OpEd: “A prejudice against prejudice”

Since our country gained independence, it has been considered a melting pot.

A country founded by immigrants, built off of rebellion, and one that inherited a culture of hard work. In a time now when the world is more globally connected than it has ever been, it is ironic that it seems as though immigration is more looked down upon than ever. This feeling of anti-immigration and anti-populism is the topic of much debate in our own country among presidential candidates like Donald Trump with aggressive immigration reform tactics. But it is not just our country that deals with this problem.

Stigmas and stereotypes follow and plague people of different ethnicities and religions in countries all around the world. As just one example, the fighting and ideological differences between Israelis and Palestinians lead them to build a wall to keep each other out, something our candidates for office are thinking about as well. And now, with the emergence of ISIS and terrorist activity around the world, the Muslim community is beginning to suffer. In lieu of the recent Paris attacks, as well as the Syrian refugee crisis, among other acts of terror from ISIS and other Jihadist extremism groups around the world, Muslims are being stigmatized and turned away from countless amounts of countries while in search of political asylum and if they are not denied admittance into the country, they are made a social pariah within that community. Islam is the most popular religion in the world, so how is the majority oppressed by the minority? What ever happened to the welcoming of other cultures to learn and embrace alternative ways of living? The fear of assimilation from major countries in the west is disheartening.

People are threatened by those that have views different from their own and allow ignorant stigma to inform their judgement.

What is a young Syrian boy or girl to do with their future? It is unsafe to stay in their war-torn country but other countries rich in hope and opportunity for bright young minds are reluctant to allow them citizenship or just welcome them into a community without unfairly pooling them in with the evil people of this world that may share their religious preference. I think it’s time that the world starts judging people on WHO people are through their character and not WHAT they are based on their religion or ethnicity.

Once that happens, I’m sure peace will be easier to come by.

-Sean Ryan ’18, Junior Politics/Opinions Editor

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