By Kassandra Garcia |Staff Writer|
Islamophobia in the United States has increased immensely and needs to be stopped.
For those who do not know what that term means, Islamophobia (or anti-Muslim sentiment) is an exaggerated fear, hatred and hostility toward Islam and Muslims.
“It is perpetuated by negative stereotypes resulting in bias, discrimination, and the marginalization and exclusion of Muslims from social, political, and civic life,” according to Gallup, a news source.
Some Americans are trying to justify their fear or hate toward Islam and Muslims by stating that the way they feel is justified because of what occurred during tragic events such as Sept. 11, 2001.
America has allowed individuals to instantly assume that terrorist attacks are associated with those who are Muslim and this is not acceptable.
White people have acted as terrorists to those who differ from them, so for them to feel the need to brand every Muslim as a terrorist is hypocritical considering all they have done.
“And when we talk about holy books, hooded men, and death, why never mention the KKK?” recites poet Suheir Hammad from her poem “First Writing Since.”
Why is it that people, who are armed, are allowed to harass Muslims during prayer at a mosque and cry that it is “Freedom of Speech” like the anti-Muslim armed protest set up by bikers on May 29 in Arizona.
According to a recent Huffington Post article, a group of bikers in Arizona planned to hold a protest outside an Islamic community center.
“Everybody has a right to be a bigot. Everybody has a right to be a racist. Everybody has a right to be an idiot,” said Usama Shami, president of the community center that was being targeted.
“They’re not looking for an intellectual conversation. They’re looking to stir up controversy and we’re not going to be a part of it,” added Shami.
According to the Arizona Republic, Islamic community centers in Arizona, received anonymous letters that threatened to kill the imams (Muslim worship leaders) and their families if they “don’t repent and turn to Christ [from the] countless demons of Islam.”
These letters also threatened to burn down American mosques, stating, “I can see entire Muslim communities destroyed…” and “our people are watching you and patrolling your mosque.”
So why are Muslims groups constantly being attacked and judged for their religion?
“What ever happened to freedom of religion? Do Americans just throw that idea out the window when it doesn’t pertain to Christianity?” asked student Idris Tirado.
In my opinion, it is because the United States has allowed the tragedy of Sept. 11 to define an entire race and religion, which is horrendous.
What’s worse is that it’s as if the vast majority of America expects those who are Muslim or those who practice Islam to be apologetic for crimes that they themselves do not believe in.
Asking Muslims to apologize for ISIS is like expecting Americans to apologize for John C. Salvi who bombed a Planned Parenthood in Brookline, MA in 1994. He was a ‘radical anti-abortionist and Army of God member,’ that killed two receptionist and wounded many.
“I will apologize when every single ethnic, religious group apologizes for whatever someone did simply because; under this debauched logic, they owe the world an apology for sharing an identity,” wrote Mehreen Kasana, American Pakistani Muslim blogger.
Why do some define Muslims based off a certain religious extremist group that contradicts the Islamic religion?
Muslims do not commit acts of terror, terrorists do. And terrorists can be of any race or religion.