As intelligent minds on the Lake Forest College campus, most of us have our own personal views about the media. I ask each and every one of you, respectfully, to let me acknowledge my view on “Muslims in the Media.”
On February 8, three students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill were murdered at gunpoint. All three were innocent Muslim- Americans. Inocence is emphasized because the media failed to acknowledge this tragedy because the students were Muslims.
It took many users of social media using #ChapelHillShooting and #MuslimLivesMatter for the mainstream media to finally acknowledge the deaths of Deah Shaddy Barakat, his wife, Yusor Abu-Salha, and her sister, Razan Abu-Salha. It is saddening that the media do not find Muslim lives as important as other lives lost in school shootings. No matter what faith, race, or where we come from, we are all human.
Being different is the beauty of being human. There have been many allegations toward the shooter, calling his actions a “hate crime.” This article, however, focuses on the lack of attention the media gave to these students, not the intentions of the shooter. It took many days for the media to finally have coverage comparable to the “instant breaking news flash” used in every other case. No doubt the Paris shooting is unjustifiable for what some Muslim “extremists” committed.
The media, however, use direct tagging terms such as “terrorist” toward Muslims, which is unjustifiable and perpetuates false stereotypes about the Muslim community. The France shooting was, no doubt, unjustifiable for “extremists” to commit those heinous murders, but for the media to tag them as “terrorists” because of being Muslim is not correct.
This article wishes to address to all Muslims and non-Muslims on campus the fact that the religion of Islam does not promote violence or hate crimes toward others. It is the “extremists” who commit those acts of violence. The media have consistently made false narratives to religion as a reference. Islam is a religion of peace, integrity, and love. Asalam Malikum Everyone (Peace be upon) is the greeting Muslims commonly use to greet each other; this shows how Islam promotes peace when interacting with anyone.
Killing in Islam is only permitted during times when injustice is taking place; it is mentioned in the Quran (5:53), “Whomsoever kills a soul, unless it be for murder or for wreaking corruption in the land, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind; and he who saves a life, it shall be as if he had given life to all mankind.”
Come to our Lake Forest Muslim Student Association (MSA) at 5 p.m. every Wednesday to understand more of our religion and philanthropy.