Marginalized youth being thrust into the terrorists net

What’s going wrong with America is that racism is on the rise. There have been numerous instances of police attacks by the police on Black youth and now Islam is being more openly targeted.

Islam, of course, is being equated with militancy in the wake of the Paris and San Bernardino attacks.

A school in Virginia school recently took up the anti-Islam refrain and closed its doors at the end of the week after it faced

parental fury over an assignment asked it to copy Arabic calligraphy.

The calligraphy depicted the Shehada or Islamic declaration of faith at the Riverheads High School in Staunton, Virginia, or declaration of Islamic faith.

Recited as part of daily prayer, the Shehada translates into “There is no God but God, and Muhammad is His messenger”

The teacher, Cheryl Laporte, had envisaged giving students “an idea of the artistic complexity of calligraphy”. But it was taken grossly remiss.

Cheryl LaporteParents accused the teacher of trying to convert their children to Islam especially after the creative teacher invited female students to wear a head scarf to give students a feel of what it may be like to be a Muslim..

Subsequent to this, there were a number of angry calls and e-mails fuelled by growing media coverage and the district board said it felt that “the risk of harm to school officials and the risk of further disruption in the educational environment” warranted cancelled the cancelation of classes and extracurricular activities, to begin the winter break a day early.

The recent outcry in Augusta County reportedly came after a series of anti-Muslim speeches by politicians, which has led to a nationwide wave of hate crimes targeting Muslims, including physical assaults and acts of vandalism and arson at mosques and Muslim-owned businesses.

The Council of American-Islamic relations held a news conference to discuss the growing Islamaphobia at the National Press Club in Washington and, though attendants were found empathetic, they could offer no concrete solution to address the problem.

The fact is that with terrorism on the rise, the Western media has played up on the ghastly events. Thus, plagued by their own problems the simplest recourse left for the average American citizen is to accuse Islam of being the root cause of all the problems they might be facing.

What they fail to realize is that by ostracizing marginalized youth, both Black and Muslim, to be even more easily drawn into the terrorist net.

Muhammad Irfan

The writer is assistant editor at Lahore Dispatch. He writes on Technology, education and Sports. You can find him on Google+

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