A bagheaded Muslima college girl from the University of Texas writes about her unhappy experience when she crashed the 2014 GOP convention. “My heart palpitated with the unnerved feeling I had just from the thought of attending a Republican convention as a veiled Muslim woman.” (I can only imagine the unnerved feelings your attendance created for all the Republicans there. Scary.)
The Short Horn (Heba Said) It is not news that Republicans don’t seem to like Muslims. As close as the city of Keller, and as recently as last week, Trustee Jo Lynn Haussmann wrote on her Facebook page:
With influences such as Pamela Gellar and Pat Robertson, it is no wonder that Republicans are so easily associated with Anti-Islam sentiments, the instigation of Islamophobia and outright hatred toward Muslims.
After two days at the convention, the only emotions I could describe were anger and disappointment. I attended the convention as a reporter hoping to tell readers about the panel discussions I attended, but I discovered a cult-like hatred that is simply disgusting. (Excellent!)
As I walked through the halls, people stopped in their tracks and frowned and shook their heads at me. Panelists threw the word “Islamist” around as if it were perfectly OK (if the veil fits…), and one man even asked if I felt alone at a meeting. I was referred to as “you people” and “y’all Muslims” more times than I can count. The worst part was the way delegates looked at me, as if I were something to fear when I approached them. (You ARE!)
The Muslim voter was disregarded completely in discussions on how to tackle politically engaging religious minority groups (Yes, they don’t want to engage you, they want to deport you). So as a reporter, I asked, how the Republican party plans to reach out to the eighth largest Muslim population in the United States. The sheer lack of regard for that population was appalling. (Gotta love Texans!)
After discussing with one candidate whether there were Muslim outreach plans, I almost didn’t feel like I was allowed to be American, as if what he said stripped me from my American identity (You will never be American because you are Muslim first). He asked me where I was from. When I responded, “Texas,” he asked me where I was really from, as if there were no way it could possibly be from Texas. (Wishful thinking)
Ted Cruz attended the event and took photos with his supporters. As I waited for him to return from a phone call so that I could grab some photos to tweet out, a police officer nearby came up to me and said hello. I responded hello. A normal interaction, I guess. Shortly after, I found five police officers behind me, hands on holsters watching me intently (Gotta love the Texas police).
Armed with a student press badge and an iPhone, I turned to them held up my media credentials and asked if I could help them with something, as my heart tried to escape my chest. They did not respond but broke up into groups of two and continued watching me. If I was the biggest threat at that convention, then I must be seriously underestimating myself. (That’s right, you could have been wearing a Muslim suicide bomb vest)
I cannot believe how a piece of cloth made from cotton and polyester can instill so many misconceptions in people. (No sweetums, your headbag represents Islamic supremacism that instructs you to dominate the world with your filthy death cult posing as a religion)
I am still angered by the experience (Oh, BOO HOO, then go back to the Islamic hellhole your people crawled out of). I have the constitutional right to be a Muslim, and no one, not even Ted Cruz or five police officers, has the right to make me feel inferior (Um, yes, we do, that pesky First Amendment and everything). They definitely do not have any right to hate not just Muslims, but any race, creed or population. (No, they only hate muslims) My vote may not be on your agenda, but my vote counts as much as anybody’s who votes in this country (Even the illegals).
To the man who followed me into the IHOP bathroom after calling me a terrorist, to the woman who said she would see me in Hell at the grocery store, to the girl who pulled my hijab off my head during a fire drill in ninth grade, and to the hundreds of people who have asked me where I’m really from — I am an American. (No, you aren’t, you’re a muslim)