The one thing I am grateful for this month is something I pray was true for Muslims around the world. My gratitude post this month is accompanied with a lot of guilt for having the good fortune to live in a Muslim country that is both developed and safe for women.
Not long ago, I lived in Manchester, taught in Bury and commuted to Sheffield to study my MA. What’s more, I was pregnant. I knew that having life growing inside me, being vulnerable and in need of extra care would make absolutely zero difference to some psycho whose main aim was to attack or kill me because I was visibly Muslim. Hate crimes against young girls have only grown since then. I remember anxiety ridden nights leading up to the summer of 2017 when I knew we’d be flying back; acid attacks were the latest trending weapon of choice against Muslims. And we’ve all heard of the Punish a Muslim day.
This month, I have thought about a student of mine who witnessed and survived the terrorist massacre at an army school in Peshawar. And in light of the New Zealand attack, I have thought about how lucky I have been in the sense that the UK and Qatar do not have lax rules surrounding gun ownership. Although I have attended many a training session as a teacher, I have never had to attend one about how to deal with an armed shooter entering a school.
With the conflict in Kashmir flaring up again, I have thought about how blessed I am to not be stuck in an occupied, army-controlled land where going about your normal everyday life is an invitation to be killed, raped, kidnapped, or tortured.
This month has been full of pain. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of hate crimes.