I'll be very honest, the past decade and a half has been difficult for me and others like myself. It has been difficult because we have been discriminated against by others and our own friends. We are considered different and looked at as weirdos because our point of views or our way of lives is not what people see in the media. Let me explain why -- I am a progressive Muslim.
I was born to Muslim parents who always believed that religion had nothing to do with judging others, but instead had everything to do with compassion and kindness. To my parents being a Muslim meant to live your life by example -- do good, treat others with respect and try to spread happiness wherever you go. They believed and taught me that people will always judge you by your actions not your ethnicity and religion.
But today as someone who has studied religion and has always believed in the goodness of people, I feel a little sad and disappointed. When I see and hear about inhumane organizations like the Taliban, Boko Haram and ISIS it makes me cringe and wonder about a lot of things. It makes me wonder why these people don't see the goodness in the same religion as I do. Why is their interpretation of the same book the total opposite of what mine is? How can they believe that beheading innocent humans can be ok when the Prophet Mohammad believed in treating others with kindness and compassion?
When I think of these terrorist groups it reminds me of the evil army in the book
"Lord of the Rings." I know it's an awful comparison but I feel like they both have no brain, feelings and are just "made" to kill blindly. Why do we have people like that in the world? I see the actions of these somewhat parallel to the pedophile priests in church. How can these people who are supposed to protect the word of God then go and create trauma in these children's lives? They are also causing these traumatized children to run away from religion. Instead of encouraging people to come towards God they are pushed away because of the actions of a few sick minded priests.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not upset because some idiots claim that they belong to my religion or any religion for that matter. What hurts me the most is that they commit these horrendous acts of violence in the name of religion. They kidnap girls, behead people, sexually abuse children and take away innocent lives -- that is what is the most upsetting.
The sad thing is that the media puts us all in the same category and people believe it. When I tell people I'm a Muslim you hear the sigh and the sympathy or fear in their eyes. I have been told that I don't look like a Muslim because I don't cover up and I am educated and a single working mom.
After the decision in Ferguson I was very upset and started to think how people are discriminated against. It upsets me because in today's technology driven world we still see someone who is different from us and automatically assume they are "dangerous" or "a threat." We need to as humans be more accepting and less judgmental. And the crazy few who are ruining it for the rest of us need to go and cleanse their inner souls and leave the rest of the world alone!