Fight or Flight


A poem by guest writer Umm Jihad Tonia Salahuddin.

Fight or Flight

Umm Jihad Tonia Salahuddin

I keep trying to decide if I will stay and fight
I know you expect me to tuck my tail and take flight
Not merely a choice it’s obligatory on me
To stand firm and fight for the right to simply be
My niqab is my identity a part of who I am
Not for you will I remove it nor for dear Uncle Sam
You call me oppressed by the religion I follow
Yet my independent choice is a hard pill for you to swallow
Islam does not keep me captive, on the contrary it sets me free
Take a few moments and understand how this can be
As a Muslim I am free to live life as it is meant
To worship my Lord, alone, as was His intent
I am free to be obedient to the decree of my Lord
This is a freedom only TRUE believers can afford
Oppression is what YOU call having respect for myself
Not revealing my body and concealing my true wealth
You talk about liberation and freedom of expression
Yet you attempt to hold me down and refuse to give me permission
To live as I have chosen, no compulsion in MY religion
No understanding do you really have of the Muslim’s mission
I don’t seek to please you or any other man
My ultimate goal is to fulfill Allah’s plan
So if by this you mean oppression than oppressed I must be
I’m oppressed by my innate desire to simply be
I am a slave to no mortal no country no man
I am only a slave of Allah, the Most Merciful, Ar-Rahman
So when you see me covered and veiled don’t think me oppressed
I am free, I’m a woman, I’m a Muslim and I’m blessed

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