No! She is not a Terrorist!Published: 09/15/2010 7:00 am By: Katie Warchol
Muslims also believe in the holiness of Jesus, Mary, the saints and prophets found in Christianity, and even mention them in the Qur'an. Sarwari said great women of The Bible, such as Mary, wore the hijab, or head scarf, and modest dress to show their obedience to God. So too do Muslim women wear their hijabs, not out of oppression, but out of respect for their Creator and to serve His will. The word "Islam" itself means "obedience and peace to The Creator and his creation," which demonstrates the religion is a call to respectfulness, not violence as some might believe.
Yet, these ideas of Islam as a violent, war-making religion continue. Qur'ans are burned. Mosques are protested. Hateful words are said. Sarwari thinks such sentiments are not the result of current events, but have been quietly building within the hearts of so many. She explained that rather than people educating themselves immediately following the events of 9/11, the ignorance multiplied and evolved into hatred.
"I think they didn't solve that problem where they should have and it's grown to be a big tumor and that's why it's happening," she said, but added it is also essential to reflect on where the hatred is coming from.
"I remember when 9/11 happened and my mom was in a head scarf and my dad was dressed a certain way and I was like, 'You have to be very careful' because even though they were older, there were so many hate crimes. And my parents said 'But we didn't do anything' and I said 'But you don't need to do anything. If someone's upset, they're just going to react.' And I said 'You have to understand that if we were in Afghanistan and this happened, we would probably feel the same way against the group of people that did it' and without thinking, you react. So you have to put yourself in the same situation, and if you can do that, I think you're at a whole different level. Now you're feeling their pain and trying to be in their boat. It's like you have to feel for them to understand them.
She explained the ability to look within yourself in order to understand the thoughts and actions of others, and the way to combat such fear and ignorance, all go back to education.
"When [parents are] not educated, how can they educate their children? I think religion and cultural differences should be taught at a very early age because kids need to understand it. If you're different, they shouldn't sit there and say, "Ok, because you're like this I should not like you, or because you're like this, I should bully you." They should understand that their differences are great and it's fine and that being unique is great and it's not a bad thing. It goes back down to we as educators and the parents and teachers and roll models, are we doing our jobs right in teaching our children?"