We are Peaceful.
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Politics and Activism

We are Peaceful.

No, I am not a terrorist

We are Peaceful.

From the Supreme Court’s landmark decision to legalize same-sex marriage, to the decrease of poverty worldwide and the appearance of the first model with down-syndrome to walk the runway at New York Fashion Week, 2015 not only had many great moments, but also a surge of monumental progress that revolutionized society. However, unfortunately with great moments every year, there are also times of great suffering and loss. Beginning as early as January, the world watched in shock as reports of the Charlie Hebdo attack flooded mainstream media. Not even a year later, the world watched again in horror as reports of the Paris attacks surfaced. Sadly, in just a month, the San Bernardino shootings in December solidified the notion that human tragedy would never cease to exist. As the world attempted to cope with these events of horror, anti-muslim sentiments began to rise. The world wanted answers and as people tried to discover these answers, terrorism quickly became synonymous with ‘Muslim.

Extending upon anti-muslim beliefs were (and still are) the fascist ideas that certain politicians promoted. And for those of us that want to deny this statement, let us not forget Mr. Donald Trump’s promise to indefinitely ban all Muslims from immigrating to the U.S. Remember, the U.S is comprised of nearly 3 million muslims. We are living in a generation that promotes progressivism, equality, safety and acceptance. However, Muslim hate crimes and even micro-aggressive behavior towards Muslims have dramatically increased in 2015, rising even higher than the weeks and months following 9/11.

Looking onwards to the future, Muslims and Non Muslims can only peacefully coexist if they battle extremism and false information together. Unifying peace between two “seemingly” polarized groups is completely achievable if each side is willing to release the false and inaccurate judgments that are created from generalizations.

Moving forward, let us try to remember that it is not exclusion that has progressed society, it has always been inclusion. Encourage yourself and your peers to learn about the different religions and faiths. Learn about Muhammad and listen closely to Muslims who expend their energy to share the meaning and impact of their prophet. Become open-minded to the idea that Islam is just as valid, crucial and important as every other western or eastern religion that permeates society. It is also important to keep in mind that the Muslim population is not just inclusive to one race or nationality, it embodies white, Latino, Arab, South Asian, European and many more diverse backgrounds.

Sympathizing with the beliefs embedded within Islam is another productive way to increase Muslim support. A huge misconception is the overt generalization that all muslims are terrorists. As it has been said a million times, the cruelty of extremist groups can no way define an entire population of people. Keeping this in mind, one of ISIS’s main goals is to create a hostile division between Muslims and Non-Muslims. The rise of hate groups and bigotry is exactly how ISIS thrives and grows in power.Therefore, the promotion of anti-muslim beliefs feeds into ISIS’s end game to create havoc and disparity in the world. The same courtesy that not all Christians are KKK members needs to be drastically extended to Muslims.

Lastly, even though you might not necessarily agree with Islam or religion as a whole, we all have a civic duty to RESPECT different practices and beliefs. And truly that is the REAL beauty of the United States, we really do have so much autonomy that sometimes we forget how to properly exercise or even fully understand it. And one of the best ways to properly live out the autonomy that we are so privileged to have is to stay keen and invested on promoting it to everyone.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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