For the past few years, there has been a rising of political heat in the U.S. when it comes to right and left wing ideologies, and I cannot help but feel so confused as to why certain things are being debated.

For example, why would I care whether or not two men decide to spend the rest of their lives together under one roof? Why do I have to care?

Why do I care whether or not a woman decides that having a baby is not going to make her life a productive one?

Why do I care whether or not a woman decides to make sure a pregnancy never even occurs?

The United States is now making sure that a person’s personal life is being decided by the hands of all its citizens. The reality is, two men marrying each other will not affect me, and neither will a women deciding to terminate her pregnancy.

To me, my life, and to others their own.

What was once a personal, religious decision has now turned into a political one. Platform issues have gone from an emphasis on worldly issues such as immigration and foreign policy – to marriage and abortion. When I think of policy, I think of laws and regulations that will affect my country as a whole, collectively. I think of how homelessness has become a major problem in downtown Los Angeles. I think of how immigration restrictions are preventing people from achieving better futures for themselves. I think of our foreign policy in the Middle East, and how the U.S. is a key factor in resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Instead, politicians are now debating each other on what should happen when two people from the same gender happen to fall in love, and what a woman should do if she gets pregnant and no longer wants to have a child. They are now trying to put a strict definition on what marriage means. They are now trying to regulate openings and closures of abortion clinics.

Give me a break.

Last week, the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage came out, allowing gay marriage to be politically allowed. In essence, this means that state governments and their citizens cannot disallow gay couples from marrying each other. Read this out loud and listen to how ridiculous it sounds.

Religious and personal decisions that do not harm society should not be played with at the hands of others. A personal decision is a personal decision, and that cannot be decided by me or anyone except for that individual to whom it concerns. To make a decision for someone else is a form of control, and control over a person’s life is power. But human beings have been created with their own personal power over their own selves – their own mind. And I cannot come between that. We have been blessed with the power of human dignity over our own selves, not over others. We have the will to decide what we wish to have and to do.

Not only are we talking about power over certain people, but the issue of abortion and contraceptives is a form of power over all females in America. Making decisions for women, as if they are incapable of doing so themselves, is a form of sexism. The fact that an entire country needs to decide what a woman does with her own uterus is sickening. Just as institutional racism and institutional Islamophobia exist – so does institutional sexism.

American pluralism is a value that this country proactively takes pride in, but a roadblock to achieving this kind of diversity happens when individuals take personal matters into their own hands, and refuse to allow people to make decisions on their own. Individualism, as a person of religion, or as a woman, should be upheld.

As a Muslim woman, I will decide what to do with my body according to my own mind and my own faith. This is my right according to the freedom of religion. As American women, we have the right to do so according to our pursuit of life and liberty.

Liberty has been played with at the hands of the rest of America, and it should be given back to us.

  • Marwa Abdelghani

    Marwa Abdelghani works at the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) as the Community Outreach Fellow, and is also an advisory board member of NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change.