Recently the news and everything going on around me have really got me thinking about the kind of world I live in. As an immigrant from India and living in South Carolina I have learned numerous things. I have learned that racism is everywhere. In addition to learning that white nationalism is a social issue even if Trump believes it is not.
Just recently the New Zealand mosque shooting shook the world to its core. Not only did the shooter, Brenton Tarrant, kill 50 people he also made a live stream video showcasing the whole terror attack. This terror attack was fueled by hate towards Muslim society and was meant to harm their community in a rather aggressive way. Officials even discovered Tarrants 74 page manifesto, filled with white supremacist thoughts and radical views. Tarrant chose to spread these views along the dark web hoping to inspire other people to carry out these acts of violence. Though he is being charged with murder and going through the justice system he will not be able to erase the pain and terror he has caused to the Islamic community. Islamaphobia is a real social issue that American society has faced since the 9/11 attacks. No faith should be so strong that it overpowers our common faith in humanity.
Personally, I belong in the Sikh community, but yet I am too faced with terror while going to the Gurdwara. In 2012 there was an attack on a Gurdwara in Wisconsin that killed around 6 people while injuring many more. That mass shooting in Wisconsin was also fueled by anti-Muslim and Islamaphobia viewpoints. Yet, the base of that attack was based on ignorance because the shooter was ignorant about the peace that is offered within both Sikhism and Islam. In South Carolina, my gurdwara is often faced with acts of violence. I remember vividly one Sunday my friend and I were outside waiting for our parents to come out when 4-6 men on a motorcycle drove across the gurdwara yelling racial slurs. They even threw glass beer bottles toward the church scaring my friend and me as we sat there and cried. That day we were extremely scared for even setting foot in the one place we went to connect with God. After that day, it took my family and me about a month and a half before we went back to the gurdwara.
Every religion is based upon the idea of what a specific society considers to be the eternal truth or divine force that drives life and death. Though to sum up the meaning of religion it is the answer to all unanswered questions. Yet, no religion is superior or inferior to one another.
My final message to anyone reading this is that our faith should not be the basis for which we divide ourselves. America is known for being diverse, but as a society, we lack the strength to accept that diversity. I should not be discriminated against regardless if I am Sikh, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, or anything else. Instead of preaching about equality and diversity we need to stand for those thoughts and hold hands with our brothers and sisters as we fight to diminish the role of white supremacy and terror in America.