Dear Mr./Mrs. President,
Islamophobia is a major issue these days. And the main proprietor of it is in the news we read, the movies we watch, the people who talk- it is in the media. Because of how Muslims are portrayed, people harass them , causing them unnecessary pain. With people like Mark Feigin tweeting about destroying mosques, and men removing hijabs because “it’s America”, we are showing people who worship Islam that everything is their fault, that they are all terrorists and psychopaths. It’s not fair to them, and if the media stops constantly badmouthing them, the hate crimes and fear will stop.
Anytime the news talks about a terrorist attack by Muslims they say, ‘Islamic extremists did 9/11’. But when the Ku Klux Klan, a group of white extremists murders someone, nobody hears about it, or if the news channel decides to do a story on it, they don’t say anything about their race or religion. This doesn’t make sense, because 94% of extremist attacks were made by non-Muslims. And the other 6% is composed of only .006625% of all Muslims. So why should we hate against an entire race when only a select few are destroying this planet? Furthermore, when a white man named Mark Feigin was tweeting about destroying mosque, no one heard of this incident, even though he got arrested. Yet when a Muslim boy brought a homemade clock to school, he was accused of bringing a bomb to and was put in handcuffs. How is it fair that a 14 year old boy should be subjected to more than a grown man just because of his race?
Another good example of misrepresentation by media is the children's movie, Aladdin. In the movie, we see an Arabic man with a long beard portrayed as a cruel and nefarious villain. From the very beginning of childhood, seeds of doubt are planted in our brain, telling us that all brown men with beards are evil, and not to be trusted.
More examples of hate against Islam are in political propaganda. A group called One Nation used a flyer of Muslims pointing guns at children to show people that the Iran Nuclear Deal supports terrorists. It’s fine to advertise for your cause, when you hurt people in the process, it’s not. This flyer is a significant source of media showing us that all Muslims are evil, when that isn’t really true. Donald Trump, the republican presidential candidate for 2016 said “In San Bernardino, many people saw the bombs all over the apartment of the two people that killed 14 and wounded many, many people. Horribly wounded. Never be the same. Muslims have to report the problems when they see them. And you know, there's always a reason for everything.” In that quote, he is implying that Muslims somehow always know who the terrorists are, and that they are keeping silent about it. Speeches like this is what makes people think that all Muslims are either terrorists, or associated with them. This thought process of thinking is harmful to our society, and needs to stop.
This negative portrayal also makes people who worship Islam the subject of many hate crimes. In 2000, the FBI said there were 554 hate crimes specifically against Arabic people. In fact, a cab driver in New York named Ahmad Sharif was stabbed by a man for simply being Muslim. Also, on a plane, a man pulled off a woman’s hijab saying “take it off, this is America.” The woman was just sitting in her seat, and had done absolutely nothing to be on the receiving end of this man's harassment. The 1st amendment says that we have freedom of religion- why should she have been treated any differently than someone else?
Some may argue that terrorist groups like ISIS are destroying the Middle East, and if we allow other people who follow the same religion as them to coexist with us, we will be killed. A reason for this way of thinking may be the events that occurred in the Iraqi city of Mosul. What happened was that some terrorists used innocent civilians as a shield from the army trying to defeat them to keep control of the city. This may explain the fear but again, only a few extremists are actively destroying people. Some Muslims even call these immoral actions “a crime against humanity” and think that these psychopaths should be stopped.
Some people define Islamophobia as a “severe mental illness affecting only a tiny minority of people.” But that isn’t true. In an entire country filled with people who fear Muslims, they feel harassed and unsafe, often not being able to pursue their dream because of racial discrimination against them. We are going against what America was supposed to be, a place where someone could live happily and safely. People come here believing in the American dream, yet instead they are faced with hate, bigotry, and fear. By stopping Islamophobia, we could make our country a better place.