BY JACOB WARING
Hey America, do you feel comfortable wearing the despicable snuggie that is islamphobia? Well, I do not. I am beyond disgusted by the slurs and vitriol thrown at the Muslim community.
In 2014 poll conducted by the Arab American Institute, it was found that only 27 percent of Americans have a favorable view of Muslim Americans. To put that number in perspective, in 2001, an ABC poll found that 47 percent of Americans had a favorable view of Islam. Now, a 14 years distance from, arguably, the most horrific American tragedy in history, has not tampered the hate towards Muslims.
You know, every group has its miscreants. It is true! ISIS and Al Qaeda deserve all the animosity they get, but it is unfair to expand that animosity to every single Muslim on this planet. A terrorist organization is not a representation of a country or certain groups of people. Why many in America cannot do the same is mind-boggling.
Ku Klux Klan, Westboro Baptist Church, Army of God, Aryan Nations, Black Liberation Army and Jewish Defense League are all domestic terrorist groups in the U.S. If any one of those groups expanded outside of the U.S. and committed a 9/11-level terrorist attack, Americans would not appreciate being called as bad, evil and cruel as said terrorist group. It would be unfair, illogical and wrong to say and do.
Many Americans do not realize the hypocrisy within their own words and actions. Wise up people! Islamphobia is harmful and racist. 9/11 does not excuse you from spewing hate-filled words, because it is unfair to blame the actions of 19 hijackers on all the Muslims in the world.
Now, you have this kid Ahmed Mohamed who is feeling the full blunt-force of America’s islamphobia. He built a clock; which, is beyond impressive because I am lucky if I could even make technology cooperate for me. There are some, like British ethnologist and biologist Richard Dawkins, who are trying to discredit Mohamed and find every way possible to criticize him. Dawkins went as far as claiming that the kid’s clock is a “fraud” and a “hoax,” even admitting that the clock looks like a bomb.
If a white 14-year-old kid went to the same school as Mohamed, with a clock, then I bet the reaction would totally be different. The school, teachers and police allowed their prejudice against Muslims dictate how to handle the situation.
On a side note: I have been through a few bombs scares back in my high school days. The school would evacuate everyone out of the building, call the police to do a search, or check the location of a suspected bomb device. If MacArthur High School, where the incident took place, had a legitimate tip that Mohamed’s clock was actually bomb, then they should have followed a professional protocal, such as I described. The whole incident was fueled by prejudice due to his name, color of his skin and his religion.
The majority of maintream media channels show days to weeks of extremists groups committing atrocious acts of terror but only show a few minutes of Muslim leaders holding a press conference denouncing terrorism, if they get any coverage at all.
Yes, I’m condemning those who spew their toxic attitude at Muslims, because the fact of the matter is that not all Muslims are terrorists. They are everyday people like the rest of us. They’re hilarious, caring, intelligent and all the other traits that we share. Yes, some in their faith are miscreants. But you know what? Every race, religion and group has their miscreants. We need to drop the racism, bigotry and prejudice aimed at Muslims and start molding a world where we all walk hand in hand to make this world a better place.
As if we continue down this path then we’ll end up only in darkness. As Author Suzy Kassem, once wrote, ““No truth, no equality. No equality, no justice. No justice, no peace. No peace, no love. No love, only darkness.” Kassem said.
We owe it to oursleves and others to not encase this world in darkness as it is the only world that we have to live on. We need to take that snuggie of islamphobia, and devour it with humanity’s capacity to love!
What happened to Ahmed Mohamed should be a thing of the past. Prejudice should a dying flame instead of an inferno that eurpts in places like Ferguson where prejudice and racism ran rampant. Let us all be the light that leads to peace and make prejudice a page in history!