Religion abide by, which become the foundations to

Religion plays a central
aspect to one’s identity which comes from the Latin root of “to tie or to bind
together”. It forms as a social identity as it teaches us the way of how to
live our life, and which principles to abide by, which become the foundations
to shaping an individual’s social identity. Religion helps us to view the
world, form different opportunities of socialising with others, and to set out
basic fundamentals in which to follow. Depending on which religion you follow,
each one will mould you into the type of person that you should become, and
will also help you to differentiate between right and wrong. For instance, in Sikhism
they are taught to not cut their hair as a symbolism of showing respect to God
in creating such perfect creations. Sikh men are taught to wear turbans as a
way to show their love and respect to their founder, but also as a sign of
promoting equality. In Islam, Muslim women wear the hijab (headscarf) as a sign
of modesty and as a way of preserving their beauty from males, non-other than
her ‘Mahram’s’, i.e. her husband, son, father, grandchildren, brother etc. Some
may even reject religion entirely as it being part of their identity.

Growing up as a British
Muslim in a western society today is much difficult compared to before. Today
we are faced with such ridiculous questions which people are so intrigued to
ask such as “why do you fast for a whole month?”, “did your dad or husband
force you to wear the hijab?” or “does Islam oppress women?”. British Muslims
constantly have to always be aware of their surroundings, but also be conscious
of how they look to others, due to the day-to-day stares or remarks that we
face.

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Nowadays social media
plays a great role on how we interact, communicate with others, access
information and view things. Especially within the Islamic community, the media
has played such a great turmoil in the way in which Islam is represented, and
is having such a drastic effect on British Muslims. Since 9/11 and recent
terrorist attacks, Islam has been one of the main headings to come up in the
media and on in newspapers, making people have a negative approach towards the
religion and Muslims in general. Islamophobia has taken a rise in portraying Muslims
as terrorists, extremists or violent people, making British Muslims feel
distressed by the constant negative portrayal of their religion.