To the woman that got featured on HONY today

Dear Lady,

I am an avid follower of Brandon Stanton’s HONY series. I appreaciate his work as both an aspiring photographer and writer. Today, I saw a post that featured yourself on his instagram  page and I read what you had to say.

It was the most irksome start to my day if I am honest with you. I literally thought; “God, this BS again” and then proceeded to mock your words on my social media.

Sometime around noon though, I realised that my BS is your reality and though I don’t fully agree with that reality, you are free to think what you want to think. That is the joy of to each his own.

In my free time, I often wonder what I would say if I encountered Brandon a.k.a. the HONY guy. I delve into these meaningless and self indulgent monologues in my head where I talk to him about my dreams and aspirations before reminding myself that the chances of me actually seeing him are slim to none.

However. If I were to see him today, I would tell him this; 

…when people flee the safety of their homes, homes bigger than yours for the record, to more priveleged countries, it is not because they are “racist” or money hungry. Sadly, it is becuase they have been forced out by danger and corruption; because they dare to dream of a better future for their children, not unlike yourself.

I would tell him that yes, there is “a lot that people don’t know about muslims.” Like how the majority of us wake up sleepy from staying up too late on Netflix the night before and barely make it on time for work- just like you. That we stop at the drive-thru instead of heating up the leftover food we packed for lunch because we had a shitty morning- just like you. And that our breaks involve us finding a secluded corner to pray so as to not come in anyone’s way- not unlike you on your ciggy breaks.

I would tell him, the only game plan we have going is that Muslim mothers will hillariously (bless them!) continue to impose a ban on any careers that aren’t Medicine and Law because apparently they are the only ones that pay the bills. 

I’d tell him that wanting “all” the business is not a crime. It’s a race of working hard. A certain ethnicity / faith doesn’t deserve the job more because of those factors. If anyone works hard enough, they alone deserve the fruits of that labour.

I would tell him we don’t want people working for us to “control” them. If we are an employer, we jusy want good people to represent us; doesn’t everyone? Also, if people are working for us, it is not for free. They get what they are due and more depending on where they work. Just ask any ex-pat in Qatar and Dubai.

I would tell him that people don’t want to work with Muslims but will have no qualms about living under a roof built by a Muslim. They will not deny crucial medical treatment to a loved one performed by a Muslim and they will not stop their children going to school because their teacher is a Muslim.

I would tell him; our religion does not make us bad people because a small percentage of us claim it as a foundation for their filthy actions. 

I would tell him that when Sutcliffe (The Yorkshire Ripper) murdered 13 & seriously hurt 7 women because “God told him to” not every bearded man was branded a murderer by default. Also, not all Christians were hated and attacked due to the actions of ONE Christian. Not every Muslim is a murdering, terrorist. 

I would tell him that people should not generalize the actions of 50 mental “Muslims” onto the 1.6 Billion of us, who are frankly, minding our own business.

As for hoping that  Trump will do something, then I would tell Brandon that he has, because clearly Trump has “empowered” you, Lady, to say what you needed to- to get it off your chest. I hope you got a better night’s sleep after telling Brandon all those things. Truly, I do.

As for needing somebody to say no, Lady, then don’t you worry. I will say no. I’ll say no to everything and everyone who claims that I stand for something that I most certainly do not.

And finally…

I would tell Brandon that although I have been suitably qualified for jobs, I have been refused them for the way I dressed. Although, I hold doors for people to be polite, I also do it so that people would know that not every Muslim is bad. Although, everybody works hard, I know that I have to do double the work to be half as good as someone who does not have a blacklisted country as their place of Birth on their passport.

And I would then thank him for stopping me, for speaking to me, for being interested in my story. In spite of all of those things.

All the best, Lady. I wish you peace because, ironically, the religion you are so afraid of does not actually allow me to send anything but peace your way.

Peace out.

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7 comments

  1. I also saw this post. Usually HONY cheers me up or makes me think more deeply, but this one made me sad. Especially because Donald Trump was elected. I feel like many Americans who voted for Trump think like this women and I want to help you change their minds too.

  2. Reblogged this on Rocky Life of a Muslimah and commented:
    “I would tell Brandon that although I have been suitably qualified for jobs, I have been refused them for the way I dressed. Although, I hold doors for people to be polite, I also do it so that people would know that not every Muslim is bad. Although, everybody works hard, I know that I have to do double the work to be half as good as someone who does not have a blacklisted country as their place of Birth on their passport.

    And I would then thank him for stopping me, for speaking to me, for being interested in my story. In spite of all of those things.

    All the best, Lady. I wish you peace because, ironically, the religion you are so afraid of does not actually allow me to send anything but peace your way.”

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