I Am a Muslim: The Personal and Social Impact of Islamophobia

Have you ever been a subject of discrimination or one of society’s victims? Whether it is sexism, racism, Islamophobia, or homophobia. Everyone believes they are accepted by society until one person makes a bad decision that leads to the suffering of the group of people they’re associated with. For instance, due to the 9/11, Muslims, Desi people, and Arabs around the world are being punished for a horrible event that was pinned on them. Racists and Islamophobic people assume all Muslims/Arabs collectively agreed to take down the Twin Towers.

Even after a decade, recent generations still face the consequences for something they had no control over.

Studies show that 2 of 5 Canadians across Canada have faced discrimination. No matter how valuable you think you are to society, anyone will turn on you in an instant, regardless of your status. In a second, everything changes. Huge celebrities, such as Zayn Malik, have faced harsh discrimination for their identity, as well as your average person, such as as myself and many others.

Being accepted by Western society is very difficult. In order to be a part of society you must be disconnected from your cultural identity. Being Muslim is quite difficult because we are hated across the world. For instance, Zayn Malik is a well known artist. Zayn is originally from Pakistan, born and raised in England, and also used to be Muslim. He was a part of a teen boy band, known as One Direction. When One Direction fans found out that he was Muslim, he received a lot of unnecessary hate.

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Sources say the discrimination Zayn Malik faced is the reason behind him leaving the group. Zayn prefers not to be associated with Pakistan or Islam. He was pushed away from his religion and cultural identity.

North American society will never accept you for who you are. Think about any big celebrity, they rarely take pride in their culture or religion. This is because of the discrimination they face. In 2018, Zayn Malik posted a picture of him and his girlfriend in cultural Pakistani clothing, but he deleted it shortly after. Sources state that he received endless hate on the picture and the only solution was to delete it. It’s upsetting that minority groups don’t get the chance to share their culture, because when they do, they receive a lot of unnecessary judgement. This forces celebrities to choose between their career or beliefs.

Another example of cultural discrimation occurred with a local Indigenous dance crew. They received a lot of hate on a video of them performing a cultural dance. The comment section was filled with rude comments which were mocking and insulting their culture.

Furthermore, over the years, Islamophobia became normalized. On April 3, 2018, a UK man wanted to create “Punish a Muslim” day, so he went around giving out letters to people to encourage to participate. For each act of violence towards a Muslim, you would receive points. Burning a mosque down, throwing acid, harassing Muslims, and many more. He was later arrested. Due to society, I am portrayed and labeled as dangerous. Muslims are constantly victims of hate crimes. We will always be the outcasts in the eyes of close minded people.

In China, there is a Muslim genocide happening right now. Some people call it the Muslim Holocaust because of how similar the concentration camps are to the original Holocaust. There are between 1.5 million-3 million inmates at the camps. Women and kids are gang raped by the officers while their husbands, fathers, and brothers watch. The men are beaten with metal bars, sticks, and wires while they are naked and shove metal bars where the sun doesn’t shine. The officers also take skewers and stab the hostages with them under their nails, in their eyes, ears and their private area. They are starved and are forced to practice other religions. While awake, children are cut open, with no anesthesia, so that their organs can be harvested. Muslims in China are tortured daily because of their religion.

They are also forcing the Muslims to become infertile by performing surgeries on them so that they don’t reproduce Muslim babies. This has been happening since 2017 and only surfaced on the news in 2019. Recently, president of the United States, Joe Biden, and Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, have been looking into the genocide.

The Chinese representatives has been denying the genocide and state that it is simply a “re-education camp”. Islamophobia is everywhere, and it is very scary because Islamophobes are not openly Islamophobic. They are unpredictable, especially in Canada since Canadians are “so nice and accepting”. A lot of people don’t believe that there are people around them who are Islamophobic. It could be your teacher, classmates, neighbour, or sometimes your own family.

Islamophobic hate crimes have made us Muslims fear being openly Muslim. Punish a Muslim Day and the Uygurs Genocide is evidence to the fear Muslims have in their hearts. A few years ago, while i was walking home from school, a tall white man, probably in his late 40s approached me. He was walking fairly fast and shouting, “Go back to your f**king country, you f**king terrorist” and “Take that s**t towel off your f**king head”. He also told me that my “kind” do not belong here. I was 13 years old at the time so I didn’t think much of it since it wasn’t the first time I’ve heard such nasty words. I get called a terrorist, oppressed, dangerous, and scary.

Another example would be when I was in the 5th grade. My classmate started wearing the hijab but it was a different than the ones me and my Muslim Arab friends wore. The teacher told my classmate to take it off because she didn’t believe that it was a hijab. Being 10 years old, I tried my best to explain to my teacher that the hijab she was wearing is a very common hijab in North African as it is a part of their culture. While reading the 9/11 essay written by Ms.Qureshi, I felt upset and unsettled because this essay showed an accurate representation of what racism is like towards Muslims.

Although the essay was written in 2013, to this day I am still able to relate to the fear Ms.Qureshi described as being a Muslim American. I am a Muslim Canadian and I underrstand the difficulties she mentioned in the essay. Being a mulsim in a Western society is very difficult due to the stereotypes that are made about Muslims, which are most likely tied to the 9/11 incident in some form. Reports state that Osama Bin Laden said Islam is the reason behind all his violence and that Islam promotes terrorism.

Osama Bin Laden was behind a lot of terrorist attacks in the United states, and possibly the horrific 9/11 incident. He is one of the reasons Islam is portrayed negatively. Since then, there has been a barrier between Muslims and society. Muslims and Arabs living in America were afraid to say they were Muslims or Arab, just as Ms. Qureshi mentioned in her essay. We try to hide our identity in fear of discrimination and becoming possible victims of Muslim hate crimes.

In conclusion, we all assume we are a part of society and that we are accepted. Although, if one person from a minority group does something illegal or harmful, the group they are a part of will be labelled as dangerous, and your average person who had nothing to do with the incident, will be punished. Racist, sexist, and Islamophobic people of society will then make your life miserable. They will make you feel as if you don’t belong. Terrorist attacks such as the 9/11 incident have nothing to do with Muslims, even if Mr. Laden was behind it. In Islam, we believe that if you harm one person it is as if you’ve harmed all of mankind, it is a great sin.

Unfortunately, Islam is tied to terrorism because of a few people felt like their life was meaningless so they committed crimes in the name of God. There are bad people in every race, sexuality, culture, and religion, but that doesn’t mean we should label everyone of the same group as bad or dangerous. We are responsible for our actions and our actions alone. No one should be a victim of hate. As an Arab Muslim women, I am able to speak from personal experience and it is very difficult for one person to stand up against a racist society. Here’s what you can do to help, Instead of assuming everyone of a specific group is the same, you should take time and get to know them.

Everyone in this room is part of a group that has been portrayed inaccurately by society and social media. As minorities, we must stand by each other to prove that the stereotypes made about us are never accurate. Sharing our experiences and being open about what we go through will make those around more aware of the mental, emotional and physical abuse caused by stereotypes and it will encourage people to be more conscious of the invalid facts related to racial statements.

Cite this page

I Am a Muslim: The Personal and Social Impact of Islamophobia. (2023, May 17). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/i-am-a-muslim-the-personal-and-social-impact-of-islamophobia/

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