Think twice before you make an uneducated remark about Muslims. When Heraa Hashmi was asked by her classmate why Muslims don’t condemn acts of terrorism, she went home and compiled a “spreadsheet with 5,720 instances of Muslim groups and leaders denouncing various acts of terrorism.”
In Teen Vogue’s article “Teen Makes Spreadsheet of Muslim Groups Denouncing Terrorism” the author, Joshua Eaton, states that Hashmi made an effort to change her classmate’s mind through actions because someone who has adopted a rigid mentality cannot be easily persuaded by words.
Hashmi also states that this compilation of sources was not just to educate her classmate, but also to target any news sources that have a mutual ideology. Hashmi said it took her three weeks to create this list of 712 sources and plans to add to it. It was shared 12,000 times on twitter.
As much as Hashmi learned about several different Muslim coalitions that go under the radar despite actively standing against terrorist attacks committed in the name of Islam, she ultimately argued that innocent Muslims should not have to apologize for the actions of others.
She went on to tell Teen Vogue, “I hated the questions that came my way. I hated how I had to respond for my entire country and my entire religion.” Hashmi also argues that the whole process of finding sources to counter the ignorant comment made by her classmate should not have been necessary. Until society replaces the fear of the unknown with the desire to know, Hashmi understands that she may be the only Muslim some encounter and, in that case, bears the burden of conveying the truth.