Two weeks ago, New York experienced a terrible tragedy when a man drove a truck into traffic, injuring several people.
It has been awhile since New York has experienced such a horrible monstrosity. For many, it has reopened wounds that had just begun to heal from the Sept. 11 attack 16 years ago.
We’ve had many recent instances where these attacks are carried out in the name of ISIS, shifting many Americans’ views on Muslims to the darker side of the spectrum.
As a Muslim-American, I personally cannot help but feel guilty for the terror that has been caused.
However, many Muslim-Americans, including myself, do not share the same views as these Islamic extremists.
We share a religion. A religion that many of us have grown up loving and believing is peaceful and welcoming of others.
Therefore, when we hear individuals of other faiths question our intentions, it leaves us feeling helpless.
We know our peaceful practice but many do not and it becomes difficult to express that to others.
At St. John’s, there is a such a diverse group of students. There is a large population of Muslim-Americans that I believe is well respected.
In light of the recent event, it’s been easy to be comfortable in an educational and social setting where everyone is understanding of one another.
I know that if I were to walk down the street wearing a burka or hijab and hear someone speak ill of Islam, I would feel terrible.
However, at St. John’s there is such a warm and safe ambiance that I do not have to dance around the idea of expressing myself and offending others or calling unwanted attention upon myself.
I can be proud to be what I am at the school that I love to attend.
Overall, I believe that I am so incredibly lucky to live in a state that is so diverse and such a melting pot.
Everyone is just accepting of one another and even when there is instances of prejudice, most people keep it to themselves because of New York’s open minded reputation.
In that sense, I count my lucky stars to be living in one of the greatest cities in the world and more importantly, attending a school that is incredibly diverse.
I genuinely believe that other cities, states and institutions can take a page out of our book to learn to deal with issues concerning particular groups of people.
It would really be a strong foundation to the path of recovery for our country as a whole.