Source: SW News Media
By Brett Martin
When I heard a story about a teenager in our area who’s reluctant to reveal that she’s Muslim because she’s worried about being harassed, it bothered me for several days. No one should have to hide their religion, or any other beliefs or personal attributes, to accommodate others or to avoid bullying.
I asked the person who told me the story if she’d put me in touch with the young lady so I could write about her experience. Long story short, I was able to interview her on the condition I wouldn’t divulge her identity. She’s worried that if people find out she’s Muslim, they’ll treat her differently.
She’s a second-generation American. Her mother legally immigrated to the U.S. with her family from the Middle East, works hard, makes an honest living, and enjoys the American dream. You wouldn’t know she’s Muslim by meeting her — just as you wouldn’t know most people’s religion by meeting them — and it shouldn’t matter anyway.
She has a common American name, a bubbly personality, dresses in typical teenage clothing, does not wear a hijab, and stands for the Pledge of Allegiance. And she wants to be free from prejudice and bias.