Townsend Harris High School at Queens College


Letter to the Editor: Are Legitimate Concerns to be Dismissed as “Islamophobia”?

April 5, 2016

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One comment
  1. Angry, Former Harrisite, ('13)

    I find it laughable that it is assumed that such events would probably never be held in Muslim-majority nations. Have you _seen_ these nations to which you refer, Mr. Babstock? Have you read up about the social scenes of Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, Malaysia, or Morocco recently? Even Saudi Arabia, a nation that is notorious for its conservative, and often backwards, ideas, is not as closed off and "religious" as it is portrayed. There is a lot of diversity in the Muslim world. With technology as advanced as it is today, people are able to access and share many different perspectives and beliefs. Mainstream media may not cover any of this, but perhaps it is up to the individual to do as you said, and read. Also, it would be great if you didn't paint all American Muslims with one brush. I am definitely not saying that harmful ideas are not at all preached about in centers here. That would be a lie. However, you do not know what it is like for the average Muslim to find out that a terrorist attack has been carried out, and that the criminals are Muslim. You do not know the mass texts sent out to friends and family, cautioning everyone to be careful and to keep a low profile. It's scary for me to commute every time such an event occurs. I feel raw and exposed. It's terrifying. Most of us are far from the likes of ISIS and condemn them openly. The issue with your opinion is that you quietly justify anti-Islamic rhetoric because of these incidents. It is very concerning that there are people who are ready to destroy lives because they claim their religious beliefs command them to do so. This is an international security threat that affects everyone. At the same time, it is unethical to generalize, and to take away the humanity of a group of people because a percentage of them are causing these issues. I will not say that the percentage of Muslims who are radical is a trivial percentage. A single person is capable of causing much destruction, and we can see this echoed in all the school shootings and suicide bombings that have taken place. However, I will not allow them to represent me. And I will not allow anyone else to associate me with the likes of ISIS.

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