Social Justice Opinion: Stand with France, don’t discriminate a religion By Matt Stephens Posted on November 17, 2015 5 min read 0 0 585 Photo courtesy of Beverly & Pack via Flickr Before the Green Bay Packers took on the Detroit Lions on Sunday, there was a moment of silence for the innocent lives lost in Paris. While many in the stadium remained silent, one fan was outspoken and shouted, “Muslims suck.” Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers had a response, saying, “I must admit, though, I was very disappointed with whoever the fan was who made a comment that I thought was really inappropriate during the moment of silence. It’s that kind of prejudicial ideology that I think puts us in the position that we’re in today, as a world.” Many individuals have a “prejudicial ideology,” as Rodgers discussed. Individuals simply jump to conclusions and make sudden judgements while generalizing a situation. Following the events in Paris, many have begun to associate a particular religion with terrorism once more. We have seen anti-Muslim comments through various forms of media and from individuals nationwide and abroad. This is a problem. On Sunday afternoon, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and noticed some of my own peers were making anti-Muslim remarks. This commentary left a bitter feeling in the pit of my stomach. What have we come to as a society when we make remarks about a religion based on the actions of a terrorist organization? The mainstream Muslim community has denounced the Islamic militants and is generally a very peaceful community. On Saturday, in Ontario, Canada, there was a fire that broke out in a local mosque. Luckily, there were no individuals in the mosque at the time, but the fire created an estimated $80,000 in damages due to smoke. Investigators determined the fire was intentional. This type of action is depressing. The individuals responsible for this action are terrorists themselves. Threats are not limited to Canada, though; hours after the terror in Paris, St. Petersburg, Florida, experienced an instance of hatred. A voicemail was left at a local St. Petersburg mosque, and the call had some heated words. “We are tired of your (expletive) and I (expletive) personally have a militia that is going to come down to your Islamic Society of Pinellas County and firebomb you and shoot whoever is there in the head,” the caller said, “I don’t care if they are (expletive) two years old or 100. I am over your (expletive) (expletive) and our whole country is.” Hatred does not stop with everyday citizens. GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump told MSNBC we should “strongly consider” closing mosques in a recent interview on “Morning Joe.” What is really sad is that Trump has a strong show of support by Americans in recent polls. This religious finger pointing needs to end. People need to point the finger at the terrorist organization behind the terror, not a religion. The cultural divide between individuals is getting very out of hand. Stand with all countries experiencing hardship, but do not generalize all people of a religion based on the actions of one group.