Instead of praising people for ingenuity and creativity, we jail them. Instead of spreading hope and love, we spread hate and fear. Instead of being decent human beings, we act like cowards. It is about time society says, “Enough is enough,” and dismantles this harmful mindset.
14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed was arrested for bringing a homemade clock to school to show his engineering teacher. School officials swiftly had the police handcuff and take Ahmed to a juvenile detention center. This entire fiasco was due to the fact that a young, curious boy wanted to share his creation with a teacher.
Since 9/11, Islamophobia has become a very prominent problem. It is insanely ignorant to assume that every individual who practices the Islamic faith is a terrorist. American Muslims have been scared to be out alone, tried to prove how patriotic and non-threatening they are and had to hide their faith to avoid discrimination by fellow U.S. citizens.
America was founded on the belief of religious freedom, but many in this great country feel as though they cannot freely practice their religion—and I’m not talking about Kim Davis. Islamic individuals are routinely detained at airports and called terrorists and members of Al-Qaeda just because of their faith.
Islamophobia is no secret. According to a 2008 Gallup poll, about 30 percent of Americans believed Muslims were not treated fairly in society. Only 35 percent felt Muslims were treated fairly.
People in America can pretend all Muslims are terrorists, but to do that they have to acknowledge all of the wrongs and hurt caused by Christians.
In the name of God, Christians killed thousands of Native Americans because He had divinely ordained this land belonged to them. In the name of God, Christians held slaves and degraded several races. In the name of God, Christians held women as less important than men—keeping them from making choices for their own bodies. In the name of God, Christians tried to keep people who truly loved each other from getting married because they were the same gender or were not the same race.
Just like it is wrong to say that all Christians are responsible for those actions and beliefs, it is wrong to assume all Muslims are terrorists and to treat them as such.
There is one thing all the major religions in the world have in common—the golden rule. Essentially, be a decent human being to everyone, regardless of whether they believe or behave differently. It’s not hard, and it doesn’t expend too much time and energy.
What is going on in the world today is our fault. Every single one of us is at fault for a 14-year-old being arrested for bringing his homemade clock to school.
The way the cops and school officials treated Mohamed was indefensible and should be rejected by people everywhere, but of course that is never the case. Maybe those who side with the school and police reaction to this young boy’s ingenuity should evaluate their lives and levels of intelligence.
America has turned into a nation of cowards and bigots. The United States was founded on the ideology of freedom of religion. It is a shame certain Americans are facing religious persecution in 2015 and we are doing nothing about it. Has everyone forgotten what it means to be American? It definitely looks like we have.
Follow Mikala Everett on Twitter at @mikala_everett.