What is Islam? Oh, right it’s that religion of terrorists. That religion of female oppression. That religion of restrictions. The ones who can’t eat pork. They can’t drink alcohol, How pathetic. That’s what they think right?

That’s the norm now. Its normal to think this. This slander, we’ve gotten used to it, because we have to. To continue in this world, we have to avoid the criticism, the racism, the exclusion. Should I go on? However, why do you we need to do this. Why can’t we live in peace? Why is it that we are always disadvantaged? Muslims do not deserve this discrimination. No one does, no one deserves to go through this discrimination. As a Muslim, this annoys me to no end, and I have the right to speak about this.

Before we confront the problem, we first must find the source of the problem. In this case, Islamophobia stems from fear the fear of Islam, the fear of a religion. Although pretty vague the media has portrayed Islam as murderous, restrictive and something ‘other’. There is one specific event I would like to link to this new form of Islamophobia. The 9/11 terrorist attack. This attack was supposedly done by an Islamic militant organization known as al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda was led by the one and only, Osama bin Laden. I refer to him this way because, this is what all people know. This “Osama bin Laden” is Muslim and caused the 9/11 attack. Therefore Osama Bin Laden = Terrorist = Muslim. So, all Muslims = terrorists. Let’s compare this to another similar situation to understand the idiocy that follows this ideology. Apples are red, and are also fruits, so apple = fruit = red. Using the logic from earlier, this tells us that all fruits = red, which isn’t true. Not all Muslims are terrorists and I believe everyone should know that.

It’s also not as if the media is helping the Muslim community’s reputation. By name dropping Bin Laden, his religion, and just spreading false information about Muslims and Islam. The misconception that screaming “Allahuakbar” means Muslims are going to bomb everything is mindless fear backed up with only faint voices saying “Bin Laden” in people’s heads. Media has hammered in our heads the fact that “Bin Laden caused 9/11 and he is Muslim,” all a ploy to destroy our reputation. Religion shouldn’t be broken down to one trait characterised by the extremists of said religion. It’s like saying if a male kills a person, all males are murderers, and yes, some people may believe that statement, but generally not. It’s painful to be Muslim. It’s painful to exist in this world. I can probably go on for pages about experiences I’ve had regarding only my name. Abdulrahman is an unapologetically Islamic name. However, I’m proud to have this name, despite the bad experiences and connotations it brings.

Our lives have gotten to a point where people are whispering “Bin Laden” in our ears if we remotely look Muslim. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. And I hope it changes. My statements here make no difference to the outcome of how Muslims are treated in the future, my statements may be limited to these 600 words, but this story is the reality of me and many. You may think, there is nothing left living for if you are a Muslim in the 21st Century, but you must know this. You are not alone. To any Muslim, any Muslim who is feeling sad, or disappointed or scared due to religion misconceptions, just know. We are all one. This probably means nothing coming from a stranger, a soul bound to the words you read in this document, just know. We care. We can make it through together. This is the start of change.

Article by Abdulrahman Hussein
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