Islam being the fastest growing religion, has adhered a lot of positive as well as negative attention from the media. Due to this vast media influence stereotypes in Islam have increased from terrorism, Muslims have been discriminated merely due to the negative outlook that North America has portrayed upon them. The media tends to entwine the truth and to make Muslims seem perilous. Having that simple coherence of one another will be the start to making a difference.
Islam is one of the most inspiring religions in the world. It is practiced in many countries, including Northern Africa, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and Iraq. Due to it being such a large religion, us people of the west tend to have a little understanding and knowledge about the religion. The very bitter truth is that not many people outside the religion can fully grasp their principles. With so many stereotypes being constantly circulated, it is very hard to get an evident picture about Islam both as a religion and as way of living. The first stereotype has to do with the jihad. Jihad literally means “The struggle in the path of God”, or “holy war”. This term unfortunately has been totally misunderstood and made to make it appear as though the Muslim people fight their way through all their problems.
Jihad could mean ones spiritual struggle against infidels and does not always refer to actual violence. This pillar of faith has been completely turned around in order to portray Islam in a negative manner, which is surly something that we’ve adapted to through the media. Another stereotype is that women in the Muslim society are not treated equally or with respect. People feel this way because the women often wear a hijab which consists of a veil covering the head. This is actually a personal choice of the women, not a requirement. It was said in the Qu’ran that women and men were to be treated equally. By judging people too quickly we tend to forget to look inside rather then to make assumptions due to an appearance.
Stereotypes such as the ones mentioned are absolutely biased and extremely unfair to the Muslim people. Many times, the media does not catch the side of the story where real people are being affected and influenced by what the society thinks and says about them. We seem to act as though we are more superior and that we are perfect and do not make mistakes. Just because some people from a certain religion make a poor choice does not mean that everyone else is that religion is bound to as well. It is the same with the Muslim people. Just because there are terrorists who hurt themselves and those around them for selfish reasons, does not mean that every other Muslim is just as destructive.
I feel that people need to be more open minded and try to do research and become more educated before judging and discriminating. If for once all religions saw eye to eye and did not try to put one another down then we would live in a much peaceful world. By not becoming educated, we basically take someone else’s opinion, or the medias and make it our own without looking deeper into the situation. If we just stop being selfish for just a moment, perhaps we can start again and try to live in harmony with our fellow human beings.
During the past two weeks I have learned a lot about Islam, although I did know the basis of the religion people my family practices it. Although some of the thinks that I thought I knew turned out to be totally false I always thought the women never played a role in society and that the Muslim people really did have extremist views. After taking a closer look, I came to realize that I was not even close. It was so interesting and almost relieving to come to that realization that these people are simply misunderstood and are the victims of brutal discriminatory attacks.
The biggest thing I learned from all this was not to judge a book by its cover. We can’t really have an opinion or pass judgment on a situation that we know nothing of. I realized now that people twist things in order to get a good story but as soon as people are educated about these matters, the media can no longer fool us into believing it all. Acting upon new knowledge, and most importantly correct knowledge is the way to see through the discrimination and look deep inside.
Misconceptions and stereotypes about Islam and the Muslim community have increases majorly in the past couple of years. People have become too quick to judge and believe everything that the media tells them. Through knowledge and coherence about Islam and the Muslim people we would come to understand that it is all a simple misunderstanding and that really the Muslims are victims in this manifesto. We should not let others form opinions in our head and to stay ignorant to the reality of the world. By doing this we save ourselves from becoming something that is not really human, but more so a robot that’s being controlled by the media, if we just stop and think for ourselves, we could live in harmony, and achieve world peace, a feeling that’s everlasting.