It was a different Monday morning.
I could not sleep the night before.
Why? I did not know.
My heart was in pain.
I was scrolling through Twitter.
Nine words caught my eyes.
“We all know Muslims are behind Las Vegas shooting!”
What happened last night?
When I was trying to sleep, what happened?
I felt strange and broken,
Finding about sad news when the fingers were pointing at me.
As I learned more about it, I felt worse.
The shooter was not Muslim.
“He was not a terrorist,” said police.
He was a “Local Individual”.
I shook in terror because I know
This could happen in my locale
And as a Muslim, I wouldn’t know who to turn to.
You see, I am never a “Local Individual”.
My headscarf, my skin, my accent, my passport,
None of them qualify me to be a “Local Individual”.
The terror I fear is never called “terrorism”.
“A mass shooting took 58 lives”
A man, a terrorist, took 58 lives.
He closed many eyes.
He broke many hearts.
He stopped many lips from kissing ever again,
Many bodies from waking up ever again,
Many human beings from ever feeling whole again.
And if that is not terror, what is?
A member of Free Women Writers, Zahra is a sophomore in high school who loves writing and poetry. Zahra cares deeply about girls’ education and empowerment.