She’s a Suicide Bomber


I have never had it that direct before.

Usually it’s a comment loud enough for me to hear, but not for witnesses – “AllahuAkbar”.

This time, I had witnesses. Not ones I would have chosen.

The younger two kids were sat at in the car in sweltering heat, desperate for ice cream. I found a store and took a turn looking for parking. The window rolled down, passing three females. Two teens and their mother.

“That’s an asylum seeker”, female one

“She’s a suicide bomber”, added female two.

My son turned towards her, confused. I questioned my hearing as I have been become accustomed to when ever something like this happens. But this time these two reinforced my short term memory. I made a snap decision to pull but there was so space. So I made a impromptu stop at the side, on the kerb and jumped out, looking back.


That’s all that could come out. They were too far away as they made a hurried escape down to the main road. A lady walking by, a worker from the store, stopped in her tracks and my face must have given away what happened. That was the first time I have received explicit, unconditioned validation from a white person. A cyclist coming in the opposite direction also stopped. And acknowledged the wrong. The power of supporting a victim of abuse is underestimated and actually not used enough.

A wave of emotions swept me, crashing in my face, catching my breath. So many tjoughts all at once.

Hold on, I am more educated than you, my existence benefits more people than you. I teach the likes of you. I have a position of respect and authority unlike you. I am better than you in every respect as a citizen of this country. I WAS BORN IN THIS VERY TOWN. I GREW UP HERE. THIS TOWN WAS MINE BEFORE YOURS!


F is watching. Is this going to be her perception of high school? Being abused for her headscarf?

The next day I processed A’s feelings about the matter.

“What did you think and feel when this happened?”, I questioned.

“I was confused. Like, how can you be a suicide bomber is you are still alive? How can we attach a bomb to our car? They would have been dead too then. How can we be able to make a bomb? Why did she say that? What’s an asylum seeker?”

He goes to ask Siri. Siri promptly gives him information.

“That’s not us.”

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