The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Viewpoint – Islamophobia stems from misinformation instead of real fear

By Jamil Oakford/se news editor

Fearing the unknown is a common human response, but it’s definitely not OK to fear a large group of people.

Islam wasn’t widely talked about in the U.S. 15 years ago. But after the 9/11 attacks and the wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq, Islam has been brought to the forefront of conversation.

Some use the terrifying images of extremism like ISIS, Hamas and Al-Qaida to give a “clear” picture to the face of Islam, but here’s the thing: There’s no logical way that’s true.

According to the Pew Research Center, 1.6 billion people across the globe identify themselves as Muslim. That is 23 percent of the world’s population. If this is true, how can pockets of people represent 1.6 billion people?

Recently Bill Maher, a political comedian, made a lot of brash and sweeping generalizations about Muslims across the world. In an episode of Real Time with Bill Maher that aired Oct. 3, he found himself arguing with Ben Affleck over Islam.

Maher’s guest who was brought on specifically to talk about the “problem” with Islam was fellow atheist and author Sam Harris. He only reflected the host’s ideas, which Affleck called both “gross” and “racist.” Harris even went as far as to say that Islam was the “mother lode of bad ideas.”

The problem with Maher and Harris’ views on trying to “expose” whatever problem they have with Islam is that they are using religious extremists as the subject of comparison. It’s about as logical as saying Christian extremist groups represent Christians as a whole.

It’s sickening to see and hear this argument especially since Islamic extremism is a concern for everyone, especially in predominantly Muslim countries. In Morocco, 73 percent of people believe Islamic extremism is a threat to their country, the Pew Center says.

Also, 79 percent in Morocco and 66 percent in Indonesia believe that suicide bombings are never a solution.

The more extremism displayed in western media, the more tension and aggravation toward Islam grows worse. The only way one can really shed light on something unknown is by self-educating.

Read the Quran, visit a local mosque and speak to an imam or even speak to a practicing Muslim.

We’re all responsible for educating ourselves, and Islamophobia is a reflection of ignorance.

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