My wife and I started Salam Stickers because we believe in the following points:
Islam is beautiful and is often misunderstood.
As immigrants of Indonesia and Bosnia, we grew up in the States and know what it’s like to come across ignorant comments made about Muslims and Islam. Often times these comments are minor and happen few and far between. However, it all came to a head one windy, fall night in Chicago.
Aida and I attended an interfaith event at the historic St. Patrick’s Catholic church where representatives from the Christian, Jewsih, and Muslim faiths were present. After listening to a member of the church tell us about her experience living in the Middle East, a man wearing shorts and a baseball cap approached her asking why she would live amongst “those terrible [Muslim] people.”
The man continued to spew the stereotypical attacks on Muslims and Islam before Aida and I made our way over to educate him on why his points were invalid. It worked to only make him louder.
It was not until a crowd started gathering that Aida said to the man, “Well, we’re Muslims too.”
He responded without hesitation, “But you’re different.”
Up until this point in her life, no one has been this overtly prejudice to my blonde-haired, fair skin wife. I could tell by her expression that she was shocked. As a refugee, she came to this country to escape the genocide back home. How ironic was it that we were experiencing religious discrimination at an interfaith event?!
As for the cherry on top, we discovered he was an off-duty police officer.
The good news is that moments of everyday education with friends and strangers have been far more receptive and much more frequent. The off-duty cop was incorrect. We aren't the outliers of the Muslim population. Muslims are normal people. Muslims are good people. More importantly, Muslims come in all shapes and sizes.
We strongly believe that by coming across “normal” Muslims in everyday life, we can help turn around the negative misconceptions that people have against Islam.
This leads us to our mission at Salam Stickers: To spread religious tolerance by sparking everyday conversations with Muslims.
If you believe in our mission and are proud to be Muslim, help us open hearts and spark those conversations.
Let's move our deen forward,
Dodiet & Aida - Cofounders