By Danya Akbar
Los Angeles, CA
Muslims deal with
racism frequently in their every day lives. We are
often pre-judged because of our ways of life, and
are very commonly misunderstood due to our differences
in contrast to other people around us. Yes, racism
and prejudices are very common practices in our
world, but we are not the only ones who are judged,
and neither are other groups besides us the only
ones who judge. The fact is that prejudices of Muslims
are common, but what of prejudices and racism committed
How many times have you judged someone based on
his or her race, religion, beliefs, or actions?
Don’t worry, we all have judged people based
on these things, and it is hard not to judge when
today’s society places so many expectations
and rules on how we should behave. Many people are
prejudiced towards Muslims, but many Muslims are
also very prejudiced towards people of other religions.
Not many people are discriminatory in actions or
words, but it seems as though many young Muslims
(and adults as well) tend to feel that Islam is
the best religion, and that other religions are
completely superfluous compared to ours.
It is true that Islam is the last religion which
follows the Qur’an, which is the most untainted
and pure word of God, thus we follow that which
other religions might have changed or forgotten.
It is also true that the Qur’an is the only
holy book which has not been changed or altered;
therefore we, as Muslims, follow the true, unaltered
word of God. Though we may believe this, it is not
appropriate to convey these thoughts in a hostile
way towards people of other religions. Although
discussions of other religions are very good for
acquiring knowledge and experience, it is neither
appropriate nor polite to be close-minded and aggressive
in teaching others of Islam. One must be open to
other ideas and must be mindful of one’s feelings
when discussing different religions. Being pushy
and dogmatic is not the way to make a good impression
of Islam. Islam is a kind and gentle religion, which
should be learned slowly, and not forcefully.
Religion is not the only issue that reflects our
prejudices. It is human nature to judge people on
their appearances. This is all right in most instances,
but not when a judgment causes hurt. We should aspire
to be good people everyday as well as good Muslims,
and should try to see the good in people for who
they are, not what they look like. Just because
someone dresses or acts differently does not give
us the right to treat him/her with hostility. Such
situations occur frequently in high school, and
most people are rude and impatient with such people.
We should go out of our way to be kind, so that
we are not letting our judgments, whether they are
right or wrong, to influence our behavior in a negative
Another issue, which occurs in schools, is “backbiting,”
or talking about someone behind his back. If you
judge someone because of his or her clothes, (if
they are strange, inappropriate, etc.) and you are
nice to them despite that fact, then you are acting
responsibly and controlling your feelings. Talking
to someone as if he or she is your friend, however,
and then going behind his or her back and talking
about that person badly, is not an act of a good
person or Muslim. Such acts will hurt others, and
are not appropriate for young teens to do for fun.
We should try our best to be kind in everyday life,
and to be open-minded and liberal in our dealings.
This is the best way to live one’s life, and
consequently, to be a good Muslim.