Home is a place where we should all feel safe. However yesterday, for the first time I felt unsafe in my own city…London.
On my commute to work, I was racially abused, both physically and verbally. A man grabbed my hijab and made derogatory bigoted comments. He even had the audacity to question my loyalty to my country! Why? Because I am Muslim.
This suit-wearing, broadsheet-wielding man may have demonstrated his ignorance with his antagonistic actions, but sadly made me realise that prejudice still exists in London, despite it being one of the most multicultural cities in the world.
We are constantly told by our political leaders that British Muslims need to demonstrate ‘loyalty” and hold stronger “British values.” What they should really be focussing on, is the need for ALL British citizens to adhere to these values equally – however they are defined. Tolerance, respect, understanding and freedom of expression applies to every citizen, regardless of race, religion or creed.
We cannot continue to tarnish communities with the same brush, just as I cannot tar my fellow Britons by the actions of one incredibly foolish man.
It’s unacceptable to make another person feel out of place, especially in their own country. We all have a shared responsibility to stand united, have hope and protect one another.
May God bless and protect us all.