As I heard about the California shooting, I caught myself wishing and hoping that the shooter would not be a Muslim.
I caught myself not caring even the slightest about those who lost their lives; I was hoping that the shooter would not be of color and would not be identified as a person who shares my beliefs. But deep down I hurt, I hurt for the innocent.
This is what the war on terror has done to the Muslim population in the world and in the United States especially. We are afraid of a fraction of the Muslim population; one that has tarnished our values, our religion and consequently the way the world views us.
Identifying as a Muslim female in a predominantly Christian culture is no easy feat. I constantly have to defend myself, my culture and my beliefs; Muslims around the world have fallen victim to the terrorizing acts of radicals.
Just as we, Americans, do not correlate the heinous crimes of the Ku Klux Klan with Christianity, nor do we associate radical Jews in Israel with all of Judaism, ISIS does not define Islam.
Islam is a religion that promotes peace and goodness, just as the other Abrahamic religions do. Yet, in recent years, radical acts have diluted our core values and instead have painted an entire religion with the same brush. A painting with strokes of blood, deep fear and inconceivable actions.
To me, an American, an Egyptian, a Muslim, terrorism is the use of violence to achieve certain targets. However, the word is almost singlehandedly used to refer to acts of terror by radicals claiming to be Muslim.
The world has forgotten the accomplishments of Muslim scholars, be it the development of modern algebra, the first construction of a flying machine, and many other scientific advancements.
I can’t come to terms with the notion that I am one whose life does not matter; that Muslims are singled out as a people of terroristic tendencies. We are disgusted and terrified at the aimless bloodshed, just as much as you are, if not more.
I’m sitting here and I’m praying for humanity, not only for those who live in fear and those who lost their lives, but praying for the rest of us to recognize selective grief and outrage.
The world is under attack, and we need to stop discriminating against entire nations. (Photo Credit to Mostafa Sadek)