This week France honored those who fell in the Paris terror attacks by holding a minute’s silence. Thousands stopped in cafes, bars and restaurants where the mass shootings happened to remember the 129 victims killed last Friday. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the deadly attacks. Because of this, some believe that Muslims will now face dehumanizing prejudice in the US.
The prejudice seen against the Jews and Japanese during World War II and against African Americans after de-segregation in the South stemmed from ignorance, fear and misinformation. Today, American Muslims are subject to racial and ethnic prejudice and possible violent backlash and hate crimes. This stems from Americans believing misinformation about them.
After the events in Paris, many people may believe that all Muslims are violent or extremists. However, the inherent beliefs of Islam are that people should be kind and strive for peace. Dehumanizing any particular group is dangerous and can have catastrophic results. Therefore, it is imperative we educate ourselves to judge people on an individual basis. Muslims are viewed by some as frightening or threatening. However, the fact is that most Muslims are peaceable people who strive for harmony among others.
Remember, just because you may fear Muslim extremists, does not mean you have to fear all people who follow the beliefs of Islam.