It is not always easy moving into a new environment, and changing the daily norms and customs you are usually associated to. Whether that is a town, state or even a different country the culture shock and change of this new environment generally forces you to change daily routines. It sometimes even forces you to change appearance and hide beliefs due to the fact that you may insult the people around you.
Christianity is one of the largest religions in the world at 2.1 billion people actively practicing this faith. The second largest religion is Islam. As one of the oldest religions practiced in the world it has 1.3 billion followers. A religion that much of the western world has associated with wrongdoings due to various groups of radicals who have tainted the image of Islam altogether.
Many people who practice Islam in countries outside of the Middle East are often victimized as the stereotype that radicals have created for this religion. Hatred is mostly reflected when a foreigner from an Islamic country comes to visit or live in a western country.
After 9/11, the media in the United States as well as all over the world has made Muslims appear like bad people, going as far to say they are all terrorists thanks to news and other false beliefs. It took a handful of people doing wrong practices that have tainted the image of Muslims across the world.
As it is known by most, all Muslims are not the ones to blame for all of the horrendous crimes that have happened in recent years. Given these attacks, everyone from fast food workers to flight attendants are on their toes when they encounter a Muslim or someone they assume to be from the Middle East as possible terrorists.
WHO ARE YOU?
“If you speak Arabic you’re assumed to be Muslim,” said Jennet Nedirmammedova, an exchange student from Turkmenistan, a secular country. Although she grew up in a country that 80% of their population practices, Islam, she has only “embraced Islam” within the past four years. “I had more freedom,” said Nedirmammedova in reference to her country not forcing the religion on her.
“All different looks,” Nedirmammedova said. “Not all Muslims look the same, I’m just a person like everyone else.”
Heba Eltoukhy, an exchange student from Cairo, Egypt, said, “Even in Egypt they [the media] portray Muslims as terrorist.” This is not just a problem in the United States; it is a problem all over the world.
With one of the smallest populations in the United States, Wyoming is made up of small communities with similar values. For a highly conservative state, Wyoming has become more and more accepting of other cultures and religion. Wyoming has multiple religious buildings such as mosques, temples, and churches.
An example of racial profiling on Middle Easterns from war-times.org.
“In big cities, I feel okay,” said Eltoukhy. “But I don’t know about smaller towns.” While in Starbucks here in Laramie, Eltoukhy said that a man came up to her and asked her and her friend what language they were speaking. They told the man that they were speaking Arabic. The man automatically assumed the two to be Muslims. “Why do you want to kill us?” the man said. With shock and disbelief, the women spent fifteen minute’s arguing with the man.
Because of the media bashing the religion of Islam, people like this man at Starbucks are uneducated about the religion and receive only the worst ideas of these peaceful people. Islam is a religion that promotes morals commonly found in other religions as well.
“I don’t trust them,” Nermeen Saadoun from Cairo,Egypt said speaking about the media. At any time someone using media, there is a strong chance they will see something about Islam. Whether it be about Isis or even about women’s rights in Islamic countries.
Anytime there is an attack in the US or anywhere else, the media is on top of it. Once an event happens, the media attempts to figure out who did it and why.
The women all believe that since they are in Wyoming that their perspective is changed. However, if they were in Colorado, California or any larger populated state they said their views would be different.
Overall everywhere in the world this wonderful religion is scrutinized and is a source of many people’s anger. There are many probable solutions created to stop this hatred towards Muslims but in practice, nothing has changed. Freedom of media is one of the many rights this country has, but freedom of correct media regarding such important topics should be considered before anything is made public.