My journey began at the age of eight when I arrived in the United States from Syria as a refugee. I was thrown into a society that was petrified of people that looked like me. My hijab turned the heads of many and the tongues of my culture raised red flags to most. Is that acceptable? Unfortunately not many seem to care. But the issue is beyond my people, it is a bigger scale problem that many immigrants, minorities and people of color face today. It was not hard to choose this topic. If there is one thing that I learned from living in the US for the past 10 years is there is a major gap between equality and equity. For example Our Criminal Justice System. Why? Because our country has dramatically expanded our jails and prisons and there is deep racism built into every step of the criminal legal system. Some think the criminal legal system has big problems that need to be reformed. Others think the racism in the criminal legal system is helping it operate exactly as it has been designed to incarcerate as many black and brown people as possible.The US is and always has been a very multicultural country. Nevertheless, minority groups in the US are unfortunately often subject to discrimination, ranging from racist comments to violent hate crimes. In many cases, immigrants are the blame for most crimes. Concerns about the connection between immigration and crime have a long-standing history in the United States, dating back to colonial times. Increased immigration was believed to be associated with increased criminal activity. Negative perceptions toward immigrants was, and still is common. These undesirable free immigrants were believed likely to become troublesome citizens. These misconception and stereotypes had become a “norm” to our society. When I first started searching, there were many ideas circling the subject. I knew that I wanted to focus on the negative aspects of the Criminal System. I used the Wayne State databases available through the Undergraduate Library. My first few searches lacked the focus on immigrants. I was more focused on why the system needs changes and less about what changes, why and what are some roots of the problem. Some example of searches included police stops, police searches, Racist Criminal Justice System. They were helpful but none were specific. Searching “Immigrants” and “minorities blamed for crimes”, narrowed down the searching process. After I tried focuses on one minority group, Muslim American.In “Immigrants and the Criminal Justice System: An Exploratory Study”, by Robert Davis, Edna Erez and Nancy Avitable, an exploratory study was conducted on recent immigrant victims within the Criminal Justice System in the United States. The results was that immigrants reported and acted upon criminal behaviors. This suggest that recent immigrants’ expectation of the Criminal System may be different from those of native born. When I first read the results of the study, I was not surprise, but more awakened. I already knew what the results were going to be, but seeing statistic proof puts everyone in a reality check. However the study can be skewed. “Based on these data, the cities and New York and Philadelphia were selected as the research cites” (Davis 3). The results might not be as accurate or a representation for most immigrants, but it is close.Going back to the Wayne State University databases sites, I found an article written by CQ Researcher titled “Racial Conflict” by Peter Katel who was trying to answer if US policies are discriminatory. A Bureau of Justice Statistics analysis showed that if current incarceration rates remain unchanged, 32 percent of black males and 17 percent of male Latinos born in 2001 can expect to spend time in prison during their lifetime. This compares to only 6 percent of white males who will go to prison. African-Americans make up 12 percent of the U.S. population, but today compose 40 percent of all prison inmates and 42 percent of those sentenced to death. Katel claims that “Those who favor government activism acknowledge that government programs can hurt some intended beneficiaries. “The ghetto has become a slum,” says William Sampson, chair of the public policy studies department at DePaul University in Chicago” (Katel 5). The connection between poverty and crime has long been noted. I felt like one of many causes of racism within the criminal system is the fear of immigrants, an example can be fear of Muslims or Islamophobia. A phobia, according to most people, is an exaggerated, usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation. It may be hard for the afflicted to sufficiently determine or communicate the source of this fear, but it exists. In recent years, a specific phobia has gripped Western societies : Islamophobia. As a Muslim myself, it is quite difficult to understand how my parents, my family, my friends and my people can cause such fear. The hatred, and hostility toward Islam and Muslims that is perpetuated by negative stereotypes resulting in bias, discrimination, and the exclusion of Muslims from social, political, and civic life. Living in my own country I do not feel respected, should that be normal? But what scarier than Islamophobia is some don’t believe in the existing of the problem, and other lack to realize that they are talking about real people, they are labeling a group of individuals as a “phobia” because of their religion. How would the world react if it was the other way around? Going back to the CQ Researcher site through the databases provided by Wayne State, it did not take me long to realize the lack of consideration many have toward this issue. I ran across the a newspaper written by Kenan Malik. His argument was that Islamophobia doesn’t exist and Muslim leaders are “inflating the threat of Islamophobia helps consolidate their power base, both within their own communities and wider society” (Malik 3). After the 9/11 attacks, many blamed the whole religion of Islam for preaching destruction and violence. There is a major effect of Islamophobia, it deals with policing, that we must address the criminal justice system as a whole. We must dive in deep into the issue and abuse and oppression in our criminal justice system. We must allow our faith to inform us into peaceful action by engaging with others and calling for action and reform where it is needed. I wanted to understand the issue through a different culture, so I shifted my focus toward Black Americans. That is what Kenneth Jost pointed out in his article “Racial Profiling” That I found through Wayne State’s Undergraduate library database. He stated that what we are dealing with is not a general social disorder; but specific groups or people who for one reason or another, are deciding not to abide by the same code of conduct as the rest of us. “The black community – the vast majority of whom in these communities are decent, law-abiding people horrified at what is happening – need to be mobilised in denunciation of this gang culture that is killing innocent young black kids” (Jost 4). The mainstream understanding of criminal justice is that criminal system is discriminatory against all minorities, but some groups and a greater target. Of course, we can not ignore the reason of the rise of Islamophobia, which is the election of the new president. So I shifted my research direction a little and started focusing on Trump. Some of the phrases that I searched included, “hate in the United State toward Muslims”, “Trump and Islam.” Then I found something interesting. In an article titled “Muslims in American” written by Reed Karaim who is the winner of the Robin Goldstein Award for Outstanding Regional Reporting and other journalism honors. What made me stick with this article was the unique structure. It was a timeline of Muslims background in the United State. He discussed the long presence of Muslims in the US, arriving as early as the 17th century. “The single most dangerous stereotype is that Muslims do not like American society, do not buy into the American dream, are not integrating in the American society,” says Kariam (4). Such stereotyping resembles past American attitudes toward most immigrant groups. The big question Kariam and many Americans are asking is should the United States restrict immigration and travel from Muslim countries? Unfortunately many lack ethics and morals to see what is actually wrong with this ban. Equality and religious freedom are our bedrock values. They are in our Constitution and should not be forgotten in difficult times. Yet recently, we have seen a politics of fear used to justify discrimination against Muslims. This has resulted in unwarranted surveillance, unlawful profiling, and exclusionary immigration policies targeting people based on their faith, nationality, or national origin.After trying to find the answer to why our criminal system is discriminatory, I soon realized that this issue is an ongoing problem that is caused by many factors. It needs a solution and the government uses discriminatory profiling as official policy in the national security context in multiple ways. Muslim Americans and other communities cannot allow for injustice to fester in our justice system and expect to receive justice for ourselves. Whether calling for criminal justice reform, supporting prisoners’ rights or advocating for changes in policing, our faith must inform our actions.