Imagine for a second, you are walking down the street. Your typical, average day includes dirty looks and nasty stares. Passersby look you up and down and sneer. They point when they think you’re not looking. They whisper to their friends about you. You hear the words, “towel head” and “terrorist”. Whether you’re a man with a beard and taqiyah (prayer cap) or a woman with a head scarf, it hurts to be treated this way. So why does it happen? Why do so many non-Muslims continuously provoke the Muslims in this country? Why here in the United States, where we have freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom to show the world that we are Christian or Muslim or Jewish? The apparent answer to why many Muslims are treated so harshly is because they are afraid of Muslims and their religion or in one word: Islamophobia. Islamophobia is what happens when you combine fear and lack of knowledge of Islam. To explore this matter further, a group of people at Oyster River High School were asked to say the first word that came to mind, when hearing the word, Islam. Alex Eustace, age 15 of Lee, NH, said Quran.
Adam Stevens, sophomore at ORHS, said terrorists.
Taylor Rioux, sophomore at ORHS, said 9/11.
This association of 9/11 with Muslims is a mistaken belief. True, the people who instigated 9/11 claimed to be Muslims, but they were not. Hannah Herz-Khan, a Muslim of Durham, NH shares her opinion about the topic, “I feel as though Islamophobia was heavily brought on after September 11, which is unfair to compare because you can’t even call the people who did that Muslim. Islamophobia is really just a phobia of terrorists in any religion.” Iman Ashtiani, a Muslim of Jasper, Texas agrees, “I think they are close minded to a sharp point. They have been exposed to the media's view of Muslims. In the past 10 years Islam has doubled in population. The phobia is fading from more people but increasing for the few.” Contrary to popular...