“Whenever there is a terrorist attack in the world in which Muslims are the perpetrators, I feel immensely uneasy.”
By Mahjabeen Syed
Late on Dec. 3, 2015, shortly after learning the names of the San Bernardino shooters, I found myself typing the names of people in my immediate family into Whitepages and erasing their profiles. One of the shooters was named Syed Farook, and although he was completely unrelated to my family, the simple fact that his first name was spelled the exact same way as our last was enough reason for my mom and I to worry about possible repercussions.
That same night, I circled my cursor over my last name on Twitter, contemplating if I should remove the latter “yed” so that I wouldn’t be ignorantly associated with him. Although my pride told me that I should stand my ground and let trolls be trolls, the anxiety and stress from the thought that my family might somehow be harassed because of my opinions or what suddenly became a “problematic” last name was enough to make me press the delete button three times.