Caseena Karim: On the Orlando Shooting

I am a Muslim woman and I am scared. The shooting in Orlando did not happen because of Islam. Islam, the way it was taught to me by my father, preaches nonviolence and tolerance. As a QWOC, hearing that 50+ people just like me, went out to a place, probably one of the only spaces where they felt safe, and were murdered, has left me with no words, just fear. I am expected to choose a side, between Islam and my sexuality, yet this country will continue to stigmatize me for BOTH, not just one. Both of these things can cost me my life in this country.

America, where death can be justified because of sexual orientation. America, where white men who commit crimes can be isolated as extremists from the population while poc counterparts can be labeled as terrorists. America, where the # of mass shootings exceeds the # of days passed in 2016 and gun control is still being debated.
America is homophobic, islamophobic, and racist and I have never been so fucking scared for my future and the future of so many people just like me who can't sleep at night knowing there is so much hate. I will continue to fight until the day I die for poc/qpoc rights, esp my other qpoc who practice Islam because even in safe spaces we are not safe.