This I Believe

Popy - Lake Worth, Florida
Entered on October 3, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Religion is something we’re born into, and is something we are taught to believe in and learn about. Being as though I was born into the religion of Islam, there have been many cultural conflicts here in America, as well the problem of racism after the incident of September 11, that I have encountered. Cultural conflict would be that of my living styles and rules against those of the American lifestyle, and a racist problem I encountered would be that of people constantly speaking about how evil Muslims are based on the actions of only a few people.

I would not say that I am a firm and religious Muslim, however, there are rules that I follow just because its is cultural or because I have to, and there are some that I do strongly believe in as well as disagree with. For example, it is against Muslim culture for a girl to be in contact with boys, or any other activity, until marriage. Here in America, it is hard to follow a rule such as that because it is alright for boys and girls to be friends. In my opinion, I do believe that girls and boy should have a limit to their friendship, but parents and family members should not strictly shun them from boys until they are married, because that is just ridiculous, and it is a situation that is unavoidable.

One religious rule that I do believe in and do follow strictly is not eating pork. Even though I have eaten pork by mistake sometimes, I have spent most of my life without eating it, and I believe that I can go on without it. Another Muslim view that I strongly believe in is that of being conservative. I myself am a very conservative person, but not as conservative as most Muslim women are. I like the idea of conservatism because I do not believe that women should have to wear ridiculous clothing to show off their sexuality, or anything else they want to flaunt.

When talking about the topic of racism, there have been many conflicts I’ve encountered, from people telling me to my face that all Muslims are terrorist and should die, to that of people blaming all the people of Islam for the crime committed on September 11 when in reality it is really the blame of only a few people who just happened to go whack and thinking that the Koran said something about taking over the world. My attitude towards this type of behavior is that it is unjust and unfair. I think people should understand that Muslims were also victims of 9/11, and they are just as scared as the Americans are. Instead of being so revengeful, and having an “America rules, can’t mess with them” attitude, they should be more open minded and realize that we are doing just as worse to them than the few Muslim people did to us. Yes, 9/11 was a tragic incident, but like many say, make peace, not war.

All in all, Islam is a very interesting religion, but the cultural opinions clash with those of America, and the racist comments are degrading and unjust. From what I have experienced, and from what I believe in, people should be more open minded, forgiving, and understanding, so in the end, the world will be a better place.