Generation M Struggles. Xenophobia
Staring at this blank page I realize that everything that I intended to write about is suddenly gone. Everything that I wanted to write about for so long seem to have vanished. Maybe It has´t vanished, it´s still there. It´s just so hard to put all my ambivalent thoughts about being Muslim in the West together. Ambivalent?
Yes. Being a young Muslim in a European country 2018 means that you constantly find yourself having those ambivalent feelings towards your existence and acceptance in the country you live in. On one hand we have social media and the internet, creating spaces where generation M with a cosmopolitain attitude and lifestyle thrives, young Muslims empower each other, businesses flourish and everything seems possible and achievable. Almost everything.
But perspectives in "reality“ unfortunately are not that bright. Being a young Muslim still means, that you are expected to explain yourself and your attitude to others. It also means that you find yourself as a part of a massive shitstorm, when a candy brand, selling veggie candy, targeting a muslim audience launches an ad with a model wearing a hijab (among many other models wearing no hijab at all). Is it so hard to tolarate a photo picturing a Muslim women in a public space? Wait, are we living in 2018?
A couple of months ago Fatih and I visited the Yad Vashem exhibition and memorial in Jerusalem, showing photos of Nazi Germany in the 30´s, we already knew from school books.
Writings on Shop windows: "Do not buy from Jews!“
Wow more than 80 years later we are at a point, where for a significant part of the German society, not only buying from Muslims is something intolerable, but bearing the thousands of Facebook comments in mind that all Germans should boycott the German candy brand, even buying from German brands showing solidarity and acceptance to Muslims seems to be an act of treason.
We are at a point where for the first time in history since Nazi Germany xenophobics and islamophobics are officially represented in our parliament and crimes with islamophobic motives are being counted to put them in a statistic such as the statistics of the last decades counting crimes with anti-Semitic motives.
2017 there were 950 anti- Muslim crimes counted by Germany´s Interior Ministry, assuming that the number of unreported cases are much higher. And of course it´s not only Germany. Our communities face hate and intolerance in far more countries, maybe to an even greater extent.
Bearing all this in mind, we feel even more blessed and are thankful for the support of many many non Muslim people showing love for our work. We are in this all together, since the majority of our society does not have the wish to go back to one of the darkest chapters of history.
All this leaves a taste right? The taste of ambivalence.