By Fedwa Wazwaz, Engage Minnesota
“When we view ourselves as the protagonist of a story in which we are always right, we collect grievances about other people by noticing everything we do and noting the ‘injustices’ that are done to us. All of this builds resentment within us and instigates conflict.” –Dr. Umar Faruq Abd-Allah
A Somali MPR reporter is stopped at the courthouse where he’s been going every day.
A 6th grade Muslim schoolgirl in New York is called “ISIS,” put in headlock, and punched as middle-school boys tried to pull off her headscarf.
A fourteen-year-old boy who wants to show his clock to a teacher is treated as a terrorist.
My daughter is called a “terrorist” in school.
These are not isolated incidents, but part of an increasingly powerful narrative about Muslims. I get up early to read the news. When I do, I find Muslims all over the world, mainly in a negative light, often framed as a stereotype of violence and hatred.
In the last year, the voices of ISIS and their supporters have been saturating the internet—both because of their shocking acts and because of how well they fit with stereotypes of the “eternally violent” Muslim. One would think they are the majority of Muslims rather than a fringe minority.
All around the world, Muslims are working as journalists, attending school, inventing things—but extremists get the coverage and the mic. The picture is overwhelmed by them, and they seem like the majority.