I recently read an article posted on the Washington Post highlighting four American Muslim women discussing their thoughts on “the place of Islam in America.” One woman, Donna Sibaai, contributes “The climate of intensity surrounding the subject of American Islam is, she said, “like climbing a hill over and over again. The rhetoric against “anything foreign” seems to be at an all time high. Things that once were politically incorrect now seem to be not only acceptable and tolerated but even celebrated. Even politicians seem to running their campaigns on anti-immigrant or anti-Muslim platforms, with little knowledge or regard for the facts.”
Another woman, Sarah Kajani (a close college friend of mine), shares that “the one point I continue to raise is the fact that every religion has radicals. I believe Islam[ic] radicalization is just overexposed within America due to the clash of civilizations, or what I like to believe is the clash of ignorance.”
I, too, have noticed this sort of “us versus them” mentality, and believe that it is disgusting we allow it to continue within our society and even heighten after the election of President Obama. Of course it is shameful when the average American is ignorant toward minorities within America, but it is no surprise given that some politicians, people we are supposed to be able to look up to, cannot run a successful campaign without including hate speech against some minority group, whether that be a religious minority, immigrants, the LGBT community, etc. Politicians are painting fellow Americans as the enemy, and they are using scare tactics and misinformation to do so. We, as a country, need to stop scapegoating and take a moment to remember how wonderful American diversity is.
Kajani has also been published in a book entitled I Speak for Myself: American Women on Being Muslim. If you are interested in reading more on this topic, the book can be found here.