Am I not Australian enough ?

I like to think that I’m just as Australian as the kids that I went to school with, as the teachers that gave me my education and as the students I share my lecture theatres with. I come from a different country, so I guess it sounds strange to call myself an Australian. My skin is different to yours, the way I talk isn’t exactly how you do, I speak a different language at home and the biggest of distinctions, I practice a different religion. I don’t feel like an Australian because I have an Australian passport, or because I have lived here for almost all my life… I feel like an Australian because this country gave me opportunities, this country gave me an education and I owe who I am today, to Australia. It really saddens me that people feel the need to rally against Islam, because apparently we’re “taking over your country” or that people feel like they need to close off borders because for some reason “all Muslims are extremists”.

In the past decade, the amount of Muslims in Australia has increased by 69%, which I agree is a large number, but we’re still only a minute 2.2% of the entire population. I don’t understand how people who contribute to the success of our community can be a threat? The amount of business owners that are Muslim, the number of doctors, the number of healthcare professionals, engineers, accountants, and teachers… the list could go on.

These people provide services to this country, they work day in and day out; just like any other Australian to put dinner on the table. It boils my blood that this is what it means to ‘Reclaim Australia’ and create our “One Nation”, that a mindset can sink so low and ignorance can peak so high. I’m a Muslim, and I am an Australian… no rally, or protest or spit in my face will change that.

This is a fight against terrorism, let’s make it between peace loving citizens and barbaric extremist. This is not a fight of Muslim against non-Muslim. I will protect this soil, I will fight against all evil to keep terrorism off of our land; I will help all that I can to make this country a safe place. I’ll stand with you against radicalism and I’ll fight for peace… All you’ve got to do, is let me.

If it’s the one thing you do today, please take five minutes of your time and show your support to my cause, the more signatures I can get the quicker I can make a change and be the voice of so many unheard voices. Sign my petition I’m a Muslim, and I’m not a terrorist.

Maryam is a Pharmacy student and resides in Brisbane, Australia.
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