So Islamophobia appears to be alive and well in the Philippines. My sister and I wandered into the Muslim section of the Quiapo district, right beside the Ilalim where you buy barrel men as we were waiting for Ate D to come pick us up. The clothes for sale seemed more flowing and colorful, the food looked fried and porkless, there were headscarves and caps. My sister bought two pairs of sunglasses for 50 pesos each, just as the call to prayer started.
When we got back Ate D was mortified, Auntie J scolded us, Cowsin D said if he had known, he would have assigned us an escort. Yawn. Protect us from what? Fried chick peas and prayer?
Later Cowsin E told us she was discouraged from buying shell necklaces because “every necklace is six bullets for the terrorists.” Give me a break, I said, it’s more likely that the selling of shell necklaces goes toward the purchase of fish and rice. Silence followed.
Maybe W should move here and be president; people here seem to be eager to fear Muslims.