What Do I Look Like to You?

Though I am an American born convert to Islam, a lot of people still ask me what my ethnicity is or where I came from. With my choice to wear the headscarf, it is obvious that I look Muslim but they still cannot tell what my ethnicity is.

Non-Muslims assume that I am not from the U.S. because I am Muslim and wear hijab. Many of them are also intrigued because they have never seen a Muslim that was light skinned with blue eyes. (The media often only portrays Muslims as brown men with beards or brown women in niqab. Muslims are the most diverse religious group there is. There are brown, black, and white Muslims.) 

Based off of several conversation with non-muslims:

Them: “where are you from?”
Me, in perfect English: “I am from Wisconsin.”
*Looks confused*”Okay but where are your parents from?”
*awkward Silence*
Them: Your grandparents?
Me: “Wisconsin and Kentucky.”
*more awkward Silence*
Them: “I am asking where you are from because I see you wearing that thing on your head.”
(Like I couldn’t have guessed that.)
Me: “I am a convert to Islam and yes my parents are Christians. However, I am a mix of European and Indigenous roots.”

What some Muslims Think My Ethnicity is: 

On the other hand, quite a Few Muslims have asked me if I am Turkish or Syrian, until I let them know I am a revert. However, when I visited Egypt there were many people who thought I looked Egyptian. 

Here is what my genetic makeup actually is: 

On my father’s side, I have one great-grandma from Germany (dad’s father’s side), whom married my great-grandfather, is from the former country Prussia. On my dad’s mother’s side, I have one-great grandpa and grandma from Kentucky.

On my mother’s side,
I have one great-grandma from Germany (mom’s mother’s side). I have a great-great-grandma from Poland (Mom’s side) and her husband (my great-great-grandpa) was 100% native with a small percentage of African. On my mom’s father’s side, I have a great-grandma from Norway and a great-grandpa from England.

Overall, I am the great-granddaughter of immigrants. That is right, the United States is not originally the land of whites. It was only stolen by white Europeans from Natives and built on the back of black slaves. Almost everyone in this country is a product of immigrants, except for people who are 100% Native. In that regard, I am proudly a registered Stockbridge-Munsee tribal member. I am a mix of Stockbridge-munsee, Brotherton, and Oneida. 

Stay Tuned….. Lately I have been looking more into the history of my great-great grandfather and his indigenous background. I will be writing about my research and the history of my tribe.


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