Words create worlds

Injustices of Human Judgment

In Society, Travel Stories on July 27, 2011 at 7:58 pm

After the group got on the bus, I ended up sitting across an older couple. When sat, I asked them to sit and they smiled at me. The train moved and after about 30 minutes or more when the train got to the other stop, the couple talked to the conductor who was returning from checking tickets.

The conductor then gave me a look that made me wonder what they said because they were all looking at me and the couple got up and walked off as soon as the train stopped. The conductor looked like she wanted to say something so I decided to ask if everything was okay. She then replied that she was “sorry”. I then proceeded to ask what she was sorry about. She replied that the couple did not want to sit next to me and she pointed to my hijab.

I got upset for a moment and then I said she did not have a reason to be sorry. My teacher’s friend overheard this and asked what happened. The conductor told her and she asked the conductor what the purpose of telling me was and whether or not the couple had asked her to tell me their issue with me. The conductor looked scared and replied that there is a problem with the Muslims because they are using our taxes. My teacher replied that I was an American student, doing nothing but contributing to their economy.

I was not even remotely angered by this experience but it was a lot more hurtful than I had anticipated. I wanted to tell them that being Muslim does not equate to whatever prejudices they held. The most hurtful part was that 20 other students I clearly came with did not dissuade the couple from their remarks.

This was on our train from Germany to Switzerland.

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