I have yet to stop learning while being in college. I guess they’re telling the truth when they say college is full of continuous, enlightening information that keeps coming despite the lack of sleep and constant mental breakdowns that learning entails.
However, I’m sick of being taught that Muslims are murderers.
I was too young to remember exactly what followed after 9/11, and although I’ve grown up in a post-9/11 world where the idea that airport security means madness and deportation is actually taken seriously, I was too young to understand the politicians and I was too naive to comprehend messages from the media.
I’m old enough now though, and if this post-9/11 world has taught me anything, it has taught me to hate. Or its tried to anyway.
Politicians (this term should be used loosely in this case) such as Donald Trump have instilled fear into our country. We have been taught to fear anyone different, anyone foreign, anyone who has a darker skin tone than us. And above all else, we have been taught to fear Muslims.
Even worse, we have been taught to hate them.
Nobody wants to talk about the two white male shooters who shot 12 students and one teacher in 1999 at Columbine High School. Or the 23-year-old from South Korea who killed 32 people. You never hear people talk about Adam Lanza, another white male who slaughtered 30 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary.
Nobody even specifically targets the white man responsible for the Aurora theater shooting that injured 70 and killed 12. The Charleston church shooter, who was responsible for the deaths of 12 people and is suspected to be a white supremacist, hasn’t been spoken of after the attacks, either.
I find it strange that these men who were all responsible for murder haven’t caused problems for their entire race. After these massacres, we hated the shooter. We hated the person. We hated the individual.
We didn’t hate all white people. We didn’t blame their entire race or religion.
Somehow, after the Orlando shooting at Pulse Nightclub left 49 dead, we have begun to blame all Muslims for the actions of one man. It’s like we have been convinced that all Muslims are murderers. And now, we have been taught to fear them. We have been taught not to trust them.
In turn, we’ve been influenced to hurt them. Maybe not physically and maybe not visibly, but our actions, our opinions and our discrimination is going to hurt the group being punished because of the actions of one man.
We need to realize before our stereotypes begin changing our perceptions: Muslims are not murderers. They are not trained to kill, they are not taught to hate and their religion does not preach violence.
Humans are murderers. That means that we cannot treat Muslims differently because of who we think they will be and what we think they will do. We cannot condemn everyone.
I have little faith that things will change or return back to the “good ol’ days” before the terrorist attacks in 2001. I doubt that politicians will stop leading their people using fear tactics. And I have little hope that bigotry and discrimination will come to an end.
We must learn to accept, we must learn to understand and we must learn not to blame. Pointing fingers will get us nowhere.
So no, Muslims are no more destined to be murderers than the rest of us.