In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

I was driving in my car listening to AM radio and for some God-forsaken reason, I tuned in to Mark Levin (a man who makes Rush limbaugh sound intelligent and reasonable). My blood boiled as he repeatedly used words like ‘islamic terrorists, islamists, hate-mongerers, islamofascists, ect.’

After slamming my fist into the steering wheel, imagining the Nissan sign in the middle was Levin’s face, I saw that I was low on gas so I pulled in to an Exxon. While my gas was being pumped, my frustrations about judgemental and ignorant human beings seemed to actually get worse. I decided that the best way to cool off was to eat something (explains a lot about my recent weight gain). I stepped in to the little gas station ‘mini-mart’ with my face face red with anger and my stomach ready for retribution. I picked up a bag of Doritos and a bottle of Gatorade, went up to the register and handed the lady behind the register my credit card. The following poem ensued.  Keep an open mind while you read it and please comment and tell me what you think 🙂



It was late, and her register was the only one open. 
She was about 50 years old, caucasian and looked tired

She gave me a familiar cold stare that I had gotten used to 
since the word Muslim became synonymous with the word terrorist.

I tried to look at myself through her eyes
See myself for what she sees me as, lies
Or at least ignorance, but contentment in ignorant bliss
Has the truth conveniently missed
It has the innocent painted
The purity of simple souls tainted
With blood soaked beards and masked executioners, 
Having the masses seeing me as Osama incarnate, straight from the sands
Guilty by religious association, they have caught me with red hands
As if I personally tore down the towers brick by brick
That I made them sick with anthrax tricks
That on September 12th I had a smile on my face
Like I didn’t wish I could go back to the history books and hit backspace
As if I am building the dirty bomb they dream about in their nightmares
That I sting the eyes of mourning moms and churn out their widowed tears
As if I am the Wal-Mart of sorrows
The one stop shop crusher of happiness and snatcher of tomorrows
Like I mass produce grief and woe
And I sliced the throat of lady liberty and let her blood flow
And she thinks this of me before shes sees anything except my name
And before I can apologize for something I never did I am tagged with blame
So from her, I get a funny look, a rolling of the eyes
A smirk of disbelief or a suspicion ridden sigh
Relegating me to someone who belongs in Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo 
No longer worthy of the right of opportunity, a chance to show
Who I really am… to explain with which eyes I see
Instead she keeps a watchful eye on me
As if I am going to jump over the counter and steal her liberty
But what she doesn’t realize is that she has already given up the freedom to think
And I watch as, in her false sense of patriotism, she sinks
When I reach out to help her, she flinches as if I am a murderous crook
And in reflex I say, “Lady, its been eight years, pick up a freakin book,
I am not a terrorist; Islam is not evil as they say
I do not drink the blood of children, and hide from the sunlight during the day
I am just like you, just another human being 
And it kills me to know that when you look at me all you are seeing
Is another sociopathic mass killer or another Saddam!”

She put up her hand, her face became red but her demeanor remained calm
‘I am sorry, I didn’t mean to look at you strangely or make you feel this way
And I know that many do judge you unfairly in the world we live in today
But I– I am just a single mother of one
And you look so much… well, the truth is you remind me of’ 
and now her tears began to run… 
‘and I really miss him so much, but you look just– like my son………’


judgehammer1Her son had passed away at a young age and that ‘cold’ stare she gave me wasn’t cold at all. It was just one of sadness because I reminded her of someone she loved.  I hope the title ‘Stop Judging Me’ meant something different when you started the poem and when you ended it.



~ by Yousaf on March 26, 2009.

9 Responses to “STOP JUDGING ME”

  1. Salaam, Mashallah, I like how the title’s meaning gets twisted in the end. I know exactly how you feel. After so many people staring at us and treating us differently, it’s hard to stop judging their stares. It’s like we always assume that they are thinking that we’re terrorists. This reminds me of when I was little and I was at skater’s world, we were playing a game in which there were three poles and we had to skate around and when the music stopped we had to be at one of the poles. The referee said that a little black girl was out and her mom came onto the rink and said that he was kicking her out of the game because she was black. I’ll never forget what I was thinking then. I thought to myself, “why do black people always think that people treat them differently because they’re black?” Now I know that maybe that guy was discriminating. It’s hard to understand those types of moments unless you actually experience discrimination. I dont want to be that defensive person thats always paranoid. I think I have finally struck a balance between being aware of my surroundings and also relaxed and not so tense. It’s been eight years so I have had practice. Alhamdullilah, your poem made me think about that all again. One more thing, there are some people that you just cant change and the thing that makes me feel better is something that my Professor once said to me. He said that Islam is spreading so fast and that it is the only religion in the world that has ever threatened Christianity spiritually and number wise. That’s why they are trying to do everything in their power to give Islam a bad name, but SubhanAllah, nothing happens without Allah’s will and Inshaa Allah, people will continue to see the truth.
    MashAllah, nice poem…you made me think of all that!

  2. WOW… mashallah… that was great

  3. Salam. If u look at the positive side, u should enjoy the attraction while u can, and just smile at them…

    Why should u feel threatened and start to shrink? Be strong as Allah is there to guide u.

  4. salams Yousaf. This poem is a lot more powerful being read than it is spoken. I like it a lot. Good twist at the end.

  5. awesome! by far my favorite one. made my eyes… close a little.

  6. AA,

    That was a really good poem mashaAllah. I was talking to a friend who was commenting on the way my town looks…”white.” She asked me if they were racist at all. I told her, no they are fine. She insisted that they must be racist jerks who give me cold stares and have hate thoughts in their mind. I thought to myself, “I do not realize that I am treated differently just because I wear the scarf, is something wrong with me, am I really blinded, or am I the Muslim version of an ‘Uncle Tom?'”…I guess not

  7. Salaam Jane Austen..I’m sure your not blind, you’re probably just a really positive person that sees the glass half full instead of half empty. MashAllah, I would say that’s a good thing : )

  8. subhan’Allah. what a beautiful peace. i love the rhythm and your use of rhyme. jehan sent me here. i’ll be back iA!

  9. I hope you don’t mind but I had to have my friends see this so I posted it as a note on my facebook. don’t worry I put your link at the end. This just makes you think whose judging who. Am I judging or am I being judged?

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