What The Media Doesn't Show About Islam
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What The Media Doesn't Show About Islam

What The Media Doesn't Show About Islam
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Islam is regarded as the second largest religion, next to Christianity, in the world with 1.7 billion adherents, which if you do the math, makes 24 percent of the global population. Among those 1.7 billion people, the most populated countries with Muslims include Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Iran, Turkey, Algeria and Morocco. Islam is incredibly diverse and important as it has been a significant part of culture and history, dating back to the Spice Trades, when the Islamic faith began to spread interglobally. Islam faith aligns closely with Judaism and Christianity, which are thought of as “Abrahamic religions.” Yet, today, Islam is depicted as a harsh and fearful religion that is associated with violent attacks and terrorist ideology. But, isn’t funny how people are not followers of Islam, believe they know so much about the religion? Time and time again, I see ignorant people criticizing the Quran (the Holy Bible) and creating their own, false interpretations of scripture. Those who are quick to condemn the Quran yet have never read a single verse of the Quran are like people who claim they can fix a car yet they haven’t read the instruction manual. Often times, we are left to make up our own truths about Muslims, even if that truth may not be right. People look at countries in the Middle East and associate the violence that media shows us with Islam.

Of course, who could blame them; news reports with details of war, mass shootings, bombings, and assaults, are on the news 24/7. To a regular American citizen, this is the image that we are presented with about the Middle East. It’s all we see. They don't show the Muslims that live modern day lifestyles. We are a crime obsessed nation, plain and simple. The problem, though, is that when someone is exposed to this type of media, they are going to make assumptions that the people in these countries are responsible for all the violence that is covered when this is entirely false. Therefore, people make generalizations. People think “Oh, he is Muslim, then he/she must be a terrorist” or make assumptions that most terrorist are Muslims. When the same could be said about Christians and assume that all KKK members are Christians. I know that is not true. I am Catholic myself and I know that those who use the name of Christianity to spread fear and violence are not true followers. I know because I read the Bible, I’ve gone to mass, I went to an all girls-Catholic school for four years and the people I know would not call them Christians. It is just as logical to believe that not all Muslims are violent. In fact, a vast majority of them would not agree with extremist groups, such as Al-Qaeda or ISIS as a representation of true Islamic faith. And would use the same argument that I just did.

The biggest problem we have today, specifically in the United States is that society makes us act of out of fear. We are scared of the possibility of being targeted due to terrorist-linked attacks. We are so fixated on this fear that we are willing to do anything to lessen that fear, including isolating 3.3 billion people that make up only 1% of our population. We are quick to ban refugees with valid visas and green cards from war torn countries yet do not ban rifles from being possessed by people on the no-fly list. We are quick to close our borders in hopes of protecting this country when we ignore the real problem at hand: domestic terrorism. Why should anyone be trusted with guns without proper background check or mental health checks? We cannot continue to function as nation if we don’t acknowledge the terrorist attacks that we coincidentally forget to label as terrorist attacks.

According the FBI, the definition of terrorism is the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives. Due to this definition, it’s safe to say that that all mass shootings that happened fall under this category. Between the year 1982 to 2017, there have been 86 mass shootings or massacres. Of these attacks, only four of the attacks were carried out by Muslims. 94 percent of these attacks have been carried out by non-Muslims. The largest percentage of attackers were white males and were male war veterans returning back to U.S soil with political or social motivation. This is white terrorism. Would you be surprised if I told you that Muslims make up the some of the percentage of terrorist attacks. A study carried out by the University of North Carolina in 2013 showed that less than 0.0002 percent of Americans killed since 9/11 were killed by Muslims. And to add on to this, only 0.0007 percent of Syrian refugees are likely to pose a violent threat.

So what should we take from this? It is up to you to decide what this all means to you. If you have already decided by the end of this that there is still a problem with Islam, I can’t force you what to think. I have given you my argument, it’s up to you to interpret it. But, regardless whether or not you believe that Islam is the cause of terrorism, statistics don’t lie. We need to end this islamophobic culture (not just in the United States). We need to look past the fear that we hold in order to understand the prevalence of this problem. We need to educate ignorant people who hold their fear close to their heart and show them what true Islam is. I, myself, am working on figuring that out. My hope is that people keep looking for ways to expand minds and hearts and look at everyone as equals. Not separate, but whole.

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