On Tuesday, March 22, there was a terrorist attack by two suicide bombers in Brussels, Belgium.
According to the New York Times, the attack consisted of two bombings. One was at the Brussels Airport, which killed 10 people and one at the Maelbeek subway station, which killed about 20 people. Approximately 230 others were injured.
After the attacks, ISIS issued a statement claiming responsibility for the bombings. They said the attacks were done because they felt as if Belgium was a part of the coalition against the Islamic State.
It is scary that these attacks exist in the world, but they are nothing new. ISIS attacked a French music festival in Paris recently that injured hundreds of people, and it seems as if it is only a matter of time until a large attack happens on US soil.
Don’t, however, confuse Islam with terror. Don’t confuse Muslims with members of ISIS. Overall, Muslims are peaceful people. It sometimes is easier to blame all Muslims for the actions of a few like Donald Trump has done with his proposed ban of all Muslims from the USA.
Get an education. At VSU, there are World Religion and History faculty members that can provide information about Muslims and the various sects of Islam.
Meet some people. There are students at VSU from predominantly Muslim countries. Students can go to the English Language Institute, which is located next to the Student Health Center on campus, to get to know students from other countries. The ELI often holds events that try to help garner a relationship between foreign students and American students.
Contrary to what ISIS says Belgium is not against Islam. They are against terror, and like many other peaceful, forward thinking countries in the world, ISIS puts a target on them.
While we hope that military leaders around the world can put aside their differences and work together to stop ISIS from wreaking havoc among major cities, students should find out as much as they can about Islam in order to avoid stereotypical discrimination.