Sunday, July 24, 2011

Meet Benjamin- his religion was hijacked

Yes I know people are sick of hearing how Muslims are annoyed that everyone assumed the Norway terrorist attacks were carried out by Muslims. And then when we found out it was done by a white right-wing Christian male, many news outlets failed to point out his faith or race. That's American media and double standards for you.

So I just want to put some things in perspectives since this has been irking me and yes I will whine. Let's say if everything that happened to Muslims post 9-11 happened and will continue to happen to Christians today. It would look something like this. I will use the name Benjamin, and his religion has just been hijacked. These scenarios are all true and have happened to Muslims and/or Arabs or any brown person.

Benjamin goes to a Catholic school. As soon as they heard about the terrorist attacks, the principal requests that everyone go home. There have been death threats.

Benjamin finds out his Church has been vandalized. The windows are broken and graffiti is painted on the walls with swastika signs, and "go back home."

Benjamin's little brother is made fun of at a public school and he is called a terrorist.

Benjamin's parents explain to him and his little brother that this is not what his religion teaches and that there are bad people in every religion.

Benjamin was minding his own business on his way to the grocery store when a group of Arabs stick out their middle fingers at Benjamin and tell him to go back home

Benjamin and his family are heading to Florida for the weekend and they all get to be randomly searched at the airport, how fun and not humiliating!

Benjamin looks for a job but is having a lot of trouble, although he is over qualified for many jobs. Some of his friends told him they had been treated differently at work because of their religion and race.

WHen Benjamin goes back to school, he is made fun of. He is called a terrorist, a killer, mental, white-trash, dirt, etc. Although America is his homeland, he feels so out of place!

People cannot seem to stop staring at Benjamin when he goes out. He'd rather stay at home. Why do so many people hate me for an act I didn't even do? I don't even like to kill flies, he wonders.

Whenever Benjamin goes to stores, parents make it obvious they are afraid of him. They suddenly hide their children, as if Benjamin would hurt him!

Benjamin's parents notice they are being treated differently at work. They all remind each other to stick together and that many people are open-minded and will not stereotype them!

Benjamin's cousin in Oklahoma is beaten by some gangs and his ribs are broken. The police said it's a hate crime.

Benjamin's parents get a phone call from the FBI-- they want to meet them for lunch!

Benjamin learns to move on with life, but after 10 years, people still hate. Many people refuse to build Churches in his town, there are still hate crimes, many people at work still give him weird looks, he is still randomly searched at airports, and people still ask him where he's from. His brother is occasionally bullied at school, he still notices the biased media, and people are still afraid of him.

But since Benjamin is a white, blue eyed, conservative Christian male, all those things will never happen. However, replace Benjamin with Muhammad, and those are all real stories that happened to a Muhammad or Guirges or Khadija. Arabs, both Muslim and Christians, and as well as non-Arab Muslims (and Sikhs) have been stereotyped, racial profiled, and victims of hate crimes since 9/11 terrorist attacks.

I pray for all the victims and families of those who were destructed by terrorism and inequality all over the world. Terrorism has no race, religion or culture.

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