Posted by: alwayslatetopost | September 29, 2009

Muslim attention in America, harm or heal?

Since the 9/11 attacks, there has been undoubtedly more attention paid to American Muslims than ever before. Some of this attention is hostile in the case of radical Patriots who don’t understand the situation, but there has also been attention given by people who are open to change and want to understand Muslim culture. Many people have questions and it is undeniable that the Muslim faith has been thrown into the spotlight over these past 8 or so years.

Many people in America associate Islam with terrorism due mainly to the media and their own ignorance. On the flip side however, as people learn about Islam, it continues to grow.  Islam is and has been the fastest growing religion around the world for some time now and America seems to continue with that trend. Looking around at polling websites and studies by non-profit groups, the number is Muslims in America has doubled twice since 1994, a gigantic jump, especially considering 9/11 gave a jaded view on the religion.

So, the question is, ultimately, is the attention being paid to Islam right now a positive or a negative? To answer that, you just have to look at the American public. With how fast Islam is growing in America you would be hard pressed to find an argument saying that the attention is more harmful, but at the same time, did these catastrophic events turn people off of the religion forever. The issue becomes ignorance and immaturity.

Attention can be a double-edged sword and I think that might be the case here. American Muslims, as we have seen in the video in class, have been working very hard to put on a good face and show the American people what Islam is really about. It is extraordinary that this entire group of people can really be so understanding and welcoming even after American media basically used their religion as a scapegoat.

When I first thought about this question, my answer would have been that the attention is more harmful then helpful due to the massive amounts of stereotyping that would be going on for a long time, but when I saw how the American Muslims were handling it, I changed my mind. This new found spotlight is a good thing for Islam in America. Considering the maturity and patience of the American Muslim, Islam is becoming a great deal more popular due to this new found intrigue from many.