A Conversation With Baba

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“Baba?”

“Yes, my child?”

“I heard this story about a teacher at our mosque who was touching a girl inappropriately. He was hurting her.”

“He was? Did she try to stop him?”

“She tried. She kept saying no but he wouldn’t listen.” 

“What was she doing by herself with a man? 

She should know better than to be alone with one.”

“Baba, her parents were late to pick her up so she had to wait inside the mosque after class.”

“She should have waited outside, then. She probably wasn’t firm enough or she didn’t 

want to push him away. Was she wearing tight clothes? Was she revealing her body?”

“It was winter-time, Baba. It was too cold to wait outside.” 

“Well, she must’ve put herself in that position somehow. What he did was wrong but 

she probably did something to provoke it.” 

No Baba, I didn’t provoke it 

I tried and I tried to push him away 

I screamed and I cried 

But I was only twelve and too weak 

No, no, no, no, no 

Please don’t do this

Let go of me 

I promise I won’t tell 

Just stop it 

NO 

Baba, I still remember every second of it

His grimy hands 

Touching the parts of me that I was too young to explore

His hungry eyes 

Devouring every inch of my body 

His laughter

Louder than my screams

As I kicked him to no avail 

But what I remember the most

Is the feeling of disgust that followed

Not with him

With myself

For allowing it to happen

Baba, please believe me

I promise it wasn’t my fault

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