This past weekend, millions of people marched to protest for women and their right in this country. There were many speakers that were present and gave speeches in hopes to inspire more women and people. One woman in particular, Linda Sarsour, a Muslim woman, gave a speech in Washington D. C. She spoke elegantly and powerfully and although everything went well, she received a lot of backlash for wearing her Hijab and got accused of being related to terrorism. There were many speculations she was connected to Isis and her role in the march was a way in for them. This thought and accusation is exactly what the march was trying to stop and wants for the country to stop doing. The country is sensitive still to Muslim culture, because of the 9/11 incidents. Because of this traumatic event, people still have a hostile and racist mindset of Muslim culture. It is unfair for a woman to speak in front of thousands of people for a great cause and then afterwards be accused of terrorism just because she was raised in a certain religion. Our country is primarily Christian/Catholic based and believes that God is the one and only ultimate power. I think we feel intimidated and afraid when others have a different religion than us, which is okay, but when people use their fear to take action when it isn’t necessary it creates a large problem. I think the United States is having a problem with this now.
In watching the movie we watched in class, I realized that religion is something that overcomes many people at all ages. To me, I think it’s a common misconception that people in their teen years or twentys that are usually the ones who struggle with religion and how they practice it. The film opened up my eyes that even adults, older in age, are still confused in their religion and still second guess it. Both sides of my family have always been so sure about God’s words, have never doubted him, and have never questioned why certain things happened. I thought that most adults thought this way as well, since that is what I’ve only known.
Something I thought was interesting in Chapter four of “Religion: The Social Context”, was how gender roles come into play with religion. He speaks how religions make it seem like men and women are supposed to have certain roles and carry out certain jobs or tasks. I think this gives people the wrong idea of how to live their life and that might be a reason why people turn away from their religion. Especially in this generation, when they are so many types of people that want to make their own decisions and live the way they want to. These ideas clash with their religion and make it difficult for them. I think Susie, from the movie, struggled with what was “expected” from her and began to feel overwhelmed with her religion.
Terrorism has slowly become a huge danger and fear that has spread across our world. Countries are beginning to not trust each other and begin to think that when another person is affiliated with another religion, they could possibly be in danger. In early December 2016, Slovakia passed a law that will effectively ban Islam from becoming a religion that people can practice in that country. By banning the Islamic religion, Slovakia hopes to get rid of any Muslims that are currently living in Europe and could potentially become a threat. The Parliament in Slovakia adopted a bill which needs a religion to have at least 50,000 members to qualify for the religion to be noticed and be able to have its own legislature. When the bill was passed there was only 2,000 supporters in Slovakia according to the last census and hardly any mosques. It is a little disrespectful to stereotype people and their actions based off of their religion and what they believe in. But if a religion does believe in things that could possibly be harmful to others, I understand why a country like Slovakia would take these actions.
While observing and listening to everyone’s religious lives and how they grew up this past week, I realized that we all had something in common. We all were raised to believe in some sort of religion or no religion and are now beginning to question in what we do or don’t believe in. We all have questions that are sort of unanswered, because religions are not able to give detailed answers or give certain exceptions to people who are in very specific situations. Believing in something that is much bigger than our understanding is hard for a lot of people and that is why people I think struggle with it. In today’s generation, there are a lot of things and ideas that certain religions, like Christianity and Catholicism, do not agree with. Having such strong opinions on whether things are morally correct or not can make people uncomfortable or make them rethink if that religion’s opinion is even correct. But for others, religion gives people more of a purpose to live and a template in the way that they should live and behave. In chapter 2 of the book, it explains that a person’s meaning system is learned from socialization. It states that religion serves as an important form of legitimation, or justification, for both the individual and their social order, which gives themselves understanding of one’s self. It is something that people cling to, because it helps them understand life just a little bit more.