New Media Project- Today’s False Accusations Against Islam

Posted on May 16, 2013 by

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In the country of India where the population of Muslim people is at one of its greatest, there is still a lot of biased towards them. At the beginning of this year in February there was a bombing in the city of Hyderabad, India that I had learned about after the Boston Marathon Bombing, which had happened in April. There was a big controversy with the Boston Marathon Bombing that the attackers were thought to be Muslim before they had even been caught and been questioned about their faith. And while searching for similar examples of these kinds of accusations I came across the Hyderabad Bombing that happened outside of a movie theater in the booming town in India. The first article I read about this was the “Indian police search for evidence in bomb attack; 15 dead” written by the news provider from the United States called USA Today. In this article, the first paragraph said there was a bombing that killed 15 people and that they are searching for links towards an Islamic group. After reading this paragraph I concluded that the world today has grown increasingly weary of Islam because of its past associations with violence so much so that they blame any extreme act done to the people as an action carried out by the Muslim community even without hard evidence to back up their accusations.

People jump to the conclusion that Muslims are to blame for bombings and other major happenings to easily, it could just as easily be someone of a different religious background as well. As I had mentioned in the previous paragraph, the article from USA Today showed some obvious bias towards the Muslims when they said “searching for links to Islam.” Farther on in that article it shows its bad side again by saying “Islamic militants are being examined for possible motives.” In both of these phrases they blame the attack on the people of Islam even without completely knowing the truth behind things, hence the use of the words “searching” and “possible.” In another article I found from the NY Times, they talked about an interview that happened with a Muslim member of parliament who said that a bombing like this in India is very bad, but attacking a whole religious community for something that they aren’t even sure if they are to blame, is even worse.

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Figure 1- Common Perception of Muslims

There are a lot of different views to which people look upon Islam today, just like any other religion in this world. But it does seem that this religion has gotten a lot more focus than any other in the last decade, especially here in the United States. Some reasons for this are because of an extreme or irrational fear of the Islamic world and its people, because this has become so prominent it has been given the widely used name of islamophobia. People all over the world are deathly afraid of Muslims for no reason other than a very small percentage of its followers are extremists and can be dangerous. But the funny part about that is people do not realize that other religions are just as bad, if not worse when it comes to dangerous acts or war. Christians are responsible for many wars, and was partly in fault for one of the biggest mass killings ever during World War II when most Nazis were of a Christian background. So why aren’t they afraid of Christianity as much as or if not more than Islam? It’s because of the way they read about things in the news and see things on television. Referring back to the USA Today article again, if you were reading about that event that happened in Hyderabad for the first time and you read that article you would think right away that Muslims are dangerous. Along with that, if you didn’t think much of the Muslim community as being dangerous then and you saw what happened at the Boston Marathon Bombing and saw and heard time and time again from news stations that Muslims were attacking your home land and that people are dying, you would definitely think they are bad. When in reality according to the Terrorist Attacks on U.S. Soil by Group pie graph (figure 1), from 1980 to 2010, created from the FBI Database only 6% of terrorist attacks on the USA are from Islam’s, while 42% are from people of Latino background which most likely affiliated with Christianity, so nobody pays attention that much.

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Figure 2- Terrorist Attacks on U.S. Soil by Group, From 1980 to 2010, According to FBI Database

                In early March of this year there was a severe case of what I believe to be called terrorism in Afghanistan. I, myself am very thankful for our troops and very supporting of them , but when I heard about this killing rampage by one our US Navy Seal Soldiers that killed at least 15 sleeping children I was sickened. Now when I look back at it, and when comparing it to these other problems that have been happening around the world, I start to notice a different kind of bias. Sure there were a lot of people in the US that hated that man’s guts for what he did, but the way the press viewed it seemed to make it look like it’s not the worst thing that could have happened. They ended up blaming his attacks on a mental breakdown that occurred from being overseas for too long. The reason I think this is interesting now is because the press doesn’t talk about any religion of his at all, just the religion of Islam of his victims. What I am trying to get at here is that from what I read, it seems that if a person of Islam does a horrible crime against someone or something the people and the press blames that person’s religion and that they need to stop following it because it is “evil” and makes that person “evil.” But if it is someone from a different religion, say Christianity, the people and press presume that something must be wrong the person physically or mentally because that is the only reason someone of that hierarchical superior religion could have done something like that. This outburst by the soldier might have actually been from a mental break down as they say, but it makes an interesting starting point for another view of the bias the people and press has toward religions.

Although nobody likes to say that they are being biased towards one religion or another, I have pointed out that many people and news organizations are actually very biased in what they say. To support the other side a little bit, the things that I have read could have actually been telling the truth and they just haven’t mentioned other evidence that would help support why they were saying these things in the first place and having a little more information would help in the understanding. But if that is the case then there is a problem in ways things are being reported and how far reporters can actually bend the truths and words.

To conclude, people today are increasing in their fear towards the religion of Islam, even though they are responsible for less than 6% of attacks against the US on our own soil. Because of the growing amount of people who suffer from islamophobia, there is also an increase of false accusations towards Muslims even though it could be from someone of a different religion. To stop the spread of islamophobia people need to step out of their boxes more often and learn about these other religions. And in the long term would help them determine the real truths about things they read on the internet, in news-papers, and see on television.

Bibliography

  1. BETH STEBNER, THOMAS DURANTE, “Taliban vows revenge after U.S. Sergeant on SEAL team ‘shoots dead nine sleeping Afghan children before burning their bodies’ in deadly rampage that killed 16”, Daily Mail, March 11, 2013, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2113410/US-soldier-kills-16-Afghan-civilians-deadly-shooting-rampage.html
  2. HEATHER TIMMONS, GARDINER HARRIS, “Deadly Bombings Hit Southern Indian City”, NY Times, Feb. 21, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/22/world/asia/deadly-bombings-hit-southern-india-city.html?_r=0
  3. Mir Ayoob Ali Khan, “Hyderabad blasts: Probe moving in circles?”, Times of India, March 16, 2013, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Hyderabad-blasts-Probe-moving-in-circles/articleshow/18997278.cms
  4. The Guardian, “Hyderabad bomb investigators examine links with Islamist militant group”, The Guardian, Feb. 22, 2013, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/22/hyderabad-bomb-india-islamist-militants
  5. USA Today, “Indian police search for evidence in bomb attack; 15 dead”, USA Today, Feb. 22, 2013, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/02/21/india-bombings/1938011/
  6. Washington Blog Post, “Non-Muslims Carried Out More than 90% of All Terrorist Attacks on U.S. Soil”, Washington Blog Post, May 1, 2013, http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/05/muslims-only-carried-out-2-5-percent-of-terrorist-attacks-on-u-s-soil-between-1970-and-2012.html
  7. Wiki, “2013 Hyderabad blasts”, Wiki, May 11,2013, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_Hyderabad_blasts#Investigation

Pictures

  1. Pie Graph, http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/05/muslims-only-carried-out-2-5-percent-of-terrorist-attacks-on-u-s-soil-between-1970-and-2012.html
  2. Political Cartoon, http://negative99.com/faith/fitna-video-shows-islamic-appeasement-means-no-more-free-speech/
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Posted in: Islam