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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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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I’m Christian And My Boyfriend’s Muslim. Triggered? Sounds Like A Personal Problem

Why does his religious affiliation mean more than my happiness?

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"But he's a Muslim."

Well, he treats me like a queen.

"But he's a Muslim."

He makes me so happy. Do you not want me to be happy?

"But he's a Muslim."

He is showing me the world.

"He is going to rape you because he is a Muslim."

He loves me.

"He doesn't, especially because he is a Muslim."

Why does someone's religious affiliation deprive me of being allowed to be happy? How does his religion keep him from being a good person? What do you know about Islam other than what you read on Facebook and see on the news?

I have met the most amazing man who treats me the way I deserve to be treated and yes, he is a Muslim. I am open-minded enough to know that not all Muslims are terrorists. They go to school, play sports, laugh, dance and sing. They are HUMAN. But terrorists are more newsworthy, so there is this idea that anyone who claims to be a Muslim is a terrorist. When I was planning my trip to Morocco, I was told I was going into the terrorist country. No, I was going into an Islamic country. Learn the difference.

I don't want to say "Muslims are just like us" like we do with celebrities, but we need to destroy the stereotype. If the only knowledge you have about Islam is what you have heard on the news, then for the love of God keep your mouth shut about my relationship. Christians and Catholics have murdered families and raped children.

It's not a Muslim problem, it's a people problem.

Aside from all of this, my boyfriend is just an amazing man. I have asked at least a million questions about Islam and he is always willing to tell me everything. I will not convert from my faith, but I will continue to learn about Islam and be open-minded and accepting. Just because I am Christian does not mean I have to be closed off and hateful. It was God's plan for us to meet and fall in love.

Why does my happiness suddenly mean nothing because he's Muslim? I am able to see him for who he is, and I can see what a great boyfriend I am blessed with. If you are too close-minded to not see past his religious affiliation, then you are at fault. God has given me the heart to see more in people than what the world sees on the surface. I have also been brave enough to get off my couch and travel the world to formulate my own opinion.

I am not in love with a Muslim. I am in love with a man who is willing to move mountains to be with me and prove to me daily how much he loves me, and he's a Muslim.

It might not be good enough for you, but it is everything I have prayed for.

Cover Image Credit:

Akash Desai

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