1. Who are you?
I’m just an average Somali gal who grew up in Georgia, goes to school in DC and hopes to become an international correspondent and travel the world.
2. What does being Muslim mean to you
I’ve been raised Muslim and I come from a country where almost everyone is Muslim. I never felt like I have to tell someone I am Muslim - the hijab already does it for me. Islam is a faith that reminds me of my boundaries on a day to day basis and reminds me of what is truly important.
3. What does islamophobia look like or how does it affect you?
I think Islamophobia comes in all shapes and sizes, but currently Donald Trump chose to be the face of it all since he’s spewing hateful and dangerous rhetoric on a national platform. Honestly, I’ve never been directly affected by islamophobia (alhamdulillah) but I think it has affected me as a Muslim woman. Being a hijabi it’s very clear that I am Muslim and the islamophobic rhetoric that exists encourages those who feel some type of way against muslims to be publicly hateful. So, when I am in public spaces especially on the metro I am in fear that someone who is islamophobic will approach me, so I am much more cautious.
4. What do you want America to know about Islam?
I think everyone and their grandmother has heard that Islam teaches peace and yet a lot of people choose not to believe it. I just want to say to America that Islam is not out to get you. Islam isn’t a blueprint or a guide on how to destroy America. Islam teaches us to humble ourselves to Allah and to better ourselves. One way of becoming a better Muslim is to be kind and just to others regardless of faith. So trust me Islam isn’t out to getcha.
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Blair Imani is a Black American Muslim activist living in Brooklyn, NY. Blair is the founder and Executive Director of Equality for HER.