Tragic memories from 9/11 continue to instill hatred
By Parijat Jha
Abstinence. Sobriety. Modesty. These are all admirable qualities that reflect a moral individual. Americans continuously speak of the patriotism and cohesiveness of this country; however, it seems that one specific group of Americans is being isolated. In recent memory, Muslim-Americans have been persecuted because of the terrorist actions of a few. Regular Muslim-Americans have been labeled as violent, militant and most often, as terrorists. Not to say that the terrorist acts committed on September 11, 2001 are in any way excusable, but does that mean we can or should judge an entire culture?
In reality, those actions were against the Islamic mantra which focuses on peace and building a faithful relationship with God. Despite these positive characteristics, a large part of the Muslim population still faces obstacles. In a community such as Upper Arlington, it can be hard to see issues of discrimination because of the lack of diversity; however, in other communities, where diversity is more prevalent, problems still occur.
One way we can learn to be more accepting of Muslim-Americans is to become knowledgeable of the culture. One individual who tries to practice the ideas of his Muslim faith is UA alum Mohamed El-Hosseiny. Hosseiny has instilled in himself a drive to succeed in all aspects of life. While working at Graeter’s he is a customer favorite with a great smile and even greater enthusiasm. A junior at The Ohio State University, he chooses to live at home in order to follow his culture and his parent’s guidelines.
As a Muslim, he follows the faith by praying five times a day, not drinking and remaining abstinent. The purpose of praying five times a day is to repent, and to ask for forgiveness from God.
“Repenting is a big part of being Muslim. It requires resisting temptation and when you have lapses, then you have to ask for forgiveness,” Hosseiny said.
According to employees at Graeter’s, Hosseiny always maintains an attitude of kindness and charm above all others. His charm continuously brings back returning customers, hoping to see Hosseiny again.
However, even with his strong morals, Hosseiny, his friends and family have gone through unfortunate events.
“One time my sister [who wears a hijab] was standing near the Ohio State hockey arena, and a bunch of troops who had just returned from the war saw her,” Hosseiny said. “My sister was asked to leave for the sake of the troops, because seeing her was making them angry.”
America prides itself on freedom, so why did this individual, an American citizen, have to leave an open public area? Some may believe that this story was only protecting her, but for Hosseiny’s friend, Mohamed Soltan, it was much worse.
According to Hosseiny, his friend has been a victim of multiple hate crimes. From having his tires slashed, to having profanity spray-painted on his garage, his friend has faced an array of different forms of persecution. Instead of fighting back, he has continued life as usual and tries to ignore the hatred.
Many of us would not be able to have such patience, and we should respect and look out for our fellow citizens.
People like Hosseiny and his family and friends are not rare. Rather, it is the radical extremists from whom we make our misguided, hateful stereotypes who are rare. We, as an open-minded community, should do better to support these people instead of isolating them.
“I think what people should realize is that the religion has a lot of strong points. My religion is what has made me the person I am today,” Hosseiny said. “Every religion has its radicals. I think the important thing is to see the good and not label an entire religion for the actions of a few.” •