As the Update Staff, it is our responsibility to properly inform our audience and produce content that accurately reflects the truth. Unfortunately, in the staff editorial published in our March 5 issue, titled “Religious intolerance breeds from ignorance,” we failed to meet the standard we strive to reach as the editorial staff. Although our intention for this piece was to shed light on the ways in which religious intolerance is bred, there were two specific instances in which we did not achieve this goal.
For this, we are apologetic and sorry for any harm or frustration this has caused our readers. As a staff, we are committed to eradicating our internal biases, and prejudices by providing content that unites our community surrounding topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Primarily, in the sixth paragraph of the editorial we included the phrase, “Not every Muslim is a terrorist, but the presence of these terrorist groups lead ignorant people to only associate terrorism with the Islamic faith.” With this statement, we left up to interpretation the fact that terrorist groups who may identify with the religion of Islam are not to be associated or representative of the Islamic faith whatsoever.
Additionally, in the editorial’s graphics we included four individuals of various faiths. These faiths were intended to represent members of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and Islam. As a result of these graphics, we generalized each religion and utilized portrayals of stereotypical members of each faith. Within this, we depicted an Arab man without any clarification that he would be of the Islam faith. We understand that our false judgment only enhanced stereotypes and generalizations which we never intended to do. Although our intentions were not rooted in malice, we will continue to listen to our readers and learn from our mistakes.
As we move forward and continue to hold ourselves and the publication accountable, we have an incredible appreciation for the voice of our readers. We encourage any and all who would like to write a letter to the editor which will be published in our next print issue. If this interests you, please contact Jason Laplow or Cammie Hall.