Home Fall 2010 masthead Archives Digital copy Submit event Ad rates Classifieds
My name is Husain, and I’m Muslim
By Husain Sumra
September 15, 2010 Print This Story
Husain Sumra, senior staff writer
According to Dictionary.com, Islamophobia is hatred or fear of Muslims or of their politics or culture.
According to me, a Muslim, it’s a huge pain in the ass.
The world, at least the Western world, hardly seemed to know anything about Islam and Muslims until 9/11 happened. Once that tragedy occurred, Muslims were under the spotlight, and rightfully so.
That September morning, I woke up to horror.
My mom woke me up and dreadfully declared, “We’re going to war.”
Stunned, I went to school. Within five minutes of being on my high school campus, I was greeted by someone I knew rather well.
“Did you have anything to do with this?” he said.
Shocked, I didn’t know what to say. I don’t even remember how I responded now, but I was a ninth grader who was going to school and dreading going to Math at 8 a.m.
I will remember that moment till the day I die, but I understand why it happened.
I also understand why burning Qurans and the placement of a mosque are such big deals.
People don’t fully understand Islam yet, and the images they see of Islam aren’t very flattering.
This understanding of Islam and Muslims is what will cure Islamophobia and it will take time.
Yeah, I’m offended by the Rev. Terry Jones and his now-defunct Quran burning event and I’m also offended by the controversy surrounding the ground zero mosque, but these are simply steps.
Every minority group that has come to the United States of America has had to endure discrimination and has had to fight for its place — this time is no different.
Oppressive actions have been leveled at different groups, from the Irish to the Jews to the Japanese and blacks, and each time the group has eventually overcome these oppressive actions.
We now have a black president, something many people never thought was possible.
President Barack Obama also happens to have an Arabic middle name, which is also a Muslim middle name.
His middle name is Hussein, which unfortunately leads people to believe he’s Muslim.
I don’t believe it’s a bad thing that his middle name leads people to think he’s Muslim, what’s bad is that people use it as a negative.
That tells me that I could never run for president because I’m Muslim, not that I would, but neither could my kids or anyone associated with Islam.
It’s like having a target on your back.
If I wasn’t an American citizen, born and raised in the Bay Area, it would be extremely difficult for me to even travel to the United States. I’m surprised I haven’t been stopped for a random check at the airport by now.
I’ve even been called Saddam by people, them assuming my name was the same as that crazy former dictator. Some have even asked if I’m related to him.
My family, who all live in other countries, have repeatedly told me Americans hate Muslims and have urged me to move away.
I disagree — Americans are great. It’s our time as Muslims to go through the oppression, and knowledge is the only way out.
« San Jose’s music scene falls flatSJSU football hosts Southern Utah in home opener »One Response to “My name is Husain, and I’m Muslim”
Ted Rudow III,MA says: September 16, 2010 at 11:33 am
It’s amazing how little we know about this and how little of that sort of thing is impressed on us. I think probably because the Western world wants to kind of help forget it. I’m ashamed of my own ignorance of Islam and the Koran. I just know a few little high spots of history and I’ve read a little bit more lately, particularly about Mohammed and the history of Islam.
Everything always has to have a leader, has to have someone who has the vision and the faith and the courage and inspires the people. And so it was with Mohammed, a very remarkable man. It has reminded me a number of times lately how much the Arabs today are speaking almost like the prophets of old against the iniquities of the world and its corruption and ungodliness and selfishness. Mohammed himself did not claim to be perfect at all. He was very humble about that. He said that he was only a man, he made mistakes and he was not perfect–he was only the prophet of God, a mouthpiece of God. .
There’s nothing more conversial, nothing that arouses heat and argument more than religion. Let’s love God together, let’s love each other, let’s help each other. Let’s forget the past and work for the future. We can’t undo the past, we can’t undo the mistakes of both sides in the past and the horrors that were committed in the name of God on both sides. We must live for the present and the future.
Ted Rudow III,MA
Class of 1996