When a presidential front-runner says that all Muslims should be entered into a database and his polls go up, people might confuse the year 2015 for 1941, when Hitler introduced the ‘Yellow Star,’ a policy that dictated Jews in Europe were required to wear the Star of David in public. This policy served to dehumanize Jewish people, kind of like inmates are stripped of their names and given numbers.
Ever since the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center people have reacted to their fear by demonizing people of the Islamic faith, which is exactly what terrorists groups like ISIS want; a war between Islam and the West. It’s important to note that ISIS is not Islam, and associating the two is like letting the Ku Klux Klan represent Christianity.
“A few months ago we were supposed to hate Mexicans, and he thinks they’re all criminals and rapists. And now we’re supposed to hate Muslims. That kind of crap is not gonna work in the United States of America,” said Bernie Sanders, presidential candidate.
The problem with people like Donald Trump is that allowing someone like this to share their hurtful opinions feeds the fear of others and offers peace by solutions of discrimination and violence. Hate is a weed that grows in the garden of our society reappearing each season whether it be in the form of “No Colored Allowed” signs in 1925 to Japanese internment camps in 1942 to desecrated mosques in 2015.
Islamophobia is defined as the dislike of or prejudice against Islam or Muslims, especially as a political force. Islamophobia is in that look that man gave the girl wearing a hijab, it’s in that bomb joke someone made about their Muslim friend, it’s in that slur said low but still loud enough to be heard, it’s in not hesitating to call a couple who shot up a building for people with disabilities ‘Terrorists,’ but excusing a church shooter as a ‘loner’. When people hate Muslims it’s not helping anyone other than extremist groups and disgusting politicians who are gaining votes by exploitation of hate and fear.
“That’s just not what my religion is about. I’m not a terrorist, but somehow every time there’s a bombing or a shooting, I get looks. It’s a serious problem for people in my community. I know we (students) are taught from a Eurocentric view but I think if they spent more than two days on Islam people would get an idea about what we’re really about,” said Alia Farid (real name withheld).