Islamophobia: Discrimination starts to divide nation

September 14, 2010 — by Aasim Naqvi and Ashwini Velchamy

September 11, 2001. Without a doubt, this date marks one of the most terrifying and saddening moments in our country’s history, as terrorists destroyed the Twin Towers of New York City, killing almost 3,000 people. From this devastating event emerged another upsetting outcome, one that has slowly yet surely begun to undermine our country.

The terrorists who attacked New York in 2001 were Muslim extremists. This fact began the transformation of many Americans into “Islamophobes.”

Since the events of Sept. 11, prejudice against Islam has risen to the point that a word was created to define this type of hatred. American views of the 1,400-year-old religion have continued to become more and more negative.

Islamophobia remains the disease that has started to wear down the image of the United States. While it might seem drastic to call it such a loaded term, this remains a pressing issue given all the hate crimes and discrimination against American Muslims.

When a passenger gets into a New York taxi and stabs the driver because of his faith, as happened recently, the United States’ level of fear has reached ridiculous heights.

The United States of America, “the melting pot of the world,” has long been known for its tolerance, but this reputation is in danger.

From issues such as whether a mosque should be built near Ground Zero to whether the state of Florida should allow a Gainesville church to burn copies of the Quran, Islamophobia has reached the point where Americans have no problem ignoring the values of acceptance upon which the nation was built.

Americans have started disregarding the fact that one cannot judge an entire religion by the actions of a few people.

While some Muslims have proven themselves as terrorists, most continue on as average people trying to live normal lives despite the intense prejudice they constantly deal with.

If this Islamophobia continues, our nation’s ideals are in danger.

People should not focus on the miniscule extremist groups, but take into perspective the millions of Muslims who possess the same values as everyone else in the United States. These individuals have to deal with such stereotypes, even though more Muslims have been killed by Islamic extremists than members of any other religion. Many Muslims were killed in the 9/11 attacks as well. In fact, the World Trade Center itself included a Muslim pray center!

Today, the Islamophobes of America hate Islam out of ignorance. This irrational fear and hatred can only create discord.

Is that the image wanted for America? A country being torn apart from within?

That is exactly what is happening with Islamophobia.

2 views this week