Four Courageous Muslim-American Teens Battle Islamophobia With ‘Wake Up America’ Slam Poem [Video]

“I think people like Donald Trump want Muslims banned out of fear. They are scared of the unknown and they are scared of change.”

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Slam poetry – a form of poetry written primarily to be performed – is a powerful tool for publically questioning serious issues. Four Muslim American teenagers recently chose slam poetry as the vessel with which they hope to change the virulent culture of Muslim discrimination.

Since January, more than two hundred acts of Islamophobia have been committed in the United States. If Donald Trump reaches victory in November, Muslims will not be allowed to enter the United States.

16-year-old Kiran Waqar believes it’s time to end the scare tactics used to make Americans uncomfortable about Muslim people. Along with Balkisa Abdikadir, Hawa Adam and Lena Ginawi, Waqar formed the Muslim Girls Making Change slam poetry quartet.

In addition to challenging Islamophobia, the girls also verbally battle with the intersectionality of their racial, religious, ethnic, and national identities. A line in their poem ‘Chameleon’ reads,  “We will never be white, only pretend to be. We hide behind fake mirrors and lies, unsure of who we really are.”

Waqar went on to tell Huffington Post that, “In middle school, especially, I wanted to be an average girl so bad. I didn’t want anyone asking me questions or even acknowledging the fact that I am different from them.

“This wanting to be ‘normal’ stayed strong until the beginning of 10th grade when I put on the hijab. Now I am a little more comfortable with the stares, the questions and the disapproval prompting me to start to learn more about my culture.”

Regarding their poem ‘Wake up America”, Ginawi expressed the quartet’s earnest desire to change the way America thinks about Terrorism. As she says, “Whenever you hear the word terrorism I don’t want the first thing you think about is Islam, because Islam, to me, is a religion of peace.

“Anything that these terrorists do has nothing to do with Islam.”

Photo source.


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