When We Come Together, Our Voices are Stronger, a guest post by AM Dassu

Every time there is a terrorist attack, the first thing I think after praying that people haven’t been hurt is that I hope the attacker is not a Muslim. I know what will follow if they are. Young people are affected by global news; it sees into perceptions, conversations, and then sometimes actions. Growing up, I didn’t encounter animosity the way that my children do now. The conversations that I have with my children—about the political climate, the language being used, the need for them to be exemplary so that no one will put them on a “terror list”—are sadly wholly different to the conversations I had aged eleven about music, reading, arts, and crafts. But I have no choice as I try to help them navigate an prejudiced world.

Fight Back was inspired by recent terrorist events and the subsequent rise of the far right. Islamophobia and prejudice are a sad reality for people from Muslim backgrounds. Hate crime is on the rise, and anti-Muslim attacks have risen year after year. Fight Back challenges the stereotype constantly depicted in the news and in films that Muslims aren’t peaceful and a Muslim woman can only be empowered if she doesn’t wear a headscarf or if she is not religious. This story seeks to authentically represent the true lives of Muslims, particularly independent women who are free to make their own decisions.