I had grown up in an environment surrounded by non-Muslims. My teachers, classmates, and friends were non-Muslims. I was, in fact, the only Muslim girl in my class. People made awful comments about my religion. Friends deserted me because I was Muslim. I vividly remember when a friend brought a book, which portrayed Islam in a bad light, to school. I cried bitterly that day, wondering why I was Muslim…why I couldn’t be like everyone else, why I couldn’t live without the risk of being judged or ridiculed on the basis of my faith.