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I memorized every possible way that one could label someone an Islamic terrorist or a Muslim extremist.I wrote emails to Glenn Beck’s shows, to Anderson Cooper’s blog posts, and anywhere that had a comment section — I felt that I needed to explain myself and my existence.
“If a person commits an act of terrorism, it does not negate or change the principles of the religion he claims to follow.
If a Catholic Irish republic army terrorist encourages terrorism. xfile=data/international/2011/March/international_March121.xml§ion=international Moore.
If the headscarf is the symbol of the oppression of women who need to be saved, how is it that women with headscarves are rejected from jobs or not allowed to continue their education?
If spaces that are meant to help women progress then why are they the institutions that are, often, at the forefront of denying women their basic human rights?
Especially the notion that we needed to be saved from the men in our lives — these men, who are also victims of FBI surveillance, imprisonment, and torture — the terrorists who terrorize us and the rest of the world. invasion of Afghanistan — following Laura Bush’s call to save the Afghan women — became prime examples of this contradiction, of the world where we are both the threat and the victim.
A few years back I wrote a poem about the impact of the occupation of Iraq’s impact on Iraqi women, specifically the story of a young Iraqi girl raped by U. soldiers, and I ended it with a line that reads: The idea of saving Muslim women comes hand in hand with implementing a system of violence against Muslim men. When I say we are labeled as the largest threat to the Western public, I don’t specifically mean as opposed to Muslim men.This continued on as I studied more of the Western world’s oppression towards people of color and Muslims throughout my college years.This obvious contradiction was startling for me and one that I could not grasp.Islam is one of the largest growing religions in the world; “a comprehensive demographic study of more than 200 countries finds that there are 1.57 billion Muslims of all ages living in the world today.” (“Mapping the global Muslim population”, 2009). The followers of Islam are called Muslims and According to the Quran “they believe that the... The world seemed like a dark place to be a Muslim, so I mostly avoided the public.I rarely went out shopping with my mother or wanted to be seen outside at all — the world was as big and as hateful as the comment sections of the internet.Whether or not I fully comprehended the sweeping generalizations I attempted to convince others with, I was desperate to believe that, somewhere, outside my home, there was a place for me to belong.Looking back now, I can’t help but feel incredibly sorry for that child who lived as a contradiction every day; to be simultaneously pitied but seen as a threat is not an easy dilemma.This essay is an endeavor to discuss some basic causes of stereotypical images of Islam and their effects on the society in general and the Muslim community in particular. Islam is a religion that encourages peace and understanding among people of all beliefs, and it strongly prohibits any forms of violence or aggression against all people, regardless of their faith or race.