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Antara Afrin Headshot

Religion: More Similarities Than Differences

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Humans always have seemed to prefer one race over another. This has been going on since the first man acquired thinking skills and was able to sort people into groups based on their physical features. Although America is currently a "color-blind" society, it still contains many forms of discrimination. I am not talking just about race, but also religion.

September 11, 2001 -- At 8:46 a.m., the turn of this generation occurred. Innocent lives were lost when American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the World Trade Center's North Tower. The hijackers were extremists who had their so-called "reasons," despite the fact there is no reason to take anyone's life. Let's revisit what I just stated. The people who plotted those evil deeds were extremists -- not Muslims. However, nowadays that is what we hear. People decide to associate terrorism with Islam; however, that is not the case. Islam promotes peace -- just like every other great religion such as Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and the list goes on. However, as Americans, we fail to understand that great piece of information.

Honestly, has America lost its ability to accept all individuals, regardless their class, religion, race, disabilities, and gender? And did it ever even have this so-called "ability" in the first place? Why is it that many times when a Muslim woman walks into a public area with her hijab, everyone stares and makes rude racial comments? Why is it that Islam is looked at so disrespectfully? We are living in the 21st century, yet religion is still not understood. Islam, Christianity, and Judaism are three of the world's most-practiced religions. However, there is more to the story! All three of these religions believe in the same Creator. Allah, God, and Yahweh are the names of the same being! The only differences between these great religions are the sub-themes. For example, Jesus is believed to be the son of God in Christianity; however, in Islam, Jesus is a noble prophet. The bigger picture of these religions is that they promote PEACE.

Despite my attempt to get others to understand how all religions, except those that worship Satan, have the same concept -- doing good and defeating evil through spiritual ways -- I failed. There are still people who are ignorant and just do not want to learn other religions because they feel superior. No religion is superior to another -- in front of the Creator, we all are equal. A good deed is a good deed just as a sin as a sin, despite who we pray to.

"Hijabs, Sunday clothes, yamika, kufi, same mission beneath. We all tryin' to get to where the sufferin' ends. In front of the Most High bein' judged for our sins." Lupe Fiasco greatly summarized my point through his song "Muhammad Walks." (I strongly recommend listening to this.) At the end of the day, regardless of our beliefs, we all are the same kind: human. True, we stereotype at times but we can try our best to change that. We should open ourselves to learning about a person from a different background. There are usually more differences within a group than between two groups. The ability to take the time to learn about someone else's culture and religion and accept them for who they are is a BIG thing -- and by big I mean revolutionary. Revolutionary to the point that refines the meaning of mankind.