November 4, 2016
Dear Future President,
As a Muslim American Women and a person of color, I know what it feels like to be stared at and judged upon everywhere I go because of the the things that I wear and the way that I look. Women in Islam wear a hijab which is a type of scarf that we wear over our heads to cover our hair. It’s a sign of modest, it’s a way to respect yourself as a women, and because it says it in the Quran (holy book in Islam). I choose to wear a hijab because it’s a part of who I am and what I believe in, and those rights can’t be taken away from me. Islamophobia is prejudice against, hatred towards, or fear of the religion of Islam or Muslims. Just because certain religious groups use violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims doesn’t give anyone the right to judge an entire religion.
First, Muslims weren’t always judged or looked at in a bad way but, this changed when 9/11 happened 15 years ago, Muslims are still facing fear till this day. According to “Islam in America Post 9/11” by pluralism.org, “The terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001 brought Islam into the national and international spotlight with a new intensity. Its impact on the Muslim community cannot be underestimated”. This means that once this happened all Muslims were blamed for this horrible event, what these people did was inhumane and people need to know that Islam does not promote violence.
Second, According to “Misconception Facts about Islamophobia” by allaboutcounseling.com, people say that “Islam is unchanging and refuses to adapt to new realities or changing times, Islam shares no common values with any of the other major religions, Islam is no longer relevant and their ideals are irrational, Islam is tied to terrorism, Islam promotes violence”. People judge and listen to stereotypes rather than actually learn about Islam or get to know muslims. This saying “You can’t judge a book by it’s cover” really speaks to me because you can’t judge a person and assume their something their not, you have to really get to know a person to make assumptions.
Finally, solutions to all these problems is to educate people about the religion Islam and to also come together as a community. In Addition, according to “Islam in America Post 9/11” by pluralism.org, “The terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001 brought Islam into the national and international spotlight with a new intensity. Its impact on the Muslim community cannot be underestimated”. Also by Pluralism.org, “Muslim leaders and communities across the nation realized a need to educate their non-Muslim neighbors about Islam. Many Muslim communities opened their doors to the public, inviting non-Muslims to introductory lectures on Islam, and encouraging questions from non-Muslims”.
The First Amendment grants the freedom of religion so those rights can’t be taken away from anyone who chooses to believe in a religion. Instead of creating stereotypes when it comes to the muslim community, there should be conversation, and a better understanding of what Islam is. This letter isn't just for Islamophobes, it’s for every religion that is being judged based on the actions of certain individuals of the same faith. I need you, as our future president to not discriminate and judge people based on religion, to allow diversity in the world to be treated equally because we deserve that right.
Foster High School