In this TED talk, presented by Zaynab at UMAA’s 14th Annual Convention she explains the pain and injustice any Muslim feels when being pulled into the discriminatory categories that are commonly attributed to Islam in the West. “Hi, nice to meet you, I’m a terrorist”. Thus begins her talk, before sarcastically explaining that she, as a common Muslim, doesn’t have any link with any of the terrorist attacks perpetrated in the West nor with the atrocities happening in some countries abroad.
Instead of such a negative approach, she claims for the Muslim civilization all the good things it has brought, and which are often disregarded by racist movements: “sorry for the toothbrush […], inventing the clocks and coffee beans, […] funding the first university, and the invention of chemistry and algebra”.
This talk tries to show the unfairness of trying to present Muslims as a monolithic community, of considering them as foreigners and not as part of the multicultural societies we live on today, and of focusing only in the negative aspects some majority Muslim countries have, instead of valuing the contributions any country, culture or religion is able to make. This can only lead to the formation of closeminded societies and the uprising of reactionary and xenophobic movements and stances.