How the talk of WWIII might impact Muslims in America


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A man holding up a sign in order to protest Iranian immigration.

Rumors about a possible World War III and memes on social media about getting drafted popped up on my Twitter timeline in what seemed like a matter of minutes once the news of Qasem Soleimani’s death dropped. I, much like many other people on the internet, didn’t have any idea why everyone was so frantic but still joined in on the laughter. This may seem like a harmless thing, but in reality, it shows the nature of America and its tendency to thoughtlessly shame any country, Iran in this case, or group of people that have a conflict with the US, without background knowledge on the subject. After hearing about the news of the US ordering the killing of Soleimani, Iran’s top general, many people on my timeline immediately started bashing all Iranians and were completely ready to stand behind our government without any extra information. Headlines on American news articles such as “America just took out a man many consider the world’s No. 1  bad guy” doesn’t help the situation. It adds on to the problem of people not fact-checking information and forming their own opinions based on their true values instead of a social media account. 

Now you may be wondering why I am bringing all of this up and where I am going with this besides bashing Americans. Only one thing popped into my head when I first heard the talk of a possible war; the Muslims in America. As I stated above, people in this country tend to blame foreigners when it comes to certain problems. A prime example of this is 9/11. After terrorists hijacked American planes and crashed into the twin towers in the year of 2001, many Americans began associating all Muslims with this attack. Therefore over the past years, there have been many cases of discrimination against Muslims in the U.S. 

 According to the HuffPost, on March 13, 2015, in San Francisco, California, the United Airlines plane crew denied Tahera Ahmad an unopened can of soda because of the fear that she would use it for a weapon. Tahera, wearing a hijab, asked for a can of diet coke but was refused yet, a man next to her was brought an unopened beer a few moments later. In need of support, Tahera turns to the other passengers to ask for help but only receives derogatory words and stares. Tahera never received a sincere apology from the company. This incident displays the islamophobia that some people in America have. 

 Another example of discrimination against Muslims includes a woman named Madinah Brown. According to USA Today, on September 11, 2019, Brown was sent a document by her job, the New Castle County Detention Center, that gave her the option of either not wearing a hijab or resigning. Her hijab apparently broke the dress code of the center. Brown had many horrible incidents on the job before this one including being forced to clock out early on the days she wore her hijab, getting a pay cut for wearing it, and even being told she looked like a terrorist by a supervisor while in it. I don’t understand how wearing a hijab would be against the dress code when it doesn’t affect a person’s work ethic or performance on the job. The dress code is just a crappy cover-up for the islamophobia that the company holds.  

There are many other examples of Muslims being discriminated against in recent years and it doesn’t seem to be going away. It is obvious that this discrimination is a result of people’s fear of terrorists since 9/11 and its unjust association with people who practice Islam or those who “look” Muslim. I fear those uneasy feelings towards Muslims will increase due to the current conflict between the United States and Iran, where 99.4% of the civilians practice Islam. People may overgeneralize and  Iranians and Muslims much like they did following 9/11. 

I feel as though people need to stop stereotyping and blindly following others. Just because one person or a couple of people did horrible things does mean that anyone who follows that religion or is from the same country will do the same things. Fear is motivating people to be discriminatory and ignorant. For a country that loves to yell about all forms of freedom, it sure does feel like many people are actively denying Muslims of that right exactly.