Two towers fall to Earth, countess amounts of people die off, tears are shed and bodies tremble to their knees. Only one religion out of all of those that exist in our world was blamed for the actions of 9/11. After 9/11, nothing was the same anymore. Most people in my school make fun of my last name by saying, "Aaaakkkkmeed", rather than saying it in an honest tone and asking me if they said it right or not, I have been called a terrorist a few times, I have been asked, "Will you go to hell, according to your religion?". At times I would get awkward stares from police at the convention center where Islamic holiday's such as Eid are held, and I'd also be asked if I would force people to convert to Islam.
These comments and actions leave a mental scar, a scar that cultivates pain into my mind, a scar that won't leave until the phobia fades away. There should be classes to educate people about world religions. Statistics show that a large percentage of people in our nation have a specific phobia of Islam whether it is, living near a Muslim, having their children learn about Islam, or even being friends with Muslims.
According to USA TODAY's gallop poll, over 22 percent of Americans in the United States don't want Muslims as their neighbors. In addition to this, 39 percent of people in the U.S would rather have Muslims carry special identification than roam our country freely. A more shocking fact is the percentage of people who wouldn't want Muslims to be eligible to sit in a U.S Supreme court according to TIME magazine. Racial profiling has been at its highest peak in New York City ever since 9/11. According to a Columbian Univ. survey, over 28 percent of students in New York public schools are victims of racial profiling. In this case, New York isn't the only area in which racial profiling is common, in fact California, and Washington have the same rate of racial profiling as New York City. A fact that disturbed me the most is that according to USA Today, the FBI checks over 100 mosques in cities like Chicago, NYC, D.C, and Seattle without a search warrant which bypasses the fourth amendment. As shocking as these facts may be to me, other people believe these actions are justified.
Even though actions that range from mosque searches to racial profiling seem vile, there are still a large percentage of people who think that these kinds actions are just, relevant, and appropriate to carry out. A majority of citizens in the U.S would argue that having mosques in the U.S would be unfair since there are no churches in Saudi Arabia. Most would argue that Islam is a religion of violence, and evil, instead of a religion of peace. A large percentage of people in the U.S would also argue that Muslims should be monitored as if Muslims were wild animals. An opposition would further argue that Muslims as a whole should be blamed for the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center.
The allegations that would be presented by an opposition would come out false, and have little to no proof that would help back up their claims. Islam is in fact a religion of peace, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "Whoever kills a person who has a truce with the Muslims will never smell the fragrance of Paradise". The reasons why people think that Islam isn't a religion of peace is because they have never read the Quran or take out of context some verses of the Quran. Citizens in the United States should not associate one persons action to a whole group and claim that the whole group, specifically Muslims, are to be blamed for the 9/11 attacks. The Oklahoma City bombing is one example of a catastrophic event that had been conducted by a Christian named, Timothy McVeigh. Although Timothy had conducted this vile crime, no one ever mentioned blaming Christians as a whole; instead witnesses blamed Timothy individually which is a double standard. As citizens of the United States and inhabitants of the earth, we must reduce the amount of discriminatory actions that plague our world.
To reduce the amount of discrimination towards Islam, and other religions in general, there should be classes that pertain to the basics of each and every religion in our schools. Separation of Church and State may be a major factor that might go against this kind of proposal, but that is why classes that involve religion should be taken after school, where students have the choice whether or not to go to these classes. There should also be teacher workshops to help mediate vile conversations between students whether it involves discriminatory actions or not. Teacher workshops should also provide lessons to stop issues that pertain to discrimination.
Overall, we as humans must acknowledge our differences, and respect one another by learning about each other. The more our society doesn't know about a particular religion, the more we get confused, and start to fight one another. If we as humans take time to learn about one another, and to get along with each other, we can all change the world one step at a time. A good way to start would be taking classes after school that pertains to the basics of every religion in the world. The more our society knows about a particular religion, the more we get use to each other and want to know about each other's culture, tradition, and characteristics.
Guled Ahmed is a high school student at North Senior High School in St. Paul Minnesota.
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