More awareness, less hate

With the recent attention of the media on the rising ISIS attacks, Islamophobia has become a more prevalent issue. Islamophobia is the prejudice or dislike against Muslims.

At Annandale High School, we are fortunate to have a diverse community where Islam is more accepted. However, with the recent coverage of terrorist groups acting in the name of Islam, some have felt more prejudice.

“I have met people who have judged me and misjudged me on my hijab, but I try my best to ignore them,” Arabic teacher Olaa Layaly said. “At this point I need to start speaking up, especially with groups like ISIS making Muslims look terrible.”

It’s hard to speak up when people turn on their televisions and all they see are terrorist groups like ISIS and Al Qaida using violence in the name of Islam. Students who are vulnerable and naive and only seeing snippets of television are quick to judge.

“I haven’t really seen it [Islamophobia] in school, but I always hear ‘jokes’ related to terrorists and stuff,” sophomore Ivan Giron said.

Even though jokes may seem teasing, they have a ethnocentric manner. Even if the jokes are meant to be taken light-heartedly, they can still hurt people’s feelings and spread the idea of Islamophobia.

With that in mind, no one should have to go through their daily lives in fear about the next derogatory slur to be thrown at them. No one should feel uncomfortable to the point where they cannot take pride in their religion.

“So many judge my religion, it is great we have groups like the Muslim Student Association (MSA) here to help bring more awareness and bring less hate toward a religion that has received a lot more attention,” freshman Ilhan Abdi said.