Muslims and Muggers.

How come these two words are often associated with one another? I have always been thinking about that and I’ve been terrified of their group ever since. Maybe also, because that’s how my family raised me. To know who’s good and bad. 

Without stereotyping and generalizing, I think Muslims are good people. Its just that, their appearance makes it very hard to think of them that way. The way they dress and look, although in the Philippines, Muslims dress up like us natives already. But there’s something that gives the people a sense of horror when they see or hear about these muslims. I don’t want to sound mean – I never would. But last night, I figured the whole thing out. Why they’re being banned in places, why they’re being judged, why they are being generalized.

Well, I live in a part of Quezon City, which is very secluded and somewhat unknown to some. People even tend to joke at times that I live in a province, mainly because it’s that far from central Manila. The subdivision before ours is rumored to be populated by Muslim groups – notorious Muslim groups. They were said to be the ones deploying teens and children to sell pirated DVDs here in our place. Rumors also tell that even the police are afraid to enter their premises because they kill anyone who poses a threat to them.

Last night, around 8:30 pm, my boyfriend left and headed home from my house. But due to the heavy rain earlier that afternoon, apparently, electricity connections everywhere were shut off. Everywhere, but here. He walked past the guard house, he walked past the last few buildings with lights on, and headed towards a straight highway with lots of car service establishments. Being in a familiar place, he didn’t quite mind the power loss. He has been walking down that road for as long as we were together. Since he was courting me, up to when we had Klaud and until recently. He felt comfortable walking down the road ’cause he used to pass that place at later times, and nothing ever happened. But last night, he got mugged. 

He was wearing a tiny black sling bag with his money and cellphone and other essentials there. About a few meters away from the bright areas, some kid pulled his bag off, and of course, as his reflexes would do, he pulled the kid immediately. The kid was shouting and scratching then someone from behind kicked his right leg. He bent down and screamed, but everyone seemed so preoccupied and busy and pretending not to notice what had happened. He was left with no choice but to let go, and everything he had was gone. Just like that. 

Now, I know he shouldn’t have passed through that place knowing it was pitch dark and in our time and date, a place that dark isn’t safe to go through anymore. But what I hate about what happened was, they hurt him. He was lucky it was only a kick. What if he got stabbed or shot? Nobody would come to rescue. Nobody would come to help. 

In our setting, yes, I admit it’s very hard to find a decent paying job. Even degree holders can prove that. But if they want things so bad, why do they have to mug people? Innocent passersby who don’t even know what’s coming for them. If that’s their way of living, maybe they should change it. It’s not decent, and they bring harm to people.

This is what made me realize why Muslims are associated most of the time to muggers, killers, rapists, scammers, and the like. They pose threats to everyone around them. This is what they show the people. I know not all muggers and criminals are Muslims, but most of them are. If not, they pose as them. Majority are from the Muslim community. And as old sayings say, “To see is to believe.” I didn’t see what happened. But, how in the hell would my boyfriend lie to me about being mugged and harassed that way if it did not happen at all? 

Again, I am not generalizing, nor criticizing. I am just saying how wrong things are. I’ve had muslim friends before. I used to have classmates who were muslims. They’re not like that at all. They’re better. They know better. What’s happening to the world? Crime rates are higher than employment rates. I just hope they come to realize the harm they do to people. Its unjust.

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