All over the world, people are being judged by their appearances. This is the harsh reality for Muslims living in today’s society. Following the September 11th terrorist attacks that took place in 2001, Muslims have become the primary victims of alienation and hate crimes, becoming targets of verbal and physical abuse. Why? Because they fall under the description of “the apparent Muslim”. “The apparent Muslim” is defined as somebody who has physical features that are said to be similar to those of the stereotypical terrorist: dark facial hair, brown skin, and donning a turban. What the people who commit these heinous crimes (as well as the many others who view Muslims as a threat) fail to realize is that those features are actually just the racial and religious features of Muslims. It is completely unfair to automatically assume, on the sole basis of their appearance, that every single one of them has bad intentions. That would be like saying all Asians are evil because they have black hair. When you look at it like that, it seems absolutely ludicrous to pass judgment on a large group of people who simply share the same attributes, doesn’t it?
To make matters worse, the media is notorious for producing extensive media coverage on violent occurrences such as the recent beheadings of American journalists by Isis. These broadcasted incidents indirectly encourage more hate towards Muslims as it projects them in an extremely negative light. Having such events publicized is what causes extremists, who only make up a small portion of the Muslim population, to act out violently; they want to have their voices heard and the best way to accomplish that is through mass media. Furthermore, this creates a false representation of the Islamic tradition and the media is only helping to project this false image to the public. The media is great at miscommunicating information and in this case, it eventually leads to the misidentification of certain groups of people. People from all over the world are grouped together and misidentified as terrorists simply because they have similar appearances. Nobody ever looks further than that to recognize that a lot of these people don’t even practice the same religion or have the same way of interpreting the Islamic tradition. Even at airports, Muslims are the most common targets for searches. Again, this is because they happen to fall under the definition of “the apparent Muslim”. TSA officials try to brush it off each time, claiming that they are just conducting “random searches”, but if they really are completely “random”, why do so many Muslims find themselves having their bags rummaged through and each one of their belongings questioned? This is the reality that Muslims are doomed to endure for the rest of their lives, and all because of three simple words that people are unable to dismiss: the apparent Muslim.