“That Bow Down Thing”

As I have said before, I am a religious studies and english double major. And we all know that the two things you don’t talk about are religion and politics. Also, what you will find out about me, is that I love breaking social barriers and I am not afraid to speak my mind. So, in saying that, I want to tell you the story of what happened last night.

I was sitting in my religion and politics class, taught by one of my favorite professors, and we were debating on whether or not schools should institutionalize voluntary prayer. I was on the no side, as I do not believe that the schools should force students to pray if they don’t want to, and by designating times it is discriminatory because not all of our population is Christian.

In the middle of this debate we had been talking about how the Islamic faith prays five times a day. And in discussing this we were making the case that it was already difficult for them to practice that part of their faith, but also that in it would disallow for them to pray when necessary. Schools would have the opportunity to then say “You already had time to pray,” and so on. Well, after we had already been discussing this topic for probably five minutes, a guy in my class says this.

“Well, when they need to go do their bow down thing-”

And I cut him off. Did he really just say that? Did he really just call it “their bow down thing”? We had literally been talking about it for five minutes, he was part of the conversation and clearly knew what it was called. I may not be a Muslim, but that is offensive even to me.

I have a strong passion for breaking down the stereotype of “all Muslims are terrorists” because it couldn’t be the furthest thing from the truth. The only coverage we have about Muslim people are from the extremists who make up less than 1% of the Muslim population. Even Christians have extremists (West Burrow Baptist Church for example) and yet not everyone thinks we are like them. It is time we end the stereotype, and that is my sole mission right now.

So, to the guy in my class who called praying five times a day “their bow down thing,” I have no respect for you. I had little respect for you to begin with, but this just tips me over the edge. You have completely and utterly discriminated against an entire group of people. You have offended an entire religion and those who support them and wish to see them escape persecution.

To the Muslim people: I am sorry. I am sorry that this stereotype has been accepted and taught to Americans and to the world. I will do anything I can to help them to see that you are really just people like we are. You just have a different set of religious beliefs.

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