Introduction An old history teacher of mine once said that people are incapable of seeing the endless things they share when these common aspects of life stand in the shadow of their few differences. The differences of which he spoke promote unwarranted bias and prevent the advancement of all of humanity and even promote acts of war. Chief among those differences is religious belief. People treat people with a different religion with such great intolerance. They will either discriminate or commit hate crimes just to get their point across. For a country whose bill of rights promises the free practice and exercise of religion before all other things, this fact is startling. From islamophobia to anti-Semitism, religious intolerance presents
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The Problem at Hand In "Islamophobia and its Discontents," Laila Lalami references many instances in which regular conversation and discourse is interrupted with spurts of whimsical racism. Her success means nothing in the eyes of the religiously intolerant; as they force her to realize that she is Muslim. She shares some hate mail she received after publishing her first book, "[W]hat are you? MUSLIM OR HUMAN BEING. IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO BE BOTH AT THE SAME TIME" (Lalami 21). The hate and injustice that Lalami faces from day to day doesn’t start and end at hate mail. She also reports several instances in which strangers would claim that her husband purchased her for goats or camels and that perhaps she has a bomb in her vehicle (Lalami 21).
Lalami reports that approximately thirteen percent of religious hate crimes are islamophobic whereas less than one percent of the population is Muslim (Lalami 21). This data is disproportionate. The hate crimes against Muslims should theoretically converge on a number directly proportional to the population of Muslims in the country. The fact that these percentages are so far off implies that religious intolerance against Muslims is great. However, the Muslim population does not get the worst of it; according to fbi.gov, anti-Semantic hate crimes make up 63.2 percent of religion based hate crimes, yet Pew