Thanksgiving Break has ended and as many college students trudge through the bogs of Monday woes, Ohio State University attendees find themselves hunkering down for a brutal slap of reality. On Monday morning, November 28th, university students at Ohio State found themselves getting a campus alert about an active shooter on campus - an active shooter who turned out to be one of the university's fast acting police officers, Horujko.
He was at the scene during the time of a Somali immigrant's, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, rampage. A transfer student from Columbus State, Abdul Artan is one of doubtlessly many, discontent Muslims who are under duress for their religion. This prejudice against Muslims originates from the generalized perspective that all of them are terrorists. This is untrue, but unfortunately, many have associated Islam with terrorism and have made a scapegoat out of its followers for attacks.
Abdul Razak Ali Artan could arguably be presented as a victim or an assailant with his actions. Bullied or triggered into acting out, Abdul was no stranger with voicing his plight as a follower of Islam. In one of his Facebook posts, he had said that he was "sick and tired" of seeing his fellow Muslims antagonized for their religion. He was weary of the whiplash that Islam came with due to the actions of radical groups such as infamous ISIS. He was tired of having to be afraid.
For Artan to openly practice his religion, was almost like willingly painting a target on his back. Islam is a religion that consists of Five Pillars that are heeded to. Of these Pillars, there is one called Zakat, which require the person to perform a prayer five times each day facing the direction of Mecca. As a Muslim, Artan was required to perform this ritual but had probably done so quietly and away from prying eyes. He sought for a sanctuary in his university to worship privately, as he acknowledged that his consistent daily prayers could have incited some malicious reactions from onlookers; he was afraid to pray in a land where one had the right to practice his or her religion because of trigger happy discriminators.
As a whole, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, did not appear to fit the media's depiction of the typical terrorist. For this reason, while his violent actions may seem understandable to some, the event stands to be an overall attack on not only the safety of everyone at the university but also an attack on the reputation of Muslims as well. Muslims, in general, hang onto a precarious position in society. Many people are eager to discriminate them when given the chance to. With Artan's actions, the preexisting notion that every Muslim is a terrorist is heightened.
To society, the face of a terrorist is no longer associated with suspicious Middle Eastern men of questionable religion. Artan's violent act has extended that description to encompass average Muslim students. Wherein they previously already had malignant perceptions surrounding them, now with Artan's attack, their susceptibility rate of being dangerous has increased even more; Artan has made it even more plausible that they could be terrorists. So as to whether his intentions were to due to some other prevailing issue or to simply act out against continuous exposure to fear and discrimination, he hindered any semblance of improving Muslim-American relations with his aggressive act.