Speak

Speak they tell me

Condemn these terror attacks

Apologise for them

From your brown, hijab clad face to your Muslim name, it is you who bears the responsibility for them after all

And so I do

I express my disgust and intolerance of taking innocent lives, of terrorism and social

Meaning both Islamist radicalism and western bombings and intervention in the non-western world

Imagining in my head the hundreds of lives lost DAILY to western intervention to western terrorism as well as to Islamic extremism

But too afraid to clarify this out loud

Speak they tell me

Show your condolences to these families who lost people because of terrorism

For only then can we be sure you aren’t a ‘terrorist sympathiser’

And so I do

I say I am sorry about the lives lost

Thinking both of western and non-western lives but again, scared to say so

For the non-western lives are lost on a greater scale and more regular basis

Lost without a trail and lived in constant fear

Where are the apologies, the media coverage?

Frustrated, I cannot remain their silent any more

Speak they tell me

But when I do they twist my words

They will not listen as I am not allowed to express frustrations of my own, I am their pawn, speaking when they need.

Re-asserting their notions of white and western superiority.

Stop they tell me

But I won’t. For too long I have stayed silent out of fear of rejection, fear of miscommnnucation.

Yet even when I remain silent they make me out to be the bad guy

Speak I tell myself

Stand up for who you are, make your own judgements of what is right and what is not.

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