"Are you a terrorist?"


In response to “What’s the most awkward racial interaction you ever had?”

On the subject above there has been quite a few. I am a mixed raced person, Half Irish and Jewish American and Iraqi. I look 100 percent white, but have an Arab name, Omar. I was at a bar and struck up a conversation with this white girl, things were going good until I told her my name. She asked “Are you Muslim?” I said I was raised one. She then looked at the drink I bought her, set it down and just walked away.Not the first girl who has walked away because of my name.

Another time when I was living in London. I was at a pub with my friends and went out for a smoke. Started chatting to this one guy and once he heard my name he stared at me and asked jokingly, “Are you a terrorist?”, yeah funny to him. Also really, I’m holding a Correna in one hand and a cig in the other.

One of my favorite racial and religious instances was when one Born Again white girl began screaming insults about Arabs and Muslims at me when I told her I had lived in the Middle East for a few years. She didnt even know I was raised Muslim or half Arab but when I said the people were nice there that made her head explode. She was saying how dare I like a people who’s Prophet killed all the Jews and Christians in Arabia and they were evil. When I told her what I was, she began to shake and throw out a mix of prayers and speaking in tongues. Least to say I walked away as fast as I could.

The last one I will relate happened at my favorite coffee shop. I was hanging out with my friends who worked at said coffee shop and was teaching them some Arabic. It was fun until we heard a throat clear behind us. We looked around and glowering at us from behind his table was a bearded man holding a Bible and wearing a pro Israel t shirt. He stared right back at us and said “How dare you want to speak such a disgusting language. You want to speak like those heathen ‘sand niggers’”. And with that he stood up and walked out. 

Fun times