Have you ever looked to uproot, to plan a backup place to go
Before you’re uprooted and your citizenship is revoked?
Your British values not British enough to stop you being disowned,
To prevent you being spat at and stoned in the road,
Your attackers praised, and cheered…and let go.

Do you ever feel like you don’t belong?
Side-lined and isolated, despite doing nothing wrong.
Do you change your clothes to be accepted, to assimilate?
Your jeans, suits, skirts and shirts determine your fate,
Because it’s only civilised to dress in a Western-style,
To cover up in any other way, barbaric, oppressive, vile.

Do you worry about making a fuss when something gets said?
When questions and accusations fill you with dread,
Held your tongue in case of classroom or workplace reprisals,
Silently forced to sit and ignore your deep-held principles,
Your employment, your education dependent on falling in line,
To be quiet and silent and say everything’s fine.

Is your allegiance woven in your threads?
The wrong clothing an international threat,
Jubbahs a side effect of guilt and complicity,
Hijabs the identity of a predetermined enemy,
Beards an unsightly affront to the decency of a majority that tolerates,
…Tolerates the existence of your faith.

Islamophobia isn’t just a random act of hate,
It’s embedded into the systems and the lives of everyday,
It’s removing our prayer hats, hijabs, veils, and billowing robes
In reluctant favour of more acceptable Western wardrobes,
It’s the suspicious eyes that judge on buses and trains,
It’s changing how we act and pray so we’re allowed to stay.

Islamophobia is being told it’s a privilege to have the rights we do,
It’s acceptable hate, letterbox bait, in headline news and columnist views,
Misinterpreted and twisted scripture on social media running rife,
Language to dehumanise Muslims, the only language that’s right,
Being told the truth of Islam is in the words of murderers in the Middle East,
And lies and myths in the hands of Muslim families living down the street,
Whose only hateful and deplorable act is protesting for peace?

We’re asked, after horrific acts of terror and grooming, to condemn, to apologise
It’s taken as fact that we knew, and we did nothing, and we will never be an ally,
If only you could feel the anger and pain of our mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers
Their disdain at those who would betray our faith, our ideals,
Our beliefs twisted and distorted for selfish, political, hateful needs.
If only you could feel the fear in the hearts of a Muslim,
When they’re made to feel unwelcome right on their doorstep.
If only you could look past the comments on social media
And populist voices inciting violence and fear
Telling us we should work to prevent and speak up,
Our masjids and madrassahs are terrorist hubs,
We’re anti-Semitic, homophobic, and intolerant,
And if we don’t like being harassed, we should just go home.
All the while being shown by genocide and war,
That Muslim lives are worth less than any time before.

Do you ever think about how weird it is?
To have to gather here and prove islamophobia is real
To stand here and justify Muslims are just like everybody else
And have it be a profound statement?

To be shocked when told Muslim women have to carry emergency alarms
Because any Man, Woman, or Child could cause her harm,
That threats lie around any corner, so when we leave the house for any reason,
To keep our heads on a swivel because it’s always Muslim season.

To show that Muslims are humans and worthy of being so,
To make myself, ourselves, relatable, so that you know
I watch Doctor Who, She watches EastEnders, and he watches CBeebies,
We sing along to Queen, and Muslim teenagers worry about GCSEs
How weird is it that I have to stand here and talk about the viral video
Of the boarding school boys in their white hats and thobes
Losing their collective minds as England made it to the Euros Final.

To stand here and say we are the exception to the murder and violence you hear
In casual conversation, talk shows, news programmes, and social media.
The legacy of Islamophobia is thinking the default Muslim mentality
Is hateful, anti-Semitic, intrinsically bad, and evil as evil could possibly be.

So, I have to stand here, and I have to speak,
And I have to reclaim, reiterate and repeat what Islam truly means.

To tell you that my faith teaches me to give 2.5% of my wealth to charity
That no one person should be above another, there should be equality
That we should greet one another in peace, show respect, live in unity
That to save a life is like saving all of mankind
That hate and murder do not prosper and to remind
Us all that Muslims are not that different to anyone else
and have it be a profound statement.

Islamophobia is already embedded in words and actions,
Islam is the scapegoat for home and foreign policy problems,
With the voices speaking out dwindling in fear
Of workplace reprisals, is there any safety left here?
Islamophobia has become an acceptable form of everyday hate,
Like all that have passed us in history, are we too late?

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