Muslims Continue To Fight An Image Problem

Since the 9/11 attacks, there have been several misconceptions about my religion. One of them is that Islam promotes hatred and violence toward nonbelievers. Muslims continue to fight an Image problem. Some people fail to follow or believe in God’s message, like any nationality or religion. But for this article, I set out to dispel myths that my religion has a propensity towards violence.  I aim to show how many Muslims are paying the price for what I believe started from the 9/11 attacks.

For example, on Sept. 11th of this year, an African-American Muslim said a white woman assaulted her on a flight from Atlanta to Detroit because of her race. According to reports, the woman, who was white, spit offensive words toward the Muslim sister, who, by all accounts, did nothing to provoke the hatred. After the woman discovered she was being recorded, she blurted out, “Muslim terrorist” before she punched the Muslim sister. 

Former President Donald Trump in 2016 told a CNN anchor, “I think Islam hates us. There’s something there that — there’s a tremendous hatred there. There’s a tremendous hatred. We have to get to the bottom of it. There’s an unbelievable hatred of us.”

He then backed up his words by signing an executive order that prevented immigrants from many Muslim countries from entering the USA. In fact, he pushed for a permeate ban. 

Rep. Ilhan Omar, who represents Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, is a Muslim who shared her thoughts on ABC about Muslims’ hate. “As Americans, as people living here, we were also attacked. This is our community, this is our country, and there were Muslims who lost their lives in those towers, who were Muslim firefighters, who lost their lives.”

Muslims Continue To Fight An Image Problem Muslims Continue To Fight An Image Problem. Photo Getty images
High school students hold signs outside the London Muslim Mosque before a vigil for the victims of the deadly vehicle attack on five Muslim family members in London, Ont., in June 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

She added, “There is a desire by many to use our faith and our identity as a weapon against us and to ‘other’ us. That has been really harmful in so many ways.”

High School student bullied shows Muslims continue to fight an image problem

Last December, Ekran Mohamed told 7news in Virginia she was assaulted after a peer yanked her hijab off her head. Mohamed and another peer, Eliza Gill, observed several students making offensive drawings about Muslims, Jews, and George Floyd.

According to Mohamed and Gill, they addressed the peers. However, once the students became angry, both Mohamed and Gill said they backed away. “My backpack bumped into him, and then he got mad, and he pushed me, and he grabbed my hijab,” Mohamed said. “So I punched him in the stomach because he wouldn’t let go. And he threw me across the room, and I hit my whole left side on the chair and desk.”

The students who assaulted Mohamed were suspended, but school officials’ response wasn’t satisfactory for many students as an estimated 350 students protested outside Fairfax High School where the incident took place.

What is the cause of this misconception?

Islamophobia is about fear, hatred, and prejudice against Islam or Muslims —especially when it comes to the perception of terrorism. According to some reports, the FBI said Islamophobic hate crimes figures spiked from 1617% from 2000 to 2001.

The media and film industry is mostly American Christians who fear America is at risk for hostile takeover by Muslims. However, those misguided individuals falsely believe we will force our religion onto them. This fear goes back to the religious wars between Christians and Muslims.  

Facts about Muslims

Muslims Continue To Fight An Image Problem Muslims Continue To Fight An Image Problem. Photo Getty images

There are more than 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide. I place great emphasis on this figure because one man’s action doesn’t reflect all of our views.

9/11 is Muslims downfall

Muslims Continue To Fight An Image Problem. Photo Getty images
Bin Laden in Afghanistan in 1998. Photograph: AP

Before the 9/11 attacks, most Americans were not familiar with Islam’s ideologies, because if there were, they would have seen that our way of living is about divine, and love for mankind.  Yet, because of Osama bin Laden, a man who represents filth, regardless of how much we Muslims proclaim and uphold our dignity to all mankind, we will always be against the ropes trying to dodge and duck to prove that we belong.

Powerful scripture from the Holy Qur’an

“O mankind! We created you from a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes that you may know and honor each other (not that you should despise one another). Indeed, the most honorable of you in the sight of God is the most righteous.” Chapter 49, Verse 13.

As-Salaam-Alaikum, and may Peace be unto you, your family, and other loved ones happy 2022.

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