By Zara Ahmad
After the tragedy that took place on September 11, 2001, there was a rapid growth of Islamophobia in society. The term can be defined as the prejudice against, fear of, and hatred towards the religion. Which eventually led to the dislike and discrimination of many Muslims in the years that followed. People who were in support of such opinions, felt as though Islam preached violence, inhumanity, and terrorism. Unfortunately, because of this, these misconceptions are still prevalent today in some parts of the country. Although we, the Muslim ummah, cannot change how people felt about Islam in the past, we can work towards changing the way they see it now.
I for one, am appalled by the number of people who are still against Islam. While doing research on this topic, I stumbled upon a Facebook page titled, “Anti-Islam Alliance.” With 14,229 likes, the striking number of people who support such an ignorant viewpoint really took me by surprise. As we all know, Facebook is one of the most common forms of communication worldwide for people of all ages but most importantly, today’s youth. The age group that the page was the most popular for, ranged from eighteen to twenty four. Seeing as the incident occurred a little over eleven years ago, most people from this age group were thirteen or even younger when it happened. That means that they developed Islamophobic ideas at a young age, and carried them throughout their adolescence. It is possible that they were influenced by the media, friends, parents, and other family members who also shared anti-Islamic beliefs. It is unfortunate how many people are misinformed about what Islam really is. A religion based on willingness, submission, guidance, and humility.
It is important to teach today’s younger generation that Islam is not only a religion of peace, but also a way of life. It is important to raise Islamic awareness, and to get the youth involved in activities that will make others perceive Islam in a positive light. An example of one of these activities could be to work together towards putting an end to “Anti-Islam” by having accurate information about Islam readily available, and by keeping in mind that we must live our own lives in such a way that we represent all that is beautiful about our deen, being careful not to further encourage dangerous misconceptions.
Picture Reference: Time Magazine