Teen writes of growing up Muslim in Atlanta

5:30 PM, Sep 11, 2012   |    comments
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  • ATLANTA -- Before deadline, a young reporter is finishing his article for the next issue of VOX, a 20-year-old non-profit afterschool program and newspaper written for and by teens. And this article, it's personal.

    "Sometimes the racism or hatred goes up a little bit when it's 9/11 because of the remembrance," said Mahmood Thompson.

    The 17-year-old notices, because he says he's been on the receiving end of racism throughout his life, as a Muslim growing up in Atlanta.

    Mahmood reads from his article: "Sadly there are a few bigots out there and I have experienced some hate. In middle school I was called a terrorist by people who passed Atlanta's mosque muttering or yelling some stupid stuff. In elementary school, I was jumped at least three times because of it."

    He has lived with this since he was 6 years old, knowing who he really is -- wishing people would understand.

    "Islamic community is a group of people who are muslims who work pray and play together, and no it is not a terrorist training center as some people think they are," he read.

    Because Mahmood knows it is difficult for people to see beyond their fear, he remembers the words of his parents who tell him to keep his strength, his faith, and this.

    "Pretend like you're a duck and the hatred is like water, it just rolls right off you," he said.

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