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There is no doubt that the events of 9/11 had a profound effect on our society, the devastation caused by Islamic extremists put an unimaginable fear in not only Americans, but also populations around the world.

Sadly, the members of this extremist group justified their actions on the premise of their Islamic faith. I can't begin to imagine the devastation felt by Muslims towards these proclamations of "in the name of Islam". How horrific that such a peaceful faith is associated with such a violent attack.

I believe that most Americans, who are not of the Muslim faith, found it difficult to separate these extremists from Islam as a whole. This, I believe, was due to our lack of knowledge or familiarity with Islam. As an American, I was ashamed at the actions and viewpoints of other Americans who choose, through ignorance, to pass judgment on Muslims as a whole for the actions of one extremist group.

My lack of knowledge on the subject enticed me to enroll in an Arab cultures course. I wanted to learn about the culture rooted so deeply in the Islamic faith. The most beneficial piece of information I learned was the difference between Islam as a faith and an Islamic culture. In western culture, we tend to disregard the fact that the faith of Islam is not interchangeable with particular Islamic cultures.

Just as in any faith, religious teachings are subjected to interpretations. It is these jaded interpretations by which some countries choose to rule by that has misguided some to view Islam in a negative manner.

I believe it would be beneficial and would encourage any non-Muslim to learn and recognize the difference of an Islamic state whose reputation as being a culture that
is suppressive towards women and Islam as the peaceful faith which entails a deep rooted faith in living a life in accordance to a devotion to God.