Free «Societal Changes» Essay
The vandalism of the Unitas mosque is a stark reminder of the several challenges that Muslims have to face in the current times. The troubles that Muslims face especially after the September 11 terrorist attacks continue to mount. For instance, Muslims face suspicion from fellow Americans. The aspect of being viewed as a suspect by a fellow citizen is quite intimidating. Additionally, the idea that the Muslim community is under increased surveillance from the authorities serves to compound an already bad scenario.
Since viewing the Muslim community suspiciously amounts to discrimination, the concerned authorities have several options that they use to address the emerging issues. The first approach has entailed mobilising and sensitising the community to be open (Coates and Schechter, 2004). In this regard, Islamic leaders and advocates have openly condemned extremists. In the same breadth authorities have adopted a fairer approach in handling security matters as all citizens are subject to the same measures such as searches at airports and at other sensitive places. Although measures were put in place to improve relations among the Muslims and other citizens, much did not take place. As recently reflected in the Gallup poll, prejudices against the Muslim community are increasing (Alavosius and Rodriquez, 2005).
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In the spirit of fairness, it is necessary to remark that terrorism is unacceptable. However, as much as terrorism is a negative behavior, there is no justification whatsoever to brand a community as a terrorist group. In this regard, the Unitas community should embrace fairness and stop victimizing a section of its members just because some of them engage in an unacceptable behavior. In the present times, individual responsibility prevails. As such, those individuals who engineer the terrorist acts should be held accountable as opposed to holding the Muslim community hostage. An act of looking at the terrorists as individuals as opposed to a community would help redress the situation and promote religious tolerance.
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Hate crime statutes are legal provisions that guard against communal-based spread of hatred. The statutes helps in defining hate speech and detailing penalties for those found guilty of engaging in the vice. The statutes are important in prosecuting crimes such as those witnessed in this case. Prosecuting these cases is important as it helps to deter similar cases in future as well as enhancing inter-religious harmony (Hampton, 2003).