This I Believe

Ayesha - Dayton, Ohio
Entered on January 17, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe all Americans have the same dream—a dream of equality and freedom to do as one pleases. This was the reason most people came to America in the first place. They came hoping that in this country, they would not be persecuted because of race, religion, or status. They wanted a place where they would fit in and be considered equal to everyone else. Now, as children and grandchildren of those same people, we wish to carry on that dream. Any time our freedom is threatened, I believe that we will go to any costs to make sure that that dream does not fade, that our dream is still the reality.

My parents immigrated and became citizens in this country soon after they were married. As their daughter, and as someone who was born and raised in the U.S, I believe that I am as American as everyone else, yet free to enjoy and explore my Indian heritage. I believe that though I may look different than from what someone might consider a “real” American to look like, there actually is no guide as to what a real American is. Americans are made up of so many different races and ethnicities, that the American culture would not be what it is today without all different backgrounds.

As an American Muslim, I believe that I should be able to practice my religion freely without any persecution and that I should not be treated differently than anyone else.

I believe that no one can look at someone else and assume that they’re bad just because of the way that they’re dressed, or look, or speak. Since 9/11, just because of their faith, American Muslims have been singled out and questioned about their loyalty and patriotism to the United States. I believe that this is wrong, since you can’t take one and use them to label everyone else like them. For example, Adolf Hitler was a Christian (or at least he said he was) but that doesn’t mean all Christians are like him. I believe that the terrorists who killed so many people September of 2001 did a horrible thing—and almost any Muslim you talked to would tell you the same. Just because one person who said they were Muslim did a terrible thing, it doesn’t mean all Muslims are terrible. I believe that killing people, especially innocent ones, is one of the worst things you can do. I believe that since all Christians aren’t said to be murderers, all Muslims shouldn’t either. It would show equality between religions if people of different faiths were treated the same.

I believe that Americans of all colors, religions, and beliefs will continue to strive for equality between all different peoples, and I believe that someday, our goal will be reached.