Muslim does not translate to terrorist. An FBI study tracking the involvement of Muslims in terrorism from 1988-2005 concluded that 94% of terrorists were non-Muslim. Terrorists are terrorists. Christians, Jews, Catholics, Atheists, and Muslims are all capable of being terrorists. Terrorism is not defined as a religious group, but as “the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.”
The fact that Americans have the audacity to link terrorism to a religion with billions of followers is unjust.This aversion and prejudice toward many religions practiced in the U.S. is called discrimination. The discrimination is masked behind what people call “precautions,” while I blame history and its repetitive nature. The unforgiving behavior of U.S. citizens toward the Muslim religion and its followers exemplifies the moral decay of American politics, and is slowly eroding the overall tolerance of our nation.
The other day I was listening to KOGO, a local radio station, where the topic of Syrian refugees came up on a political talk show. The issue was that many Americans opposed the refugees coming into America and suggested mosques be closed because they were considered places “where the terrorists plan their schemes.”
ISIS is not going to frown at a closed sign on the door of a mosque and cancel their barbaric agenda, and the fact that an entire religion suffers because of the faults of an extremist group not affiliated with them is absurd.
Suppose you ask a Jewish individual if they are Catholic. They will without a doubt say no, because they have different practices and vary in beliefs. This is like Islamic extremists and Muslims. They are guaranteed rights by the first amendment to practice their religion, and it is up he the Americans to be tolerant. This fundamental right is being endangered by a repetitive trend the American public has for being intolerant toward certain religions during times of U.S. conflict. Simply look at the Japanese internment camps, or dare I say the Holocaust.
Although I am not Muslim, I feel for the refugees and practicing Muslims. Imagine your safe-zone, your church, and your beliefs being framed for crimes rather than the individual people who committed them. The time to be tolerant is now, and those who refuse to accept other religions endanger America’s title as a free, equal country. In this socially progressive time, Americans should embrace not only tolerance, but also kindness toward people of all backgrounds.