It is often said that western countries, in general, have negative stereotypes against Muslims. An example of this stereotyping manifested in a commuter train, in which coincidentally, Australia’s finest news personality- Stacey Eden, was present to give some lectures.
Whilst travelling on a train, a woman started verbally harassing a Muslim couple with negative stereotype remarks about their religion. The woman dressed in red, called the Muslim woman and her husband supporters of Islamic State (ISIS). Her assumptions were simply based around the fact that the couple were Muslims and the woman was wearing her hijab, thus making them synonymous with the militants.
Unable to control her temper whilst the woman was harassing and ‘racially abusing’ the couple, Stacy jumped into the debate and was heard saying in the video, “what’s it got to do with this poor lady? That’s not her doing it, that’s a minority of people all over the world. She wears it for herself because she wants to be modest. It’s got nothing to do with you. Have some respect, shut your mouth, and if you’ve got nothing nice to say then don’t say anything“.
The incident happened in Sydney and was captured on video by Stacy herself. The video has since gone viral. Many have congratulated Stacey for boldly correcting the woman’s ignorant opinion.
Stacy later uploaded the video on her Facebook page and explained that she had been listening to the conversation between the three people. She said, as the Muslim man tried to explain to the woman that not every Muslim is a member of ISIS, the woman continued not to listen, this infuriated Stacy and ultimately prompted her to jump into the conversation.
“So I sat there for a good 10 minutes before I started recording this. While I listened to this woman bad mouth Muslims and call the lady sitting opposite me an ISIS supporter because she wore a scarf. Then she told me to go join ISIS because I was sticking up for her. People like this make me sick. People who are so ignorant and disrespectful to other people who were clearly sitting there minding their own business. She was saying some pretty horrible and hurtful things before I spoke up, then as soon as I started defending them she stopped. People need to stop judging and putting others down over religion! Every religion has good and bad but if you take it back to the foundations, every religion is also built on love – to love one another. The purpose of religion is to control yourself, not to criticize others,” Stacy wrote.
Many religious groups have agreed with Stacy’s remark — if you do not have anything good to say about a group of people, then do not say anything at all. They say the actions of a very small number of people are not representative of the entire group.
However, others are of the opinion that the stereotyping of a minority group, in any social organization, has a deeply rooted history and that people have been brainwashed. This explains why when they experience cognitive dissonance, they are not willing to give up their old beliefs.
Stacy has lead an example, we cannot conclude on our assumptions and beliefs about a group of people based on the little information available to us. Let us free our minds of the stereotypes that divide us as people. We all have our problems, but it does not mean we are all bad people. There are sincere and dedicated people out there who are always ready to help those in need.
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