What it’s Like to be Muslim in America

(Source: Flickr/alastair archie)

For many years, Muslims have been thought to be something that they are not. People are not always how we perceive them, but when Muslims are brought into the topic they are always singled out to be dangerous. Due to their religion, they are often labeled to be oppressed or brainwashed. 

While doing some research on the topic of what it’s like to be Muslim in America, research has found that they are and treated in some of the worse ways.

It is stated in the article Myths and Facts about Muslim People and Islam that “the increase in anti-Muslim rhetoric and the unfortunate conflation of terrorism with Muslim people contributes to biased attitudes and reinforces stereotypes.” 

Learning that the hatred for Muslims deepens with every story that is published. As claimed by an article found on The World, anti-Muslim hate crimes used to be the second-least reported prior to 2001. However by 2001, they became the second-highest reported among religious-bias incidents, after anti-Jewish hate crimes.

Ultimately, the events of the 9/11 terrorist bombing greatly impacted American society. I was only one-year-old at the time, but as I grew up and gained an understanding of the situation, I also felt that it was very sad. Still,I did not blame all Muslims for what occurred because what occurred on Sept. 11 is something that can not be changed.

People of this faith that hated the event were not taken into consideration. There were also many who were scared for their own lives as well, because though they did not have anything to do with the situation, they were still Muslim like the prepartors of the attack. 

In the Ted Talk video, people of the Muslim faith voiced their thoughts on 9/11.
“Someone else’s actions had turned me from a citizen to a suspect,” says one of the speakers, Dalia Mogahed.
(Source: Youtube/TED.)

Every Muslim has a story and as time progresses, they are opening up and giving insight to their own experiences that come with living in America. From the articles they write, to the Ted Talks that they engage in. Though the stories may differ, one thing that constantly surfaces in these narratives is how they hated being singled out at airports for being suspected as terrorists. 

Furthermore, every time there is an explosion or an attack, Muslims feel they are relevant only at those times. 

Opinions are the one thing that Americans have in great supply and they’re often very willing to speak them. According to Muslims, Americans always assume the worst, sometimes based on their names. Wanting to get rid of Muslims and saying that Islam is a violent religion is heard a lot by Muslim citizens. 

“I have a hard time not just because of my religion but also my name,” said Banyaamin Muhammed, a young adult who is a part of the Muslim faith. “Most do not think much of it until they ask about my name and then from there, they will start assuming stuff.”

Everyone has their own thinking of other groups of ethnicity and religion. A large amount of society wants to promote equality and by saying the first impression is what matters most is not entirely correct. Taking more than 3 times to meet other people helps us develop a more intimate connection.

Tyasia Waters

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