Islamophobia is the of Islam or Muslims as an individual or as a political force. According to a poll done by YouGov.com, 39% of all Americans believe that Muslims are extremely discriminated against in America. Throughout the years we haven’t been able to stop this fear, this happens even with other cultures, and it is not lessening.You may not know it, but you could be contributing!
There is not much we can do to change the past but there is always something we can change the present and the future. We all can do something.
Throughout history, different cultures, races, communities and religions have been persecuted all over the globe including the USA. Other communities or religions that have been prejudiced against are the Jews, the Sikhs, the LGBT community, Mexican Americans, African Americans and women in general. Examples of prejudice or discrimination are racial slurs, stereotypes, belittling comments/jokes, and not providing equal opportunities. Sometimes we do contribute to this issue by laughing at racist or sexist jokes, believing stereotypes and allowing people of other cultures to be bullied. Some ways to make a change would be to educate ourselves and others on different cultures and religions, and to get to know them better.
When/How did Islamophobia start?
In 2001, on the 11th of September, chaos broke loose in New York City when two passenger planes deliberately crashed into the Twin Towers. The two planes had been hijacked by Islamic terrorists and when they crashed, they killed close to 3000 people, and about 200 people were hurt. Men, women and children were all murdered that treacherous day. Although, Muslim terrorists were involved in shootings before this event, this time it caused an outrage all over America. Since then there has been a rise in anti-muslim groups all over America, and it continues to get worse.
What has worsened the fear of Muslims in modern day?
Islamophobia has definitely increased over the current year in part due to an increase in terrorist shootings and bombings in 2016. One of the biggest terrorist groups that has been very active this year is ISIS (Islamic state of Iraq and Syria). They have been the people responsible for the Orlando gay club shooting and the Paris bombings. They are one of the main reasons people fear all Islamic people, because they misuse and misinterpret the teachings of Islam to create fear.
Islamophobia has affected the minds of many minorities as well, for instance a man in Virginia ran past a young woman wearing a scarf and shouted at her "What are you still doing here? Don't you know Donald Trump is going to slaughter you rag heads." What has worsened Islamophobia is that some political groups have also labeled all muslims as terrorists, to help boost their own popularity. Because of these political parties there has been greater ignorance about the teachings of Islam. Many people don’t know this but ISIS has taken the lives of more Muslims than non-Muslim people.
As terrorism increases it becomes important that we don’t blame innocent people because of our fears. There are many Muslims who believe in peace, love, humility and friendship. Different ways to help stop Islamophobia is to recognize that not every Muslim is a terrorist, educate ourselves and others about the Islamic culture completely, and not make light of any form of offensive comments or jokes. Finally, in the words of Malala Yousafzai, “If your intention is to stop terrorism, do not blame the whole population of Muslims for it because it cannot stop terrorism.”
LGBT- An acronym for the words-Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender
Islamophobia-Dislike or Prejudice against Islam or Muslims
Terrorism- The unauthorized use of violence and intimidation
Humility-The quality of having a modest or low view one’s importance
Prejudice-Opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience
Belittling-To think of someone as unimportant
Slurs- An insinuation about someone that will most likely insult them, and damage their reputation