Opinion

Playing into the Hands of Terrorism

On April 6th, UC Berkeley student Khairuldeen Makhzoomi, was kicked off of a flight from LA to Oakland because he was having a conversation with his uncle in Arabic. In a CNN interview he explained that he was telling his uncle about his invitation to a dinner with the UN Secretary and that he would call his uncle when he landed. He then said the words “insha’Allah insha’Allah,” (meaning God willing). He noticed a lady sitting nearby give him a weird look. The next thing he knew he was being taken off the plane and being searched.

This irrational fear of Islamic extremists has become detrimental to our country and to the people in it. The essence of terrorism is to scare people into submission and altering their thinking. When we react this way to different languages, cultures, or religions, all we are doing is playing into terrorists hands, as well as creating even more discrimination. This makes people feel oppressed and outcast, like Mahkzoomi. The United States is based on the principles of freedom and individual rights, so why are we generalizing an entire race and putting those ideals that people come to the US for at stake?

Ever since 9/11, a fear has been bred by the media throughout this nation that has created a mentality of thinking that every Muslim has a potential tie to terrorism, and are therefore a threat. We can’t allow ourselves to think this way.

This fear is understandable, but there are many facts proving that it is irrational. The FBI did a study of terrorist attacks over a period of the past 25 years, and 94% of them were non-Muslim. But we still put so much blame on them in the media, probably to justify the wars we’re having in the Middle East. And, according to The FiveThirtyEight, “the odds of being on a given departure which is the subject of a terrorist incident have been 1 in 10,408,947 over the past decade.” This is less of a chance than getting struck by lightning. We have let the media’s exploitation of this fear take over. Yes, there are horrible things happening in the Middle East with Islamic extremists, but we can not let their terrorism create more discrimination in the United States.

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