Muslim Girl Embraces Religion Through Writings

By: Venton D. Blandin
By: Venton D. Blandin

The attacks of September 11 affected so many in different ways.

CBS19/ABC16 would like to introduce our viewers to a high school student who is Muslim, and found a way to embrace her religion.

By most standards, the high school student would be considered remarkable for someone her age. In talking to her, it is obvious her faith plays an important role.

Take a look at Irtefa Binte-Farid, a sophomore at Albemarle High School. She looks like an average teenager except for the hijab on her head, but it's the hijab that's part of her story.

If you were a Muslim high school student from Bangladesh who arrived in the United States just two months after the attacks of September 11th, what would you do?

Irtefa wrote a letter about America's freedom of religion. All while wearing modest American clothing with the scarf on her head to embrace her own faith.

"As I was thinking about it, I thought it would be a good thing to write about it because it helped me sort my feelings out too," said the sophomore. Irtefa, who describes herself as reserved, reliable, and hard-working, wrote, "Freedom of Religion: My Right, My Responsibility."

"I thought that it was important to let people know, that though racial profiling had happened, I was allowed to practice my religion still," added Irtefa.

Her essay was awarded a Citation of Excellence from America's First Freedom, a non-profit organization based in Richmond.

This young writer says she admires her grandmother the most. She was the one who introduced her to religion from the beginning, not into it as much before, she still thanks her everyday.

"Before I came here I wasn't very religious. After moving, everything around me changed so fast. I had to hold onto something, and that's when I looked to my religion, studied, and understood it more, " said Irtefa Binte-Farid.

Irtefa also has another essay titled "Christopher Columbus: An Imperfect Hero," which won a first place prize from the Daughters of the American Revolution.

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