As parents, readers and educators, we know how stories can have meaningful impact in our children's mindset and world view.
Seeing everything unravel the last few weeks has been extremely frustrating on many levels. Frustrating that our sisters, once again are being targetted for their faith and belief. Frustrating that there is so little discussion happening about it on the social media spaces. Frustrating that those who care so much about women's rights and education aren't speaking up about it the way they showed concern about Muslim girl's education in other Muslim countries.
When we have stories like Nasreen's Secret School, The Red Pencil, The Breadwinner and of course the countless versions of Malala's story in all levels of literature being promoted on bookstagram and by publishers, we must stop and ask ourselves: what do these stories have in common?
Simple: the bad guys are the Muslims.
Meanwhile in the real world, Muslim sisters are being fired from jobs in Canada, more specifically Quebec, because they wear a hijab. Islamophobia.
Muslim sisters are being banned from freely practicing their religion in France and harassed in public places. Islamophobia.
Now Muslim sisters are being deprived by the government of India from accessing education with hijab. Islamophobia.
But the industry tells us that none of these incidents are stories worth publishing. But when Muslims are the oppressors, we are told 'it is a reality that needs to be brought to light.'
As Muslim readers, we have a great responsibility to be critical thinkers with the content that is being presented and pushed onto us. Moreso, Muslim authors and writers have a greater responsibility to do better and refuse to be a contributing factor to these single sided Muslim narratives that continue to pop up in the publishing world.