Islamophobic hate crimes have dramatically increased in the UK ever since the London Bridge attacks, with members of the faith constantly forced to defend and justify their religious practice.
But, sick and tired of seeing superlatively admirable members of her faith being paraded about as examples of “good Muslims, slam poet Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan decided to take a stand.
And now the writer has created a poem so spellbinding, thought-provoking, and inspiring that it has been watched more than 1.5 million times on Facebook.
Winning second place in the Camden Roundhouse’s poetry slam, the gifted 22-year-old performed This Is Not A Humanising Poem, noting that “if you need me to prove my humanity, I’m not the one that’s not human.”
“This will not be a ‘Muslims are like us’ poem,” Manzoor-Khan says.
“I refuse to be respectable. Instead, love us when we’re lazy. Love us when we’re poor. Love us in our back-to-back council estate, depressed and washed and weeping. Love us high as kites, unemployed, joy riding, time wasting, failing at school.
“Love us filthy, without the right colour passports, without the right-sounding English.
“Love us when we aren’t athletes, when we don’t bake cakes. When we don’t offer our homes or free taxi rides after the event. If you need me to prove my humanity, I’m not the one that’s not human.”
The inspiring activist, who also runs the blog thebrownhijabi.com, also highlighted how the attacks affect the safety of the Muslim community.
The poem continues: “My mother texts me too after BBC news alerts. ‘Are you safe? Let me know you’re home okay.
“And she means safe from the incident, yes, but also from the after effects.”
Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan, we hear you, and we hope that the rest of the bigots do too.