“Through oppression I still stand. Through violence I still stand. Through hate I still stand. I will still smile through tears and still love when facing so much hate. My resilience is founded in the realization that no one can take me and shape me into what they want. I will always be that Masuma Khan that is not afraid to speak my mind even if that means people want to take my voice away. My resilience is what they fear because they know it's not going anywhere.”
Masuma is a 22-year-old activist and the Vice President Academic and External for the Dalhousie Student Union (Halifax, NS.) She became a household name after Dalhousie University unjustly policed her personal Facebook, where she supported a motion against participating in Canada 150 celebrations, and subjected her to a formal disciplinary process although she had every right to free speech. She received large amounts of online hate and death threats as the dispute went viral. After the incident Masuma told me she’s perceived as “an aggressive Muslim woman who isn't thankful for what Canada has given her, a terrorist, extremist, jihadi...I could go on.” She continues, “I think the hardest part about perception is it comes hand and hand with assumptions. I just want to be seen as a human being who wants a better world for the next generations.” Justice is what’s most important to Masuma. She can’t go to sleep at night knowing she hasn’t brought even slight justice to a cause she’s passionate about. An example being when Masuma organized a march of thousands of students to protest high tuition fees. Something many don’t know about Masuma is that she loves writing poetry. She told me, “In the darkest of times I find light in expressing myself through art. When surrounded by violence, the safest place for me is in my thoughts. The only way out of violence for me is to carve my own path of safety through expression.”
What is a fun fact about you that you haven’t told me yet?
"My rapper name is Khan the Don."
What is one thing you know for sure?
"I know that decolonizing the world is the only way out of violence for this world and all humanity."