Foothill Technology High School

Opinion: Ostracizing Muslim groups is detrimental to the war on terrorism

On Dec 2. 21 people were injured and 14 were killed by a radical attack of Islamic Extremism at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino. This violence is evident of terrorist ideology being a definite threat to American citizensOn Dec. 2, 21 people were injured and 14 were killed by a radical attack of Islamic Extremism at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino. This violence is evident of terrorist ideology being a definite threat to American citizens, and paired with the ISIS attacks on Paris and their growing propaganda, we have come to a state of defense. However, Muslim groups have been prevalently inculpated in our nation, a mistake that will only create further turmoil in our battle against terrorism; we cannot allow our fear of terrorism lead to a blind prejudice towards Muslim-Americans.

The primary proponent of terror, ISIS, is a state that operates under Islamic beliefs; another referred to source of terror, al Qaeda, is a global militant Islamist organization. As both have displayed destructive radicalism that has affected the United States, we have sought to find a correlation within terrorism that can winnow our prejudice to a specific aspect, of which is Islam. However such discriminatory expressions only divide our ability to counter extremism with a unified defiance and could detriment the religious tolerance we are founded on.

It can be argued that the calamity of global terrorism may excuse such bigotry. However, we have been discriminating against groups in the past for our own defense. The most notorious example is the relocation of Japanese-Americans from the west coast in response to the attack on Pearl Harbor. This action breached the civil liberties of individuals that contained many American citizens, forcing them from their homes and way of life into internment camps solely because a disparate power whose only association is with their ethnicity, violated our security.

Now imagine the consequence of such drastic ostracization of Muslim-Americans, who have no affiliations with ISIS, as they took their religion to a zealous extent. Tensions would escalate to the point of creating an enemy where there is none: our people. While we haven’t achieved such a radical exclusion, current prejudice is only fueling this reality.

However, the idea that radicalism can impact Islamic beliefs must not be expelled from our conscience, yet the measures to avoid further catastrophe should target the sources of inspiration, not the innocent Muslim-Americans that fall prey to extremist lenses. ISIS indoctrination can be prevented by working towards blocking terrorist influence from the internet, which may prove difficult, but is essential to barricade such a wealth of connections to their ideology; eliminating the share of their propaganda, and rallying national pride against them. Spurning Muslim-Americans will verily aid ISIS, showing how their actions have weakened us into a disruptive nation, which has succumbed to the hysteria of terrorist fear, sacrificing our lenient values.

In summary, discrimination can lead to the birth of unnecessary enemies out of our own residents, and such hatred could make them volatile to external influence, especially those in opposition to their oppressors. If we devote our hatred to an unjust cause, the outlets of influence will be left unmonitored, eventually spawning the radicalism that has claimed 14 lives.

It is society’s obligation to maintain a fair and understanding environment for peace to flourish, not immediately blame the first group that has a minuscule connection to the threat. Instead, we must be vigilant of breaches to this condition, such as presidential candidate Donald Trump’s proposed ban of Muslim admittance into the U.S or social media outlets that only provoke the unity of our nation.

We cannot let the terror of radical organizations delude our perspective with panic or mania for prejudice: misguiding our anger towards our own religious tolerance and liberty as we did in the past. However, we can combat malevolent groups by showing that we will not be deterred by their methods, that their radicalism does not affect the true nature of the Islamic religion, and that our unity as a nation transcends all aggression.

–William Flannery