OPINION: Not all Muslims

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As we all know, there have been several acts of terrorism that have recently taken place around the world and in our nation. Specifically, the terrorist attacks that happened in Paris were horrific.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for these terrorist attacks that took the lives of countless people and injured many others. Though I agree that the attacks are unforgivable, we all need to recognize that what the group did does not reflect the beliefs of the Muslim people as a whole.

In many news outlets, Muslims have been getting lumped into the same category as the terrorists that are committing these acts of violence because of the Islamic faith. Not all Muslims hold the same beliefs as those who declare allegiance to the Islamic State.

According to the CNN article “Don’t collectively punish Muslims” by Sahar Aziz, associate professor at Texas A&M School of Law, “Painting an entire religious community with the broad brush of criminality imposes harm on people with no direct connection to the act.”

People need to understand that these terrorist attacks are being committed by a small group of people whose intentions and beliefs do not follow the rest of Islam. It is unjust to discriminate against all Muslims when many of them have been, and still are, victims of the violence going on both overseas and domestically. They are, in fact, the most victimized by it.

When members of the Westboro Baptist Church protest military funerals, almost everyone agrees that it is disrespectful and that their beliefs do not reflect that of all Christians, even though the members say they are Christians following Christian values and beliefs. So, why are we blaming all Muslims for the acts of a few who are using the Islamic religion to justify their hatred?

Donald Trump, 2016 presidential candidate, has on several occasions prominently expressed his prejudice toward Muslims in response to the recent terror attacks and influx of immigrants looking to escape the violence in certain parts of the Middle East.

According to a recent campaign press release, “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the U.S. until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

This way of thinking will hinder us and only cause more problems, and that is without even mentioning that what Trump proposed it just morally wrong. We should not be trying to punish innocent people just because they follow a religion that a terrorist organization has twisted to fit their violent ideals.

Ahmed Alkhraissi, freshman in computer science, is Muslim and said he wishes people understood his religion better.

“I want people to know that Islam is the religion of forgiveness, tolerance, compassion and morals,” Alkhraissi said.

A simple way to learn and understand what Alkhraissi is talking about would be to do some research or to just sit and talk with someone who follows the Islamic religion and let them explain it.

I have personally gotten the pleasure to know many Muslim students on our campus. Not only have I been able to learn about their religion and culture, but I have also made many lifelong friends. Remaining blind to the truths of the Muslim faith does not help anyone. We should be embracing our cultural and religious differences instead of pointing fingers at those who are just as confused and scared as the rest of us.

Miranda Snyder is a junior in mass communications.

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