they are Muslim or not.

In the last few weeks, I’ve switched from my typical attire from jeans, skirts, and t-shirts to the traditional Islamic clothing called the “jilbab.” The jilbab is a long dress that covers your whole body.

Recently since I started wearing the jilbab, people have called me a terrorist, or they’d simply tell me “go back to your country.” And what country would that be?

I was born and raised in Massachusetts. This is my country of citizenship. People started asking me if I knew English-no, not people I haven’t to spoken to before, but people I see daily.

I feel upset when these racist comments are directed towards me. Most recently, as a result of my experiences, I have began to write a spoken word in response to these injustices.

First to clear up the misconceptions, I am not a terrorist, nor am I oppressed. I feel I was raised with so much freedom I don’t know what to do with it. And yes I feel the need to express myself, through what? My words and my beliefs in Islam.

So Asalamu alaikum, may peace be onto you.

“Expressions of the Oppressed”

What now you think I’m oppressedOn the basis of how I’m dressed?Na you got it all wrongBut you won’t for longSee now I’m ’bout to give you the messageWith the life long lessonsYou’re the one being messed withOppressed with and testedWith them Barbie healsAnd the “oh I like how I feel”So why’re you hissin’Dissin’ and flippin’Woman get over yourselfYou think this is your freedom of expressionWell I’m on a missionTo show you what you’re missin’B’cuz all you got is a 36 32 36With no mind and only a viewWhat? You thought someone else brought this onto you?No, everything happens because of what you doWell now who you gonna turn to?B’cuz no one really wants to listenSee with my verbal expressionsI get passed the eyesAnd into hearts and systemsAnd people get to see my visionSo envy my long and baggy clothesCovering from the dome to my toesI’m not here for showThe way I dress tells you what I knowAnd into ears my thoughts flowIt’s not like I’m sent away or underBecause the message I carry is thunderAnd they’re ain’t no human that can hinderMy voice that carries this truth foreverYou say beauty don’t matterWell hun just save yourself the flatterSista lives in a world full of menWants her message to be apprehendedUnique but not lended or blendedFirst the way you dress needs to be mendedThen your words would have begun and never endedThey’d reach the ears and make senseWith a heavy weight and be real denseBut now I can see there’s no dentI know that it’s all overBecause as a witness hereThe cure’s been rediscoveredHijab, just cover up and they’ll listenTrust me yo I’m not dissin’I just told you my visionWith women freed from REAL oppressionAnd they’ve really investedIn this life and aren’t hesitantSo why don’t you listenPay attention and harken’To what I’ve been deliverin’.