America Allows Their Islamophobia To Control Their Perception Of Muslims

By: Edrees Saied

Every time Islam or Muslims are brought up in school or the media, the story isn’t good. It gets worse for me. Being the only Muslim in all of my classes forces me to feel distant from both my classmates and my teachers. Outside of school, I hear negative messages too as the media makes every Muslim seem immoral. Sometimes, I even question my own identity. I’m Muslim, but I’m not the Muslim I hear about on a daily basis.

Due to America’s islamophobia, America perceives Muslims in terms of violence and terrorism. The irony is that ISIS and other terrorist groups are not acting in accordance with Muslim values. Although ISIS and other terrorist groups kill in “the name of Allah,” they contradict Islamic values. The right to kill innocent people was never granted to Muslims, so ISIS cannot justify their ruthlessness as they kill innocent people who may not follow the Islam religion. Despite what a particular terrorist group may claim to follow, America is responsible for carefully judging what those groups actually stand for.

As America attempts to confront ISIS and other terrorist groups, people are overcome with emotion in response to the tragedies that these terrorist groups commit. Outrage and grief become fear and, in some cases, hatred expressed toward innocent Muslims. As a Muslim, I feel that it is unfair to compare me to other terrorist groups that claim to follow Islam. I completely disagree with killing innocent people in the name of God. Nevertheless, I am assumed to be like these groups, which leaves me isolated in a society that fails to confront these terrorist groups as unholy.

If America confronts islamophobia with a moral understanding that ISIS does not represent true Islam or all Muslims, then I’d probably feel more safe about being who I am. Although the Constitution grants the individual the right to freedom of religion, I believe America’s islamophobia contradicts that right, and fails to appreciate it.