Islamphobia: A Different Kind Of Terror

Islamphobia: A Different Kind Of Terror

Prejudice and violence go hand-in-hand.
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Post-9/11 American society is a fearful place.

Fear of violence is ever prevalent in this country, which has been rattled with acts of terrorism and hate. It seems that the easiest way to combat potential violence is to choose a target people and ostracize them until the threat subsides.

Over the last century, Americans have displayed prejudice, discrimination, and hatred towards Islam and Muslims as a way to blame the current crisis of violence and terror in America on a large population. This act of hatred is called Islamphobia. Islamphobic individuals engage in hatred towards all Muslims and stereotype Islamic culture as promoting radicalism, danger, extremism, and violence.

I read a story recently of a Muslim woman and her baby being kicked off of a bus because the bus driver did not want to drive them due to religious differences. This is discrimination and denying services to a person based on religion. However, this act of discrimination stems from Islamphobia as a cultural narrative of hatred towards marginalized groups.

The anti-Islam rhetoric of presidential candidate Donald Trump is an example of Islamphobia used to spark an emotional reaction among the American people. After the devastating events of terror at the World Trade Center in 2001, Americans are likely to always have an heightened response to the mention of terror. However, our emotional reactions are no excuse for targeting a specific religion, culture, or people.

Emotional reactions to horrific events exacerbate discrimination towards marginalized groups because we often stereotype to come to conclusions quickly. For instance, after the tragic shooting at the Pulse Night Club in Orlando, many quickly jumped on the bandwagon to call the shooting an act of Islamic terrorism. It was later discovered that the violence was a hate crime towards the LGBTQ community by an individual who questioned his sexuality.

There are groups of religious extremists who commit horrible, heinous acts of violence- but this should not reflect on the religion as a whole. To discriminate against those who practice a common religion because their religion has been used by extremists to justify violence is unfair. We should fear violence, we should fear terror, but we should never fear innocent people because of the religion they practice. Displaying prejudice towards Muslims and Islam is marginalizing to a large populous of peaceful people practicing religion.

The Washington Post featured an insightful article about human reaction to tragedy- and how easy it is to use our emotions to quickly point fingers and place blame on people who are not responsible. This leads to policies that incriminate large groups of people based on stereotype. As said in the article, "anger and sorrow are not substitutes for knowledge". Politicians like Donald Trump cater to extremist anti-Muslim views and appeal to the emotions of people during times of crisis. This is a terrible and inhumane way to run a country.

Americans have been manifested hatred towards minority groups since formation of our country. After 9/11, Muslims became the concentration of hate and have continued to endure prejudice ever since. In the past, the same religious hatred has targeted Jews and Catholics. Racially, we see the same phenomenon presently with African Americans, and previously with Japanese Americans.

Prejudice is not a new concept. The fear lies in prejudice policy. Donald Trump has gone on record saying that he wants to prevent Muslim immigrants from entering the United States for a period of time. This is not just prejudice, but an act of discrimination. Politicians will continue to feed off of extremist views and emotional responses to make policies that stem from stereotypes. This is not what our country stands for. No person deserves to feel underrepresented, feared, misunderstood, or unheard because of their religion.

I urge you to stand in solidarity with Islam. Do not simply post about it on Facebook, but make strides to act out equality in everyday life. Do not allow people to marginalize Muslims and refer to them as dangerous, violent, or criminal. Every group of people has extremists.

A Pew Research Study places the number of Muslims worldwide to be around 1.6 billion (or 23% of the world's population). So doing some basic math, we get that about .00006625% of the Muslim population are "extremist". - Pew Research Center

Islamphobia is prejudice. Prejudice and violence go hand in hand. To display hatred towards a group of people is just as damaging as violence. Please, think before you use stereotypes and work towards creating cultureal and religious equality in society.

"We did not blame Germans for Hitler. We did not blame Christians for the KKK. Do not blame Muslims for ISIS." - Unknown.

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Learn more at:

Council on American-Islamic Relations

Washington Post Article

Pew Research Center

Cover Image Credit: Modern Diplomacy

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5 Things To Do When Your Professors Challenge Your Beliefs As A Christian

As long as you know God is FOR you, it doesn't matter who is AGAINST you.

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Being a Christian in our world today is very, very challenging. There are many misconceptions about our beliefs and our morals, as well as people who believe we don't practice what we preach.

As a college student, I've come across many professors who enjoy challenging my beliefs due to the "lack of evidence" or the "impossibility" of the circumstances. While it frustrates me to no end, I've had to learn that arguing and debating with people who don't believe in God is pointless. They aren't going to change their mind and there's no way a college student is going to change that.

Arguing will get you nowhere, people are going to believe what they want to believe and we can't change that. Instead of trying to debate with your professors, do these five things instead. I assure you, you'll get much more out of them than an argument.

1. Pray

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Pray to God to help you and your belief remain strong, but also pray that the Holy Spirit finds them and touches their heart. A heart that isn't filled with God is an awfully sad one.

2. Acknowledge that people don't always agree with your beliefs

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If someone tried to convince you that God isn't real, you're not going to listen to their points or anything else that they have to say. Acknowledge that people think differently and sometimes you can't change that. Only God can.

3. Drop the class

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This is really a last resort, but it's also understandable. I would hate to have to sit in a class where I felt personally attacked for over an hour each day. If you find yourself in this position, get OUT.

4. When things get too difficult-- bathroom break

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Sometimes all you really need is a breather. When the lecture gets too tough, ask to go to the bathroom, get some water, and say a prayer.

5. Read your Bible

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This is the most important one. Your bible has all of the answers, no matter the circumstance. If you find yourself unable to cope with the challenges the professor presents to you, open the bible and start reading. God will fill your heart and put your mind at ease.

It's hard enough feeling out of place in today's society, just because of your beliefs. Then to have someone constantly challenging everything you base your life off of? That's even more difficult!

But instead of arguing, choose one of these five things to do. It will be a much better use of your time and you'll feel much better about it than you would by arguing with someone.

Who knows, maybe one day God will touch their heart and things will be different. God's pretty powerful and can change things in an instant. Trust him.

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6 Extremely Enjoyable Activities To Do This Eid That'll Unwrap Your Excitement

Ready to make this Eid one you'll never forget?
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Aaaannnndd just like that Ramadan is over. The month where we give up so many of the simple liberties we take for granted. However, now that we are at the conclusion there is a need for celebration: Eid! This is one of the two grandest religious celebrations in the year.

As a kid, I always looked for the fun activities and games that my parents and family would plan for us. Having younger siblings myself, I now realize the importance of such activities and its affect on their childhood. Even if your a teen, elderly, parent or even a toddler, everyone should immerse themselves in this marvelous day. From the sticky hands after eating all the sweets physically possible to the joy witnessed when giving others gifts, Eid is a time to remember! Here are some ways you can make your Eid one you will never forget.

1. Decorations

Thank God they still work from last year. Finally, its time to take out those Eid lights and go crazy. Try to spice it up a bit and make handmade Eid decorations and hang them up. Make your house sparkle inside and out.

2. Get festive

Yes, that's the attitude. Well...maybe don't plan on going around breaking things, but try to build up your excitement. Buy new clothes for Eid, get your henna done or give yourself a facial. Allah (swt) has given you this joyous celebration so take advantage of it to the fullest. Fuel up on the contagious Eid energy and let it explode!

3. An Eid scavenger hunt

People of all age including adults tend to enjoy this game. I remember as a little girl I loved this game and used to be so competitive.

While all the cousins would sit downstairs watching a movie, all the adults would go around the house and hide all their gifts as well as scatter candy all around the house. Each child had his or her own map that they had to follow. Whoever collected the most candy (which were like extra bonus point) as well as collected all their gifts the fastest was the winner.

If creating a map is too hard, especially if you have a lot of people, create clues instead and watch as everyone walks around the house scratching their heads trying to find out where their next gift could be.

4. Secret Eidi

That's probably going to be the reaction you get every time. The day of (or maybe a few days before Eid comes), put the names of all of your family members in a hat. One by one each one picks a secret name. Everyone playing should have a pre-existing Eid list and a budget for each person (usually no more than $100).

Then when the time comes, each person reveals who they got and gives them their gift. Make sure you're strict with not letting anybody slip up who they got. Keep it a secret until its time for everyone to reveal their secret someone.

5. Family time

It's the moments with your family that you will remember the most. The laughter, the surprises, the grand feasts! It warms you inside and out. If you're invited to a bunch of Eid parties all day long, remember to cut out a little time to spend solely with your family.

6. Treat yourself

This is an explicit nod to all the parents out there. Just because it's Eid doesn't mean you slave away in the kitchen or give yourselves up trying to make your kids happy. It's your time to celebrate as well. Weather its a trip to the spa, an at home facial or massage by your kids or gifts, enjoy it. You deserve it!

SEE ALSO: 7 Last Minute Gifts For Eid

Cover Image Credit: @willianjusten

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