We Are All Human

I can’t speak on behalf of 1.8 billion Muslims

But I can 100% assure you this one thing

I am not a terrorist!

This all started when I was in fifth grade;

”The dark day” my mother used to call it.

I sat at the back of my classroom after I was done with the pledge.


My teacher looked at my red, bright hijab.

I used to love that hijab. Used to!

She looked at me and said,

“We should all wait in silence.”

My ears were echoing with sirens

as I held tight to my heart which

was about to crack inside of my

tiny frame.

“I am not a racist. I am just simply scared.

You can’t help that your culture is about blowing people up.”



How can you be scared of me?

So let me start with an apology

because I am part of a minority.

If I could, I would hang my head low and

get on my knees

and say “I am sorry.”


But why should I be?

There are moments when I can feel my lungs deflating.

When my classmates joke about Jihad without having a

single clue about the meaning.

I walked on broken glass pieces and balanced

myself on eggshells

just to blend in with the chaos that we now call society.

I stripped myself away from my identity,

denied my philosophy

because I didn’t want to feel guilty every single September.

I wish I spoke up more publicly.

I wish I used all the languages my mother taught me and use them

as a bulletproof vest to fortify who I was or who I could have been.

But I can’t because for me there isn’t a thing called freedom of speech.

My words are just birds

impatient to be released into the world

but when I say the world,

I mean a bigger cage.

So what’s the point?

They taught me to speak out loud

instead of living in my head.

Can’t even speak up

in my dire situation

because I resemble fear

Oh dear!

No one wants to be on the no-fly list.

I can’t wear a hijab because I was left with a scar

from a random airport check.

I felt victimized.

My family was taken away from simple rights.

My dignity hides under the seats

when my friends feel ashamed of being called “a Muslim”

in a movie theater

like my existence is an insult.

Sorry to interrupt,

but the official Oxford dictionary didn’t include the word “Islam”

under the word "terrorism."

The next time you expect me to get along

by telling me my beliefs are wrong.

By telling me I look better without the hijab.

By telling me my religion is the root of all evil.

According to the Quran

we are all human.

So the only answer you will get from me is “Salaam".

But don't get scared of that,

it just means peace.

This poem is about: 
My community
Our world


Additional Resources

Get AI Feedback on your poem

Interested in feedback on your poem? Try our AI Feedback tool.


If You Need Support

If you ever need help or support, we trust CrisisTextline.org for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741