By Jenna Jones, Opinions/Reviews Editor
Photo by Baylie Clevenger
Today, the most practiced religion is Christianity, followed by Islam. The tensions between these groups have only gotten worse in the past 20 years, due to numerous wars, conflicts and terrorism. Unfortunately, the latter has caused a type of discrimination and persecution towards Muslims, especially in western nations.
Each terrorist attack by Islamic extremists has had a huge backlash on the Muslim community as a whole, with surges of Islamophobia taking over the populace.
The origins of Islamophobia date back to the times of the Crusades and even further, but the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 are what sparked much of the recent fear of Muslims in many western nations.
After the Charlie Hebdo attacks in France on January 7, the “#KillAllMuslims” tag on twitter and other social media has been trending as one of the most popular tags. Contrary to this, the hostage situation in Sydney, Australia in December had an entirely different outcome as the “#IllRideWithYou” tag took off as a way to make Muslims in Australia feel safer while using public transport.
It is disgusting to me that, even today, we as a society often allow the acts of a few to reflect on the character of all. To allow the outrageous and unorthodox actions of people who have no regard for what their religion prohibits to influence and encourage the hatred and fear of all Muslims is ridiculous.
“Just because one person does something wrong does not mean a whole group is bad. We’re just afraid of what we don’t know,” said Mazie Bernard, 10.
The fact of the matter is that there are extremists in every group of people, religious or not. There are Christian extremists who have attacked numerous places of worship for other religions. There are political extremists who censor their opponents to stay in power. There are extremist supremacy groups like the Ku Klux Klan, who terrorize people of other races.
The systematic targeting and persecution of people of Muslim faith needs to stop. It is in no way justified, and actually causes more harm than good by increasing tensions with a generally peaceful religious group.