Ahmed: I am not a terrorist

Yahya Salih, Staff Writer

October 23, 2015

i am sure you have heard of the ninth-grade terrorist in Irving, Texas, who brought a bomb to class. Or is that not how you thought of it?

Chances are that if you were in the same situation as Ahmed Mohamed’s teacher, you would have seen that clock as a bomb. Even if you were the police officers detaining him without a lawyer, Mohamed would have been guilty until proven innocent.

If you deny this, you are probably either lying or have never watched the news. I even have to admit, if I were in the same situation, I would have interpreted that clock as a bomb.

I place most of the blame on the media and the way they portray Muslims and anything related to Islam.

Nearly every American citizen has been brainwashed into thinking that Muslims are generally terrorists.

As a Muslim, I want to reverse this idea in your head. I hope to change the way you think about Muslims.

First, let’s have a flashback to the golden words of Fox News host Brian Kilmeade in 2010, “Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslim.”

Well, Mr. Kilmeade — and others who agree or somewhat agree with that statement — let me state some facts.

Fact one: between 1980 and 2005, 94 percent of terrorist acts inside the U.S. were committed by non-Muslims.

Fact two: since 9/11, 37 deaths have been traced to Muslim terrorists while 190,000 murders have been committed by non-terrorist Americans.

Fact three: 55 percent of Americans have a negative view of Islam while only 13 percent have a good understanding of the religion.

Fact four (my personal favorite): the views of ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Taliban or whatever terrorist groups you can think of, do not represent the views of 1.6 billion Muslims living on planet Earth.

After this bombardment of facts, let me elaborate.

Muslims have become the new Cold War Communists, Reconstruction African-Americans and Colonial-era Loyalists. We are typically the scapegoat and the first to be looked at after any terror attack. It is nearly impossible to deny this claim.

Well guess what? We do not wake up every morning thinking of ways to terrorize United States citizens.

I just want to go to school and impress my teacher, exactly like what Mohamed tried to do when he built his clock.

My life goal is not to kill anyone. I just want to get a nice job, start a family and die having been a productive citizen of this world.

But every time I get on a plane, go to mosque or speak in Arabic, someone profiles me based on my religion.

Like former NPR analyst and current analyst for Fox News Juan Williams said during his stint with NPR in 2010, “When I get on the plane (…) if I see people who are in Muslim garb (…) I get worried. I get nervous.”

When Muslims are stereotyped as terrorists, people are not going to care whether our countries get invaded, such as Iraq and Afghanistan, or whether Israeli police shoot our children in the head, like Muhammad Jamal Ubeid.

If someone were to make an anti-Islamic cartoon, just like Charlie Hebdo, it would be considered freedom of speech. Yet an anti-Jewish cartoon is anti-Semitic and an anti-Christian cartoon is an attack on the West.

And I can guarantee you that no one will listen to a Muslim kid who claims that his “bomb” was actually a homemade clock.

Not only are these opinions not fair to Muslims, but they are not fair to any human. They only encourage prejudice and hatred.

Whatever your religion, is this the hate it advocates for? Ask yourself, is this world of hate the place where you want your kids to live?

– See more at: http://www.guilfordian.com/opinion/2015/10/23/ahmed-i-am-not-a-terrorist/#sthash.j42O9OOW.dpuf

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