When I was young as I could remember, I can still recall that when I saw or met a person with Muslim attire, I was so very nervous that I couldn’t make any movement with myself. These experienced was happened every time I accompanied my granny to sell her copra to her buyer, because sometimes my granny left me alone in the waiting area as she walked to the cashier or office of the buyer. In the waiting area there were also some Muslim, men and women talking with each other like a noisy bird which of course I could not understand a single word.
Now, I have this on my mind, why I was like that? It is because, when I was child I heard from the elders, from the news, from radio that Muslim are traitors, robbers, and even criminals. And that was the very awkward perception in me at that time.
When I was in college I have some friends, board mates, classmates, seatmates who are Muslims and I got to know them well – their culture, habits, characters. The bad perception I have before was gone and I know that it was not true, and not of them all are bad. They are just like me, like you, like all other people in the world.
In these days, I still heard from somebody criticizing negatively on Muslim which I strongly disagree. Because those persons saying negative words do not think of themselves that they too are also human like everybody else. Anybody, whatever races you are, religion you have can do good and bad to anyone. Because now I know that criminals, traitors, robbers, are not just Muslims. It could be you, it could be me, it could be us.
When I was already working somewhere in a non-Muslim area, whenever I see a person wearing a round cap “kufi”(for men) and headdress “hijab” (for women) I felt at home as if I was in my homeland. There is something in my heart that I could not explain on how happy I was, feeling to be at home. And that was it, my Muslim brothers and sisters do not know that they gave me something that eases homesickness during my stay far-away from home. That’s why I love them for they are a part of my country, my culture, and my life.
And now, unlike my younger years, I am so comfortable living with them. I realize then that my little mind was just corrupted with that unreasonable discrimination about my Muslim brothers and sisters.
I plead to anybody; please treat them like how you treated to some others. If you do, then we all are happy here in this world we live in.