Repeating history, anti-Muslim sentiment

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Daniah Kareem.jpg

We have studied about slavery, segregation, the Red Scare, McCarthyism, the Holocaust, and the Japanese internment camps and we swore to not let history repeat itself as we lowered our heads in shame from that part of our history. Sadly, history is repeating itself right before our eyes and the victims are Middle Eastern people—specifically Muslims.

We have studied about slavery, segregation, the Red Scare, McCarthyism, the Holocaust, and the Japanese internment camps and we swore to not let history repeat itself as we lowered our heads in shame from that part of our history. Sadly, history is repeating itself right before our eyes and the victims are Middle Eastern people—specifically Muslims.

Now, no one can deny the awful action committed in the name of religion but one must understand that the minorities of people following that religion are responsible for the terror and oppression. There has been a growing anti-Muslim sentiment spreading throughout the U.S. and Europe and it is quite understandable to fear ISIS or Al Qaeda members because of the recent events that took place in Europe and parts of the US. Since the tragic events of 9/11, Muslims have been victims of bullying, threats, and violence. And that hatred sentiment has increased with the uprising of ISIS.

There are 3.3 million Muslims in the US constituting one percent of the total U.S. population according to a report conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2015. Islam is the second largest and fastest growing in the world. Muslims constitute 10 percent of American physicians according to the Pew Research Center. Now I am not going to tell you things like, “ Islam is a religion of peace” and all that stuff, because sadly no religion is innocent of violence and oppression in its history. But like any other religion, there are good and bad people. Muslims are like anyone else. They have the same average goals of peace, financial stability, and a decent lifestyle as everyone else.

This increasing anti- Muslim rhetoric is not decreasing terrorism, it is resulting in an identity crisis among the Muslim youth. We have seen this with the Ohio State University shooter, Abdul Razak Ali Artan. He was a peaceful student and a lot of people loved him. In an interview with his school newspaper he said, “I wanted to pray in the open, but I was scared with everything going on in the media. I’m a Muslim, it’s not what the media portrays me to be. If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don’t know what they’re going to think, what’s going to happen.”

He, sadly, is not the only one who is feeling threatened and unwelcomed just for his faith. I had the chance to interview a Muslim student attending to Valhalla High School and converse with him about his feelings. He said that his family has given the U.S. their best and have a lot of pride in being Americans, but every time they go out in public someone has to harass his hijab wearing mother; that’s not accounting for the terrorist jokes thrown at him constantly by his peers “I just feel unwelcomed,” he said.

Here lays the problem, when you have people feeling unwanted and unwelcomed they’ll seek places where they feel more accepted, and no one wants that place to be with ISIS or other terrorist groups.

Muslims and the Muslim youth specifically are our responsibility to help and shield from such feelings. We always have to remember that Muslims constitute the biggest numbers of terrorism victims. If one can tell the difference between Zionism and Judaism, the KKK and Christianity then they can for sure distinguish between ISIS and Muslims. Our generation will not be another generation that enjoys ignorance and oppresses people based on the actions of a minority.

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