After the tragic attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001, Muslims became public enemy Number One in America. After a few years, the hysteria died down but recent attacks by the notorious, radical group ISIS have once again brought out the buried feelings of animosity towards the Muslim faith.
On November 13, 2015, approximately 160 people were killed in Paris by affiliates of the organization ISIS. The attack did not just affect those in Paris, it affected Muslims everywhere and those seeking refuge from war torn countries, specifically the Syrian refugees.
There have been very different responses to the current crisis in Paris. Thirty-one states in the United States are closing their borders and not allowing any refugees in, including Alabama, Texas, Georgia and New Hampshire. The government officials who initiated this effort have made statements that are again leading Americans to believe that being of Muslim faith equals potential to become a terrorist. Statements such as these ignore the fact that many terrorist attacks have happened on American soil by Americans. Recent attacks include the 2012 Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting or the Charleston church shooting in South Carolina this past June.
While there has been a strong social media attack on Muslims, many are speaking up for those of the Muslim faith. Shaun King, prominent Twitter activist and Senior Justice writer for the NY Daily News tweeted, “Now is not the time to self-righteously pretend like angry Muslims are alone in shooting up innocent people in crowded theaters” (Twitter). There are many nasty memes, tweets, and Facebook posts that reinforce the belief that being a Muslim means you support or engage in terrorist acts. A hashtag, #notallmuslims, has been created to show support for Muslims.
“Inhumane acts by any extremist sub-group is not cause to label and persecute an entire group. Extremists are the problem. #NotAllMuslims” -Dante Boykin, Twitter.
America is responding in an array of ways to the Paris attacks. But now is not the time to condemn a whole nation of people for the actions of a few radicals. We should take into account the pain and the terror that the Syrian refugees are currently experiencing. Imagine having to flee a war torn country where your home literally does not exist because ISIS has burned it down, along with everything that you have known, your history and your culture. ISIS is attacking every one of all faiths and nationalities and the tragedies are felt around the world.
image credit: www.mycause.com.au
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