By Farzad Mesbahi
Ignorance knows no bounds.
That's one thing history keeps showing us. From the Salem Witch Trials, to the No Colored People movement, to simply being gay, the United States (and to an extent the world) is no stranger to having ill feelings towards a specific segment of people.
Dear people of Islam - most unfortunately, it now seems to be your turn.
Let's try and break down why this might be:
- Recent terrorist attacks, and groups in the name of Islam who preach violence, have appeared to become more prevalent and far-reaching than in previous recent history (Al-Qaeda, ISIS, 9/11, Paris, to name some)
- Terrorism and its ties to Islam have become a driving platform for the recent presidential elections in the US. Donald Trump has been the most vocal in his views of Islam and its ties to terrorism
- An ignorant base typically loves to latch on to one specific topic and beat it to death. Now that being gay has run its course , a gaping hole seems to be left in the hearts of those with hate in their hearts
Here are some facts regarding the recent issue:
- Terrorism has been mostly exclusive to Islam in recent times
- ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and the like, are unequivocally a cancer to human existence
- Not every Muslim is a terrorist, regardless of opinion towards their belief system
The bigger problem, of course, is that there's a portion of the public that is so uninformed and driven by fear that sweeping generalizations over a certain population is automatic. There are 1 in 7 people in the world that are Muslim - by the sounds of the ignorant, you would think we are all in the precipice of mass extinction at the hands of terrorists. Unfortunately, it doesn't take a lot of time to find out that those who hold this view are thinking exactly that - the end times are here.
This all boils down to the fact that there are people that believe Muslim = Terrorist.
How do we fix it? Can it be fixed? Unfortunately, history doesn't paint a pretty picture for us. Human nature has again and again shown that violence and hate are answers towards people that they are afraid or despiteful towards (see Jews.) I would be very curious to see how many people that hate(d) gays also hate Muslims.
However, here are some good things in my mind that have come out of this specific topic:
- With the advent of social media, it has become VERY easy to pin point ignorant folk to disassociate from
- Religion has become a central topic in the minds of the people, with the vast majority preaching (get it?) respect and understanding of all religions (ironic that most of these ignorant folk call themselves Christian, no? WWJD? Is hate on Jesus' agenda?) Can we finally get to a point where religion is no longer a political issue, but one of personal introspection?
- The young generation is once again, just like the gay issue, on the right side of history (don't forget, these are the people that grow up and make more people in the future), with acceptance of all regardless of headwear (I had to make at least one joke)
In the end, it seems the real solution is for the ignorant, the afraid, or the hateful to either a) learn about the thing that they fear/hate and understand that it's never what it appears or b) die off and be replaced by their more reasonable peers.
It's going to be tough to stop humans from being scared of something, so I propose some alternatives for the ignorant to hate:
- People who's automatic reaction to things they don't understand is hate or violence
- Leaders that use this fear to poison the minds of the ignorant
- Shower knobs that for some reason have an infinitely small placement for water that is acceptable (especially this)
Terrorism will always exist for as long as people are scared - see the word terror. The more fears we can eliminate through education and acceptance, the less things there will be for us to be afraid about. Regardless of belief towards Islam or religion in general (Christians or Atheist alike,) hate and violence is never the answer towards members of a given society. We must seek to understand the root of the problem (a topic of a post at a later date) without associating the masses.
Hopefully, 100 years from now, they'll figure out how to freaking fix that stupid shower knob.
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