Welcome back, comrades! Today, we’re going to be talking about something a little different from socialism, but I believe it fits right in with socialism’s message of equality. In memory of the tragedy on 9/11, we will be talking about the social status of Muslims in America.
I’m going to start off by saying that I’m not trying to offend anyone. I’m trying to show the difference between Jihadists, militants corrupted by rogue bits of the Quran; and your average Muslims, people who follow the Quran in the same way that most Christians follow the Bible.
Muslims worship Islam, a religion that branched off of Judaism in the Middle East around the early seventh century. The first Muslims came to America in the 17th century as African slaves. America started to see Muslims immigrate from the Middle East in the late 19th century. Today, we have 6.1 million Muslims living with us here in America.
On Sept. 11, 2001, there were 2.8 million Muslims living in the United States. When the two planes destroyed the Twin Towers, 1,762 people were killed. Thirty-one of those victims were Muslim Americans, including a woman who was seven months pregnant.
Now, it seems like we’ve blamed the people that those victims left behind. They’ve been a scapegoat for our two wars and for terrorist attacks worldwide. All because they’ve been stereotyped into the idea that all Muslims are violent Islamists.
“…So We decreed for the tribe of Israel that if someone kills another person – unless it is in retaliation for someone else or for causing corruption in the earth – it is as if he had murdered all mankind.” (Qur’an 5: 32)
The vast majority of Muslims follow this creed, not the preachings of violent Islamists like Osama Bin Laden or Ayman al-Zawahiri. Since 9/11, there have been 33 mass attacks in America. Thirty of them were committed by people who weren’t Muslim.
One of the biggest misunderstandings most people have of Islam is Jihad. Since we’ve been at war with Islamic countries, the term Jihad has been twisted and deformed into meaning a Holy War. When you think of Jihad, what do you think of? Suicide bombers, the Taliban, 9/11? What if I told you that Malcolm X was a much better example of true Jihad. Or Martin Luther King Jr.
These two civil rights leaders are much better examples because they represent the true meaning of Jihad: a struggle. More specifically, a struggle for enlightenment. Everyday we live through our own struggles. Our own form of Jihad. Some have a Jihad, a struggle, to pass that AHAP test. Some have a Jihad to get healthy again so they can play soccer. My Jihad is to try to end the stereotype of the people who live with us in this diverse country.
Calling all Muslims violent is like accusing all Christians of being violent because of the Crusades or the Inquisition. We need to get rid of this idea that Muslim Americans are bent to destroy us because the vast majority of them are just like every other American. We need to stop looking at them as Muslim Americans, and just see them as Americans. Americans that love their country and their god. Just like most of us.
It’s time that we wage a Jihad against the ignorance and stereotypes of our countrymen and women. Because no one should get upset if there’s a Muslim community center built at 51 Park Place, down the street from Ground Zero. Because my Turkish friend Fuad won’t be picked for a “random” pat down when he tries to fly. Because we look at Muslims as violent extremists, we should look at them as our neighbors.
It’s time that we treat every culture equally. This is a country who believes liberty. It’s time that we live up to what we believe in. Till next time, to next year in Copenhagen!
If you have anymore questions about Jihad, please watch this speech by student speaker Adil Abdulla at an International Baccalaureate conference in Toronto, Canada.
Comments are closed.