One of most dangers things that drive the human race to war isn’t so much of territory, its ignorance. Most people fear change and difference. Ever since the 1980s when the US consulate was attacked in Iran most people began associating radicalism, terrorism, and Muslims together. Since those times, that notion hasn’t been better.
In a piece by Business Standard, Hate Crime in the US: Sikhs face Islamophobia too, “The rise in Islamophobia experienced by Muslims is not just conjecture: in 2015, reported Islamophobic incidents increased 200% in the UK and 78% in the US. And it is predicted that they will continue to rise unless we do something about it”. It’s no longer a misconstruing that Muslim countries are conveyed this way but any Middle Eastern country is beginning to be viewed this way.
Even Christianity can have radicals. During WWII, Hitler and Nazis viewed a perfect world as Christian, white, blond hair, and blue eyes. Even the disabled were viewed being too imperfect for Adolf Hitler’s world. He conveyed to the German people that people of another race and religion were a threat to the country and the world. This is what some Americans see in Muslims.
The problem now is mistaking Sikhs as Muslims. Business Standard did a study where they spoke with 382 teenagers and young adults from diverse ethnic and religious minority groups in Scotland. They found that most had experienced some form of this racism when being mistaken as Muslim.
According to CNN and the FBI, “anti-Muslim hate crimes in the US surged 67% last year, to levels not seen since 2001.” The Sikh Coalition, America’s largest Sikh civil rights group, has said that the majority of the reason Sikh groups have been targeted has been due to their articles of faith which include a turban and beard.
When negatively targeted, Sikhs haven’t pushed back in an aggressive way. They don’t want to be a part of the stereotype that all who are Middle Eastern are radicals. Instead, they’re taking this time to educate their attacker.
The answer is pretty simple on how to fix these negative conceptions of another grouping of people. Its to educate ourselves.