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Muslims in America: Why Are We So Afraid?

Victoria studied English Language and Literature in college.

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We Shouldn't Generalize About Muslims

The "public issue" about Muslims entering America has drawn a lot of attention since all of the attacks and threats from ISIS. However, the issue should not be Muslims in general; it should just be the terror groups such as ISIS and Al Qaeda, as well as those who show signs of being radicalized followers. Notice I said "signs" and not "physical appearances"; that would be profiling.

The real social issue, however, is the increase in showing of hatred through verbal, online, and physical attacks aimed at people who practice the Muslim religion. Some get treated this way simply just for being and appearing to be Middle Eastern.

The table below shows that from 2007 through 2011 the numbers of Muslims being singled out, attacked, or that have been called offensive names all increased at least by two percent. These numbers are rising, and they shouldn't be. These people are coming here in search of a better life while their homes are being obliterated with terror and war; and instead of welcoming them, we attack them and tell them to go back to where they came from. We call them terrorists. They haven't bothered you, they haven't attacked you. We cannot base an entire culture on what a few radicalized groups are doing. They come seeking refugee, a better life for their children, their families. We cannot arbitrate against an entire culture based on fear of what they fear as well.

You don't want people seeing and basing the entire United States just on some of the bad things that some radicalized Christians do. So why would you base an entire culture-an entire race-an entire country on what the radicalized people of that religion or culture do?

The golden rule still applies here:

Respect others' religions and customs just as you would like yours to be respected.

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Survey: The Muslim Experience in America

In the Past Year...20072011

People have acted suspicious of you

26%

28%

Been Called Offensive Names

15%

22%

Singled out by airport security

18%

21%

Singled out by other law enforcement officers

9%

13%

Threatened or attacked

4%

6%

Anti-Muslim Attacks in 2015: By the Numbers

What the Public Needs to Grasp

  • Not every Muslim is a terrorist. The terrorist groups are radicalized versions of the Muslim religion; seeking power and fortune and that sort of thing. Examples include ISIS and Al Queda.
  • Muslims should not be afraid to speak about their religion. This is something I absolutely am heartsick about. One day at work, I asked a Muslim lady what her religion is like because I am always loving to learn new things. Her response: "We are good people, I promise, we have never hurt anyone." It is honestly the saddest thing ever when you see someone cower in fear when their religion gets brought up in a conversation.
  • Muslims have probably more compassion than any of us. While Omar Mateen shot up that LGBT club in Orlando, he was pledging his allegiance to ISIS and the Muslim religion. A Muslim church held a vigil and prayer for the victims and their families. One was interviewed and said, "How can you call yourself a Muslim and do something like that so inhumane?"

The Bottom Line

Why is it that just because someone appears to be of middle-eastern culture, they are automatically subject to racist remarks like "terrorist" and (pardon my French) "goat f***er"? Why can't Americans learn to accept that the United States of America is considered the "melting pot" of the world. We are so vast in races, cultures, religions, and other worldly accustoms; and we should welcome that gratefully. Out of all the countries in the world, they chose us to be their saviors. They chose us to help them because they know that we can if we could open our minds and our hearts to other cultures other than the American culture. We are the melting pot of the world and it is high time we start acting as such.

As a matter of fact, we are so vast in these things that our country is actually considered to be the best country to live in in today's world. We are so cruel to others because they are "outsiders". We too often forget that our ancestors were once "outsiders" too. How can we be so hypocritical when, even though we were born here, we were wrongfully born here. Yet we continue to say "go back to where you came from" to people who are just the same as us and our ancestors. You can tell me all you want that "this time it's different" or "that was forever ago". Yes, it may have been "forever" ago but the same thing is happening now. The only difference is that other religions aren't trying to run us out of here like we did to the Natives. They actually want to coexist with us.

The pilgrims came in search of freedom of religion. The other Europeans came in search of something greater. They got something greater. We are part of a wonderful country with such historic background with the same issues pertaining to our society today. Who are we to treat someone the way we do based on having a different race/ ethnicity, religion, etc.? History repeats itself, and it will continue to repeat itself until we get things right.

The bottom line is that no one should be ashamed of their religion. No one should be ashamed of anything that is diverse and a part of them.

Further Reading

  • Islamophobia: Understanding Anti-Muslim Sentiment in the West
    Globally, many Muslims report not feeling respected by those in the West. Significant percentages of several Western countries share this sentiment, saying that the West does not respect Muslim societies.
  • Myths and Facts about Muslim People and Islam
    This resource dispels stereotypes and myths about Muslim people and Islam, suggest ways that educators can address these important topics in the classroom and provide relevant key words and definitions.
  • Extreme Prejudice | Teaching Tolerance
    Teaching Tolerance provides free resources to educators—teachers, administrators, counselors and other practitioners—who work with children from kindergarten through high school. Educators use our materials to supplement the curriculum, to inform the

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

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