Our society often links the word “terrorism” with “Muslim”, “hijab” with “oppressed” and “Islam” with “violence”. It is these stereotypical links that are perpetuated by the media. What the media neglects to inform the world is that Islam is actually a religion that teaches peace and the hijab, a religious headscarf worn by Muslim women, is a form of empowerment.
The notion that nearly all terrorists are Muslim is simply and utterly false. In actuality, only 6 percent of terrorist attacks in the U.S since 1980 have involved Muslims. In fact, a higher percentage of whites, Latinos, and Jews have committed terrorist attacks in the U.S than Muslims. Of the 2,400 terrorist attacks, 2,340 were committed by non-Muslims. (Global Research)
So why is it that Muslims are labeled as the terrorists? Why is it that each time there is a violent act connected with a Muslim, it is called a terrorist attack? Never once have I turned on the news and seen a white, Latino or Jewish person with the label “terrorist”.
Islam is the third largest religion in America and second largest in the world. The small sliver of Muslim extremists does not represent the 7 million Muslims that live in this country peacefully, nor will they ever. What we fail to realize is that in every single religion or culture there are some extremists and some terrorists. Does that mean those people represent their religions? No.
My question is why is it that only terrorists are considered Muslims? Why is it that the countless white upper middle class men who shoot up schools of innocent children are not considered terrorists? Or how about the white male who detonated a bomb in the NAACP office in Colorado the same week as the attacks in Paris?
It seems that unfortunately, our society has saved that label solely for Muslims. This common misconception about Muslims has not only affected how we are portrayed on the news, but also how we are treated on an every day basis. The entire meaning of this peaceful religion has been lost somewhere through all the hate and stereotypes and instead has surrounded us with anti-Muslim bias to play a role in our daily lives.
They call this a democracy. They call this country “the land of the free”, but how is it freedom, when Muslims and People of Color are treated the way that they are?
When the 67-year old Palestinian leader, Rasmea Odeh was unfairly tried in court and accused for acts of terrorism by Israelis, the world remained silent and uninformed. When Eric Garner was choked to death in plain sight by an NYPD police officer whose department bans the chokehold, the police officer faced no consequences. Now, after the tragedies in France, our media has chosen to only cover the Muslim attackers in France, while failing to report about the white male who bombed the NAACP chapter headquarters in Denver.
The Israelis who electrocuted and raped Rasmea Odeh for 45 days in Jerusalem were not called terrorists. The white policeman who murdered an innocent African American man in cold blood on the street was not called a terrorist. The white man who bombed the NAACP was also not called a terrorist, let alone mentioned on the news for more than a few seconds.
If the word “terrorism” means to use violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims, we have clearly lost the meaning of the word. If we truly understood the meaning of this word, it would not solely be labeled for Muslims.
White attacks have been downplayed and not considered terrorism for too many instances. Minorities keep getting targeted and this racism needs to end. All tragedy is equal, no matter who caused it. Victims are victims. Criminals are criminals. A person should be tried in court based on what they did, not the color of their skin or their religious beliefs.
We should ask ourselves this question. Is the media telling us that white lives are more important than the rest of ours? Whether white or black, Muslim or Christian, child or adult, every life matters in this world and it is not until we each truly believe this in our hearts that racism can finally begin to fade.