At the peak of the Marawi siege, I heard a lot of stories from my Muslim brothers and sisters that they were called different names. People were pointing fingers and shouting that Muslims are terrorists, uneducated, impolite, and have no space here in the city. Hearing those stories made me furious. I do not know how to react if people will also call me with degrading names. One time, after prayer, our family went to a convenience store to rest and have some snacks. Quietly and peacefully eating, a group of old men suddenly went to us and yelled very hurtful words. Just like the stories I’ve heard, they also called us terrorists, does not have values, and should be casted away. I was overwhelmed. I wanted to respond with anger but I just remained silent and gave them a smile. My family also remained silent. How I wish to live in a world where everyone would just respect and understand each other’s beliefs. I know I am a good person who do good to others. I pray the same for everyone else.
- Dianne Kathryn Datu
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