By Maya Valentine
The terror attack in New York City hurt.
When lives are senselessly lost to violence, one cannot help but feel rage, sadness, and in some ways, determined to end violence.
Acts of terror are commonly linked inextricably to demonizing groups and generalizing one’s actions for the actions of many. To be clear, Islam is not to blame for the attack that killed eight and wounded 11 last Tuesday, Sayfullo Saipov is.
“We are blasted as a community,” New York Activist Linda Sarsour told AOL News after the attack. “People are put in situations where they feel targeted, they feel afraid.”
The incident sent many to social media to ask for the deportation of all Muslims, razing mosques, and the “eradication” of Muslims all over the world.
In order to identify terror accurately, there needs to be a strong distinction between xenophobic mentalities and the actual violence that terror manifests.
An article in the Atlantic quoted a report from the Cato Institute on Trump’s travel ban, nothing that the “annual chance of being murdered by somebody other than a foreign-born terrorist was 252.9 times greater than the chance of dying in a terrorist attack committed by a foreign-born terrorist.”
And yet, Trump tweeted immediately to demand changes on immigration as a preventative measure for terrorism. Nevermind how white violence is a common form of domestic terrorism.
We are reminded of this in Charlottesville, when counterprotesters were run over by a car driven by a member of the “alt-right.”
We had to hear the hesitancy from our president, as he failed to adequately denounce white supremacists, KKK members, white nationalists, or terrorists.
Even with the Las Vegas Massacre just a month ago, when one man took it upon himself to murder 58 people and wound over 500 more.
The truth is that terrorism is not associated with any particular religion, it is associated with hatred. And if we refuse to come to this understanding, then we divide ourselves even more.
If we live divided, we really are nowhere closer to preventing these acts of violence.