Would you rather be the terrorist or the terrorized?
For the longest, I thought it would be nice to veer on the side of the terrorized. Especially after 9/11, when my excitable imagination worked itself into a huff:
Something bad could happen to me, too, you know. Someone might hurt me. Would you be sad then? My dead body would look very pathetic, you know. I’m also fragile and unprotected!
Every time a new attack occurred, I’d get a cagey look in my eyes. Oh, a big bombing in Bali? Thank God most Americans don’t know where that is. A horrific shooting in Mumbai? Well, Americans don’t care about dead brown people. Terror on the London subway? Oh, no, no, please no. I would get very quiet and think to myself: We could be hurt, too, you know. Did you ever imagine that?
Then, when it did happen, when we were the terrorized, I found I didn’t like it so much after all. Gone were the romantic notions of how everyone would finally realize that Muslims are human, too, you know. We’re also vulnerable, we’re not safe, either.