Throughout the shooting spree in San Bernardino in South California, at least fourteen people were killed, while seventeen others sustained injuries. Police officials have named a Muslim couple, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, as the mass shooters. Both of them were originally Pakistanis. Malik lived in Saudi Arabia prior to traveling to US. Meanwhile, the Muslim communities in the US have slammed this incident. Nonetheless, signs of intensification of Islamophobia in the US have been evident. For instance, the leading Republican nominee, running for president, Donald Trump, has called for establishment of an independent center for gathering data on Muslim American nationals, and Muslims that reside in the US. Meanwhile, the groups which defend the rights of Muslims in the US are concerned that such approaches ultimately lead to violation of the civil rights of Muslims, and escalation of Islamophobia in the US.
The Muslim Americans have had a difficult time in that country in the wake of incidents such as this shootout; while throughout the recent years incidents have taken place in the US which had nothing to do with Muslims.
For instance, a few months ago a Christian youth barged into a Church of African-Americans in the city of Charleston in the State of South Carolina, killing nine African-American worshippers. In the aftermath of this incident, the US media and public opinion didn’t focus on the religion of the shooter, Dylann Roof, while referring to him as a racist and radical. However, if he had been a Muslim, his religious beliefs would have been focused upon. After the massacre in this church in the city of Charleston, no wave against Christianity emerged in the US. However, after the incident in the city of San Bernardino the wave of Islamophobia has escalated in the US.
Undoubtedly, there are good and bad people in any religion and school of thought. Just because a terrorist and violent group introduces itself as Muslim, killing innocent people, the sacred religion of Islam shouldn’t be wrongly portrayed. In the past fifteen years, the destructive consequences of adoption of a negative viewpoint toward Muslims have become evident. For this reason, the statesmen in the West have been acting more cautiously in attributing acts of terrorism of the extremist groups to Muslims. However, on several occasions, the public opinion in the West has intentionally or unintentionally pointed the finger of blame toward Muslims. The continuation of this situation will make life more difficult for Muslims in the Western communities, and would materialize the goal of extremists in waging wars in different parts of the world.