“I’m sorry.” They said. For the umpteenth time. It occurred to them that, in fact, they had nothing to be sorry for but if they didn’t say it, life would be much harder.
I’m sorry that innocent people all over the world have been killed.
I’m sorry that the killers associate themselves with my religion.
I’m sorry that these terrorists groups are somehow being funded and are able to exist.
I’m sorry that people have been marginalised and ostracised to the extent that they were able to be radicalised.
I’m sorry that Muslims who are killed by terrorists get little to no coverage in the media.
I’m sorry that you don’t understand my religion.
I’m sorry that you think I am responsible for any act of terror because people who carry out those acts claim to follow the same religion as me.
I’m sorry that you don’t realise these people in fact, go against every principle I believe in.
I’m sorry that you blame me.
I’m sorry you see my headscarf and look at me suspiciously.
I’m sorry you see my headscarf and don’t see a person, a woman, but an image of terror.
I’m sorry you see my brothers with beards and move away from them.
I’m sorry a bearded brother with a backpack is even more reason to move – quickly.
I’m sorry that you walk through airports care-free while beards and headscarves are questioned relentlessly.
I’m sorry that I have to explicitly vocalise my disagreement with terrorists, otherwise you will think I sympathise with them.
I’m sorry that you see sisters covering from head to toe or brothers with long beards and you call them extremists.
I’m sorry that if we say the words Allahu Akbar – words we utter in our 5 daily prayers – you will look at us fearfully.
I’m sorry that a Muslim with a different coloured passport is even more suspicious.
I’m sorry that Muslim immigrants and refugees are portrayed to be dangerous to the extent that you don’t want them here at all.
I’m sorry that I have to say sorry.
I’m sorry that I have to be sorry for all of these things and you have to be sorry for nothing.