The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Islamaphobia a constant battle against ignorance

This past week, a 14-year-old Muslim boy was put in handcuffs by police and suspended after showing his teacher a handmade clock who mistook for a bomb at Mac Arthur high school in Texas.

Ahmed Mohammed is one of many cases of Islamophobia, a fear or hate towards Islam and Muslims.

After 9/11 the media has anthologized extremist acts that have profoundly affected the Muslim-American communities with misperceptions of their religion.

“The media puts so much emphasis on Arab countries and people associate them with Muslims believing blindly,” Sarah Desmond, 21, undeclared major and President of the MSA (Muslim Student Association) said.

Desmond says she has had people treat her differently because of the way she dresses and that it has made her feel small and vulnerable.

People should not be blamed or treated this way to compensate the atrocities of terrorist groups who use the faith as a crutch. Mohammed is one of the many cases that fall prey to Islamophobia.

The media’s portrayal of Muslims by making broad generalizations to peddle the same non-sequitur arguments that add fuel to the same people who believe in it have constructed this negative frame around Muslims.

So who is going to explain the facts to the misinformed?

Sadly, when the media tries to report this issue to shed some light, anchors usually push their own agenda and what surfaces are a roundtable of “sophisticated” people who bombard members of the faith with racists questions and claims.

With the power of social media, serving as the main platform for everyone’s opinion. When does it stop becoming a hot topic or a trend of the month and start bringing in discussions?

Some may claim that Mohammed’s clock did look like a bomb and that he wasn’t targeted because he was Muslim. YouTuber Joey Salads conducted an experiment “out of curiosity” to see if he would get reactions as a white male sitting down around public places with a briefcase clock.

Some people in the video double looked at Salads homemade clock. Some genuinely looked suspicious of him but after confrontation, and some of them would say “he didn’t look like he would have bomb.”

So is it so surprising that he did get arrested?

Yes, because a 14-year-old boy with menacing glasses and a NASA t-shirt looks like a security threat.

This multifaceted problem is very hard to clear up due to the media’s poor portrayal of Muslims, but if people investigated and talked to members of the faith, some common misperceptions could be diminished.

Islam is not a race or ethnicity, its a religion that any person of a different race can be a part of.

The time is now to start a narrative in society, talking to someone who is Islamic and exchanging knowledge as equals and getting rid of any misconceptions.

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