In society today, everyone has their own prejudices; whether they are against whites or blacks or Jews or Christians, they are always there. But today I’d like to focus on the prejudice held against Muslims. After 9/11 most people in America hated Muslims- all of them; and the ones living here didn’t get a chance to defend themselves. No one realized that they were just as shocked as the rest of the world when the event occurred. Despite the fact that I was in the fifth grade when the attacks happened, I still remember my reaction when I found out Muslim men were behind it. I thought to myself, “How could a Muslim man do this? Why would they do this?” Unfortunately being at such a young age no one would answer my questions. Soon I came to realize that it wasn’t because they were trying to protect me, it was because they didn’t know themselves.
Growing up as an American Muslim girl in the U.S. and being raised in a community which is very tightly held together, I have personally seen and experienced the grief that Muslims have been through. I have seen families who were very successful and wealthy now trying to make ends-meet. I have seen my peers parents detained in prison because they have a Muslim last name and the country was suspicious of them. I have also seen people leave America because of the unfair standard Muslims were being held against here. I thought people left other countries to avoid religious persecution. Isn’t that what the United States basis are?
The problem here is not that the country is suspicious of these people; the problem was that they started holding them to this prejudice created by a group of men angry with the government. They believed this angry group of men were representatives of Muslims worldwide. They are wrong! The problem really is the fact that people are ignorant of what Islam really means. It’s peace; by the way!
The reason why I decided to write about Muslim persecution today is because of the recent findings in Lubbock of a Muslim man who planned to attack former President George W. Bush’s home in Dallas and other attacks he was planning. This really intrigued me because of the impact his actions created on the other Muslims living in Lubbock. Although the Muslims there did not know him, they never saw him at mosque and had no idea what he was up to; these Muslims were held for his actions. The place where they worship and is sacred to them was vandalized with graffiti. Now I know if a regular church was vandalized it would make headlines everywhere; however, because it was a mosque it made the local paper and was pushed towards the end of the paper. It’s not a church so it doesn’t count… right?
I was devastated when I read this. They didn’t even know the man! Why are they being harmed for his mistake? Is it because that people always need to point their fingers at someone? But this makes no sense because I know that when Timothy McVeigh attacked Oklahoma City, Christians weren’t persecuted for his actions. Nope, they just took the guy to jail and left it at that.
When the Arizona shootings happened just recently, a friend and I were talking and I remember him saying “I just hope to god it wasn’t a Muslim. Otherwise here comes more $*@# for us.” How sad, right? We have to be afraid of the actions others take and see how we will be affected because of it. They only took that guy to jail too. His religious beliefs weren't attacked at all.
I’m not saying everyone is ignorant about the Islamic religion. No, I’m not even saying that everyone needs to go read the history of the religion either. But how about doing some research before making up your mind about Muslims? Yeah I might be Muslim, but that doesn’t make me any less American. I’m a born and raised Texas girl! And I’m a born and raised Shia Imami Ismaili Muslim girl too. AND… I’m proud of it!