Religous Anxiety

On the first day of class I was confronted with the harsh realization that I do not have any Muslim friends. I have had several interactions with Muslims at Loyola and they have always been good ones. My RA from sophomore year was Muslim and even though I’ve forgotten her name I always think fondly of her and wave hello whenever I see her on campus.

Seeing as I don’t have any Muslim friends I wasn’t sure how to go about finding someone to interview. The day before the assignment was due I still hadn’t found anybody. I had seen several girls with Hijabs and thought about asking them, but something stopped. I was afraid to ask about their religion. I am a Catholic, a fairly common religious identification. I never feel threatened or accosted when someone asks me about my religion but that is not the case for everyone. When people are persecuted for their religious beliefs religion becomes a a taboo subject. I didn’t want to give anyone the impression that I was bigoted or hateful. I was afraid that by asking a Muslim if he or she identified as a Muslim they would believe I was asking out of malicious intent. To mark my target, so to speak. There is something very wrong with that.

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