When I was a toddler, I was terrified of ladybugs. There was just something about how different they looked that made me fear and despise them. To me, they looked harmful. As I grew older, I learned that ladybugs are not only absolutely harmless to humans but also extremely beneficial to us because they feed on landscape pests without harming our plants or other harmless bugs. Knowing this, I no longer am scared of ladybugs and I actually enjoy their presence.
There are millions of Muslims living in the United States and I can guarantee you that every single one has either directly faced some sort of hateful discrimination or knows of a Muslim that has. According to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, a Muslim American is a victim of a hate crime every three days. Recent polls show that more than half of Americans have an unfavorable view of Islam. Sadly, Muslims are today's ladybugs.
As a Muslim American who continually strives to do everything I can for the betterment of my community and this nation, it is saddening to see this hate. Yet just as my fear of ladybugs was caused by my ignorance about them, similar is the case with how Muslims are currently viewed. It's time to change that. Let this be the piece that does away with your unwarranted fear of Muslims.
Here Are Ten Reasons Why You Should Not Be Afraid of Muslims:
1. All terrorists are Muslims EXCEPT the gigantic majority that aren't.
According to the FBI, 94 percent of terrorist attacks carried out inside the United States from 1980 to 2005 have been by non-Muslims. Keyword: Non-Muslims. Looking overseas, less than 2 percent of terrorist attacks carried out in Europe in the past five years have been by Muslims.
If this miniscule percentage isn't calming enough for you, I can present better. From 9/11 to the end of 2015, less than 0.0002 percent of Americans killed were killed by Muslims. No matter where you look, every single statistic will scream to you that there is absolutely no valid association between the over 1.6 billion peaceful Muslims in the world and the terror committed by those who hijack our religion.
Furthermore, if you insist on using these single-digit and decimal statistics to justify such an association, I strongly suggest that you consider the double-digit statistics regarding non-Muslims and acts of terrorism.
2. Muslims do not plan to take over America with our religion.
One thing more hysterical than my childhood fear of ladybugs is this unfounded fear that Muslims plan to take over this country and impose Sharia law. The fact of the matter is that this is absolutely untrue as the majority of Muslims actually want to adopt American customs and ways of life, according to the Pew Research Center.
But let me humor the Islamophobes: Even if Muslims wanted to take over this nation and turn the White House into a super cool mosque (which totally isn't the case), we would not be able to. Muslims make up less than 1 percent of the total U.S. population. We are a minority of a minority and never in history has 1 percent of a nation's population succeeded in taking over the other 99 percent. To put things into perspective, this would be equivalent to a toddler taking over an entire elementary school during nap time.
3. Speaking of toddlers, if you are scared of Muslims then you should be terrified of toddlers.
Based on these facts, you should be more afraid of toddlers than you are of Muslims, or more realistically, less afraid of Muslims than you are of toddlers. Please remember this the next time you are on an airplane with a Muslim. Speaking of airplanes, you are more than 11,000 times more likely to die in an airplane accident than from a terrorist plot involving an airplane.