Of all the issues rocking the world’s foundations today, terrorism is among the most sensitive, particularly to those directly affected and those associated. With the heightened frequency of terrorist attacks in the modern world, fear and discrimination toward the Muslim race have become increasingly prevalent in daily life.
After the terrorist attacks in Paris on Nov. 13, one Muslim man took his family to the movie theater and was called a “terrorist” repeatedly. “It is never all right to call someone a terrorist unless they have killed or terrorized people,” he said in an article in the Huffington Post.
Islamophobia, or the dislike and fear of Islam and the Muslim race, has become one of the most common forms of race discrimination in the United States. According to the New York Times, hate crimes against Muslims have multiplied by almost three times compared to those occurring before the Paris attacks.
The acts that the terrorist group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), have committed, threaten humanity and world peace. Because of the unprecedented levels of Islamophobia in American political discourse–notably by Republican Party frontrunner Donald Trump–and ISIS threats, ordinary Muslims have been called terrorists simply for being Muslims.
“I hate sensing the stares and whispering whenever I’m walking outside of my home,” said a Muslim American student at Valencia High School, who asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the situation. “One kid actually walked up to me the other day with his friends, and asked me why I was an ISIS member.”
Race discrimination against Muslims has become so severe that some women, in order to avoid hateful and rude remarks by some people, have opted not to wear a hijab, the traditional headscarf for Muslim women. In addition, Muslim Americans have reported more cases of discrimination in the work environment. Co-workers have called them “Osama,” the founder of the terrorist group al-Qaeda; and some employers have banned headscarves or other Islamic traditions at work.
In an effort to curb Islamophobia, the Obama administration has worked to include Muslim Americans in White House discussions. In addition, some people have gone out of their way to promote religious tolerance and acts of kindness toward this discriminated group. For example, members of the Islamic Community Center recently read an online post from a white atheist woman, who apologized on behalf of Islamophobes and proclaimed the Muslims’ right to practice their religion freely. Despite the increasing discrimination against Muslims, some Muslims are hopeful about those who look beyond the negative images of their group.