Being a Muslim in today's fearful society is not all that easy. However, through a unique experience, I was able to overcome the horrors of the communities. The most common misconception about Muslims is that they are terrorists. In fact, it seems that one cannot seem to speak about Islam without giving thought to this point. However, this is not a true statement. It is nevertheless, a meeting point for hate crimes and propaganda against Islam. Each global disaster is blamed on the Muslims; consequently we are not given a chance to prove ourselves as a good community. .
Terrorism took a record-high toll around the world in 1998, with 741 people killed and 5,952 injured (Chicago Tribune, 4-21-95). The World Trade Center, Oklahoma City bombing and even the airplane crashes were all being blamed on Muslims as terrorist attacks. As a Muslim during the time of the Oklahoma City bombing, I was usually the center of conversations. People were constantly ridiculing and whispering about me. I was tired of being pointed at while walking through the grocery stores, or department stores. I did not want to be the one that everyone was making fun of. I just wanted to be my old self again. The one thing I never understood was why just the Muslims? The Catholics were also bombing abortion clinics. Yet I was mocked; they were not.
One evening, after coming home from a long and exhausting day, I saw the newspaper sitting on the coffee table. Blasted all over the front page in big, black, bold letters was written, "HAVE THE MUSLIMS STRUCK AGAIN?” Reading that one headline made me feel as though someone had just ripped the spirit out of my body and left it to rot. I remember thinking.
Muslim Terrorists? I don't know any Muslims that are terrorists. What was going on? Islam was a religion of peace. Muslims believe in brotherhood, so why would they make any terrorist attacks? There could not be any room for terrorism! But my questions were left un-answered and my thoughts un-finished.