"When you know better you do better."
Please carefully observe the two pictures above. What do you see? Do they look the same? The bottom picture is obviously of Osama Bin Laden, the figurehead of an extremist sect of Muslim that is not representative of all Muslims, not by a long shot. The top picture, however, is of a traditional Sikh Cleric..NOT a terrorist or member of any radical fringe of any religions denomination. And yet how many of us cannot tell the two apart?
After 9/11, the crimes committed against Muslims increased here in the US, even though most of the Muslim community decried and condemned the actions of the Taliban. I remember in the days after the attacks, one of my friends whose children are half Egyptian and being raised in the Muslim faith, experienced the heartbreak of discrimination because her eight year old son had been beaten up over his nationality and religion. I am sure all of us know a similar tale. My own children came home from school one day to tell me how "All Muslims are bad", despite being raised in a very liberal and tolerant family. I quickly reminded them about their friends, Amina and Gabriel,(the child of my friend who had been beaten up in school) , who they had played with since birth, and who are Muslim.
Sikhs in particular experienced a significant amount of discrimination and violence. The ignorant soul sees a turban, known as a Dastar in Sikhism, and makes the automatic assumptions that Sikhs must be terrorists. Judged and found guilty simply for looking like Osama Bin Laden. This is very sad as the Sikhs are one of the most peace loving and God-centered faiths of all. I have many Sikh friends who I love dearly, and I would hate it if any of them were treated violently because of someone's lack of education and understanding.
The fact is, we as a collective humanity need to stop judging a book by its cover. Until we look beyond the outside and look within ourselves and each other, hatred will not cease. In this age of technology, it is simple to research anything under the sun that you want to know about. There is simply no excuse for making assumptions anymore about people and their religious or ethnic origins and customs. To not do so is to do yourself a huge disservice, and a disservice to others around you.
So here are some links to get you started. Click the links and enter the No Judgment Zone. The world will be a better place if you do.
There are many more sites, but you get the idea. Peace. ☼
"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace." ~Jimi Hendrix