Lately, I have been feeling like I need to apologize for being Muslim. Every time I hear about a crazy act of terrorism in the West, especially in the US, I pray for the victims but I also pray that the psychopath carrying out the act does not have a Muslim name or background. When 9/11 happened, I was devastated personally that this happened in NYC, my hometown. My husband still has trouble dealing with that day as he was working a block away from the towers. I was also scared to walk around in public with my hijab and was lucky to have a very big and brave friend walk around with me until I started to feel safe again. However, there is a big difference between then and now. Back then, President Bush, leader of the Republican party, clearly stated that the majority of American Muslims are not guilty and are a peace loving people. “Its teachings are good and peaceful… the enemy of America is not our many Muslim friends; it is not our many Arab friends. Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists..”
Unfortunately, we are in the middle of a very vicious political campaign where the candidate that can spew the most hateful messages gets the higher ratings. We have a mainstream political candidate that is questioning all American Muslims and wants to shut down mosques and a 24 hour news channel that is constantly attacking Islam and all Muslims. This is what the terrorists want. They want it to be an “us against them” mentality. They do not believe that different people can live together peacefully in a civil society. Living together in peace means that their hate filled rhetoric does not make any sense. The United States was built on a premise that no other nation ever had before, that all humans are deserving of a place to worship freely. What will this great nation look like if this is taken away?