• Hifza Farooqi

Where is it that I end and America begins?

Hifza brings to light how her community has been a victim of prejudice and suggests how to reconcile polarization.


Moving from place to place in America, I have come to detest certain aspects of the American identity, such as intolerance, sexism, and prejudice, but I have come to appreciate American patriotism, communion, and standard of living. Over time, I have been reminded that America consists not of the bigotry and prejudice fueled by the many but the brave insight and idealistic freedoms of the few.

Oftentimes, in American society, the voice of the individual is suppressed by their community’s prejudice, when in reality, a person’s worth can only be displayed through their actions.

"These issues can be resolved if one strives to properly educate themselves regarding other faiths and followers with curiosity and openness rather than suspicion and contempt."

Due to religious beliefs, many of my friends and family have been victims of prejudice due to the reputation of our religion. The mother of a friend of mine was stabbed in the supermarket when I was little. The woman was a widow with six children and wore a headscarf. The only saving grace was that some witnesses helped my friend's mother. If they had not, I may have lost hope. Here I was in America and although I knew about all of the terrorism and the injustices, I believed that people knew that not all people of my religion were to blame. However, it seemed that this was not the case in most scenarios as I began to notice signs of racial prejudice everywhere, all the time, and no one seemed to notice the hatred. Worse, they noticed and did nothing about it.


It is frightening how quickly people can dismiss morals and logic in crucial moments. I have watched as people support illogical conclusions and connect unconnected events about prejudiced communities as though they were required to forget what logic was.


In reality, people are merely afraid to disagree and choose what is popular, not what is correct.


Prejudice can be avoided if one is willing to allow insight into her/his life. Much of today’s issues and conflicts are tied to religion. However, these issues can be resolved if one strives to properly educate themselves regarding other faiths and followers with curiosity and openness rather than suspicion and contempt.


Today, I believe that America consists not of the bigots and prejudice fueled by the many but the brave insight and idealistic freedoms of the few. We are each free in the way that we choose to perceive ourselves and the world around us. So, let's try to work towards the goal of perceiving others in the most open-minded way possible.