Muslimah in the Middle

I used to really love the show Malcolm in the Middle, mainly because I identified well with Malcolm, the main character. The middle knows it, child, always looking at situations like how I got here. I never felt like I belonged anywhere and felt like an outsider. I always stood out, even when I desperately wanted to blend in and go with the flow.

My middle school years were definitely a period that helped shape me into the woman I am today. I don’t have many positive memories of my experience and don’t think highly of most of my classmates. I started middle school optimistic and excited to finally be around my people. The school was majority Black American. During my years in an Islamic school, the students always needed to remind me that I was Black American.
So, to my surprise, my new classmates did not consider me Black American; instead, I was foreign. I realized I was the only hijabi in the school, and most of them knew very little to nothing about Islam. So, with a lack of knowledge comes ignorant jokes at my expense. Once again, I felt like an outsider and did not belong.

Now as an adult, I no longer have the desire to want to belong due to me realizing it is incredibly overrated. I have many cultural and religious values I was raised to believe in, and I now question and form my own values. Through my experiences, I’ve learned that we often segregate ourselves and cancel experiences based on our differences. So, I’m trying to live my life with an open mind, but I am still guilty of self-segregation based on differences.


  1. I completely understand how you feel. I never felt like I fit in anywhere, including with my family sometimes. I wanted to fit in but, I just couldn’t. Now that I’m an adult I don’t try anymore. I don’t want to be apart of the crowd. I like being “different “.

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  2. I too like being the different one. But I think it is very true that there is a lack of knowledge in regards to Islam. My best friend is Muslim and when we are out people stare so much I get an attitude but, she says she is use to it. It’s tough being different in a world where everyone wants you to be what they see as normal when we are all different.

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  3. Cultural differences is no joke. I’m from Trinidad and Tobago 🇹🇹, a melting pot of different races and religions, living and growing harmoniously. I actually attended a muslim college and being a non muslim, it’s not strange at all. Stay strong my love.

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  4. Self-segregation occurs for many reasons. There is comfort in separating yourself from those who are different. At the same time self-segregation causes people to miss some wonderful opportunities.

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  5. I just realized I didn’t know any hijabis in High school. I had Muslim friend but none wore the hijab until college or so. High school is hard enough and standing out when you want to avoid the attention of bullies or just deeply annoying question and ignorance is so understandable.

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