Adnan Syed: Sentenced To Life In Prison By Islamophobia
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Politics and Activism

Adnan Syed: Sentenced To Life In Prison By Islamophobia

Adnan Syed will spend his life in prison because the year is 2016 in America.

Adnan Syed: Sentenced To Life In Prison By Islamophobia

The year was 1999, and Adnan Syed had been charged with the first degree murder of his former girlfriend, Hae Min Lee. Syed is sentenced, after an original mistrial, to a life in prison with an additional 30 years. Syed had of course only been charged with the murder after a friend of his claimed he was asked by Syed to help dispose of Lee's body after he killed her. The case is fairly damning at first glance. A man is accused by a former friend of killing his ex-girlfriend. It seems fairly straightforward. Now evidence aside, what if I told you this was an Islamic man? Would that change your perception of the case, or even cause you to feel more hostile about it?

At the time of the case, multiple reports used his faith as an explanation for his supposed actions. Somehow being Muslim meant that killing his girlfriend would seem culturally acceptable to him, that somehow killing his girlfriend to assert the utmost dominance and maintain honor was ascribed to him in the Quran. No matter where you fall on the case, it is difficult to deny that a western fear of Islam and the Middle East played any part in his case or in the jurors' mind, if even the cultural consultant on the case used it as a factor. If anything, this man was put in jail for his religion. It was 1999 and our cultural perception of the Middle East and Muslims was blurry. As a nation, we didn't have any recent major negative experiences with the Middle East.

The year is 2016 and Syed has been granted a retrial after it was decided his last case was botched by an inefficient attorney. As Syed awaits trial, he is fasting for Ramadan. The year is 2016, and it seems that all we hear about are attacks from the radical Islamic group, ISIS. The September 11 attacks are still fresh in many people's minds. We have a presidential candidate calling for the annexation of all Muslims. It is impossible to believe that this will not be in the mind of any jury member as they sit and decide Syed's fate for a third trial. Syed will not receive a fair retrial. Syed will most likely spend the rest of his life in prison. We do not live in a time or nation that sees a Muslim man as an innocent figure, but rather as the villain in any story. Syed is one man representing the continued and increasing rate at which we discriminate against Muslims. Syed will be one more Muslim villainized in this country to push forward the political agenda that is Islamophobia.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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