The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

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The Truth of Islam

Due to the actions of many Islamic extremist groups such as Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Boko Haram, and ISIS, many American citizens have formed ill-informed stereotypes against all Muslims.

These false stereotypes have caused some Americans to think that all Muslims are terrorists,and that the Islamic religion preaches hatred and violence.  These bigoted beliefs, however, are untrue and ignorant.  Islam is a peaceful religion that teaches its followers to be loving and generous, yet many people form their opinions about the religion based on an incredibly small fraction of their members.

According to the Population Reference Bureau, there are about 1.6 billion Muslims in the world as of 2010, making up about 20 percent of the world’s population.  And according to EncounteringIslam.org, a website which teaches courses regarding the Islamic faith, about 93 percent of Muslims do not support the extremists.  But despite these statistics, many Americans still paint Muslims with a broad brush and think that they all support terrorism.

Sophomore Areebah Bushra Kagzi, who is a dedicated Muslim, strongly believes that these stereotypes are wrong and hurtful.

“The stereotypes make me feel kind of sad because the people who are saying those stereotypes are ignorant!” Kagzi exclaimed. “And sometimes I want to ask them ‘Have you ever met a Muslim? Because Muslims are not like what they are perceived to be.’”

Libertyville geography teacher Mr. Bill Mix believes that these stereotypes are a result of a lack of education.

“When a culture doesn’t know a lot about another culture, assumptions are made, and that’s a dangerous thing,” Mr. Mix stated.

Both Kagzi and Mr. Mix believe that the root of these stereotypes is the media.  The American media often makes it seem like these small terrorist organizations represent every Muslim in the world.

“If you hear about one group targeting another in our country, it’s reported as a hate crime, but if it’s Islamic-based, then it’s reported as terrorism,” Mr. Mix explained. “Most of these terrorist actions being committed are not a result of Islam, but instead a result of hating their government or their economy.”

Unfortunately, the media rarely reports these terrorist actions fairly, and they also report primarily negative things about Muslims and the Islamic faith.

“There are a small percent of Muslims who are committing these terrors and the media makes it look like all Muslims are committing them,” Kagzi stated.  “There are about 1.6 billion muslims in the world.  How can you stereotype that many people?”

Thankfully, it seems that as a society, we are heading in a positive direction to end these stereotypes.  In many classes here at LHS, the peacefulness of the Islamic faith is discussed quite often.  In the United States, it is necessary to educate the youth about the true facts about Islam, and that starts in the schools.

Kagzi believes that there are two ways to help end these false stereotypes against Muslims.  The first method focuses on education.

“We must educate about how Islam isn’t what the media portrays it as… We, Muslims, need to educate the youth since they are the ones who determine our future.”

The other method is to not believe everything you hear from the media, and also to form your opinions based off first-hand experience.

“Meet a Muslim and spend time with them, then you will learn who they are by their actions and characteristics,” Kagzi said. “Also you will learn that Muslims are caring, kind and they are normal people who believe in a peaceful religion.”

 

 

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The Truth of Islam