Islam is derived from the word “salam,” which means peace. Moreover, the very first greeting us Muslims use to say hello to someone is “peace be upon you” in Arabic. The very core of Islam’s teachings is peace and it is what countless Muslims follow and will always follow by.
Despite Islam’s peaceful message, protesters against Islam in Phoenix are carrying signs that read “f*** Islam” and “stop Islam” and yelling that Islam is an evil religion, all while protesting in a less than peaceful manner. I would say that those protesters are not only anti-Islam, but also anti-Peace. They are incriminating the masses of Muslims for the actions of few extremists, however, if I were to label all White Americans as KKK supporters or school shooters, that statement would be seen as absurd by the public and widely considered untrue.
They say we’re terrorists, but in reality, it is Muslims being killed in this century the most. Our lives are lost in the millions– from Iraq, to Palestine, to Afghanistan to Syria, to Yemen Muslims are suffering through this century’s’ holocaust. Our homes are bombed, our schools are torched and our children are murdered.
A covered Muslim woman being cussed out and harassed on an airplane and accused for using a soda can as a weapon is not at all hard for me to believe. This racism and bigotry absolutely does exist among so many and it’s something I’ve experienced firsthand.
My sister being chemically tested enough times for her to miss her flight is the norm. Having to plaster on a smile, so that people know my family and I are not threatening has become a habit. Going out of our way for others to feel comfortable around a family of Muslims is a part of our daily lives. Being called terrorists, ISIS and extremists by ignorant and uneducated people is what we deal with on a daily basis. Every Muslim having to condone each act committed by a Muslim that is wrong is what is expected of us; because God forbid, should a white person have to condone the shooting of a school by a white Caucasian male.
This news isn’t new, it’s old and it is a reality Muslims face each day of their lives. This “land of the free” is not so free to Non-Whites— Us minorities will always be labeled. We go to school and work with our labels, we are seen on the news with our labels and we live with our labels.
What continues this ongoing problem, however, is not speaking about it. Minorities, whether Muslims or not, need to pick up their pens, raise their voices, shout from rooftops if need be, to tell their stories and to tell them with pride. Our stories and our struggles of facing racism, discrimination, oppression and sexism, whatever it may be, need to be heard.
By speaking out, we are condoning the root of this problem and not just condoning the problem that is still stemming.