I am a future high school educator. It will soon be part of my career to share with my students some of the most beautiful and terrible things about the world. One of these many beautiful things is acceptance.
For those of who need a history lesson, this great country of ours was created on the foundation that all people are equal. The Founders wanted the freedom to practice their preferred religion, separate from the English church. This was one of the many steps that led our country to where it is today.
But do you recall the other details of our country’s past? With more Europeans traveling to North America came an onslaught of bloodshed. Hundreds of thousands of Native Americans were massacred, and European Christians who believed they were making our new country a more civilized place nearly wiped out an entire culture and system of belief.
These same European Christians also ransacked villages in Africa and stole entire families from their homes. They were brought to our new country and dehumanized, enslaved to the European Christians. Because of this chapter in our history, an entire race of people has been raised by our society to believe they are less than what they truly are: Humans, like the rest of us.
When discussing religion in any setting, especially in my position in the classroom, we need to understand that there are radicals of every religion.
We cannot judge every Muslim by what a few people do and what religion they claim. The three Muslim exchange students who attended Wa-Hi this past year enriched our community with their presence and allowed our students to see a different perspective of this culture.
Should each religion, both Muslim and Christian, be judged as a whole by the actions of a few?
We need to accept our neighbors’ differences and leave our schemas behind. Acceptance will lead us past the ignorance of the few who believe otherwise.