A Muslim's Perspective On The 2016 Election

A Muslim's Perspective On The 2016 Election

Now with twice the fear than ever before!
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Well, I think we all know how much of a wild ride it's been this past week with everything. I don't really think I need to go into exact detail about what went down, but I think it's still important to talk about it. Everyone has vastly different opinions and views regarding this election. Some face no repercussions based on the results, while others fear for their lives.

Let's recap a little: according to the popular vote, Hillary Clinton won with 60,981,118 votes (including mine) where as Donald Trump won by 60,350,241 votes. This resulted in Hillary winning the popular vote by roughly 630,877 votes. However, because the Democracy system in this country for elections follows an electoral college, Trump won with this system with 290 votes. An influence in him winning also has to do with the small percentage of people voting for the third party candidates in multiple states, causing the electoral college to directed more in his favor. Because of these results, many people nationwide are outraged and demand justice. Others, especially those belonging to the LGBT+ community, women, people of color, and not to mention Muslims have been really fearful for their lives and are worried their rights may or may not be taken away from them. And because of this, just in the past few days across multiple cities, there have been large protests following the #NotMyPresident and #NotMyVicePresident hashtags full of people who want to be heard that this election has proved to be an injustice to all of us.

As a young Muslim woman who's been here in this country her whole life, I've never felt more self-aware about myself and religion until this election.

I'm fortunate enough to live in such a liberal state where I'm surrounded by countless others like me and overall, it's a nice time. We're all able to live peacefully and pursue what we want to do with our lives. There are so many communities within Long Island alone where so many of us are involved, like, for example, the Islamic Center of Long Island that I'm proud to be a part of. In my life, I've never really faced any serious discrimination regarding who I am based on my race and religion. That isn't to say I, or the rest of my family, haven't faced any discrimination at all. Traveling via airplanes and going through airport security is always a fun time (did you detect the sarcasm?) and it's always great getting weird looks because of how I dress (again, sarcasm anyone?).

Ever since the results of these elections, I have never felt more fearful for my life and the lives of others within my own community. I am well aware of the discrimination and hate that many other Muslims in this country face on a daily basis. I've always disliked it and strive for this kind of hatred to stop once and for all, but unfortunately it's pretty clear how much this country hates Muslims. You can't even deny that either considering the huge focus on terrorism and associating Muslims with that.

In this past week alone, I've been seeing countless people and peers especially throughout my college who are in tears because of the results of this election. I'm definitely not the only one who's afraid right now. I personally know a few people myself who have voted for Trump and third party candidates and it's been rather interesting. It makes me angry.

A few in particular have been worried and asked me if I hate them because they voted for the candidates I didn't particularly want. Here's my typical response to this and I still wholeheartedly stand by this: It's hard for me to hate people I know and love, especially if they're people who have been so kind to me and are an important part of my life. However, because of who they decided to vote for, regardless of their position and views, I feel as if they hate who I am.

Let me clarify once again, I feel as if people hate who I am because of their vote and now I'm worried for the well-being of myself and others.

No matter what happens to us, no matter if whatever was originally planned for this country through this campaign actually happens, I'm finding it in me to be more open about myself as much as I can. I don't want to be afraid any longer because of my religion. I want to be able to express myself as I have been already without feeling any fear or uncertainty. I want to help those right now who are struggling and I want there to be mutual understanding.

Expressing one's religion is one of our unalienable rights after all.

Cover Image Credit: SBS

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Big Slick KC: The Importance Behind Celebrities Coming Together in Kansas City

This annual event is one of my favorite things to attend, and it's the 10th year, so it deserves recognition.

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Every year since 2010, Big Slick KC has been a huge event held in Kansas City, Missouri, where celebrities from our favorite shows and movies come together for one weekend to raise money for Children's Mercy Hospital.

The hosts of Big Slick are none other than Paul Rudd, Eric Stonestreet, Jason Sudeikis, Rob Riggle, and David Koechner. Every year, they invite around 40 celebrities to participate in the weekend's events.

This year had some big names like Selena Gomez, Olivia Wilde, Zachary Levi, Haley Joel Osment, Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs, and many more. Each year they try to bring in new people, while also having some Big Slick veterans return.

The busy and wonderful weekend starts out with the celebrities all coming in and visiting the children at Children's Mercy Hospital, spending time with them and taking pictures. I think it's amazing how they take the time to actually get to know some of the kids that they are raising the money for.

After that, the celebrities head to Kauffman Stadium, break up into two teams, and face-off in a not-so-serious softball game before the Royals game. Each celebrity gets their own signature Royals jersey and they play a few innings. They also come out again and sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" for the seventh-inning stretch.

The next morning, the celebrities all make their way to the Pinstripes bowling alley in Overland Park, where they are greeted by hundreds of awaiting fans.

After the children of Children's Mercy are introduced and walk along the red carpet with their parents, the celebrities follow, taking pictures and signing autographs along the way. They head inside and bowl with the children from the hospital.

That night, the celebrities all come together one last time to host a huge party, this year it was at the Sprint Center, where they all just perform and have a good time. They also host an auction where some pretty cool items and opportunities are auctioned off.

Besides just being a fun event to attend and a good way to see some of your favorite celebrities up close, Big Slick is just so important because of its cause.

This year, Big Slick KC raised around $2.5 million for Children's Mercy Hospital. That brings the total to over $10 million that Big Slick has raised since 2010.

This amazing weekend is always so much fun, not just because some big stars come to a fly over state, but because of the children that they are raising the money for. The hosts and the celebrities that attend all care so much about the cause, and they make a great weekend out of it for anyone who attends.

I'm already looking forward to next year's exciting weekend.

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