Muslim child in Urumqi, China
Last Friday evening, amidst a concert I played with the University of Toronto wind ensemble at Trudeau high school, my eyes were glued to my little phone in hand - frantically reading all news updates I could find via Google. A tragedy in Paris again, not even a year after the Charlie Hebdo terror attack. There I was, amidst all the "terrorist attacks in Paris" updates, praying to God this wouldn't be another so-called "Islamic extremist act".

The last few years have been frustrating and sickening to say the least. Humanity as a whole is constantly affected by the inhumane acts of a few radical, misinformed (oftentimes young/brainwashed) individuals with no proper intelligence or understanding of their actions, morals, or 'beliefs'. Heinous crime after heinous crime, tainting, altering, and shamelessly mangling a religion "in the name of God."
Yet what God, I ask you, would allow for such an inhumane act as mass murder of innocent civilians?

The fact that I, as a Muslim, am glued to the news after any shooting praying and hoping this isn't another "ISIL kills in the name of Islam" bullshit only proves how media has altered our perception of the "root of terrorism." (FYI so many other terrorist organizations claimed the attacks as their own.) Too often does Islam and terrorism come to mind when one of the words is spoken. An unfortunate truth I've lived in since second grade when tragedy struck in NYC on 9/11.

The acts of violence in Paris are in no way a proper representation of Islamic beliefs or Muslim "rituals" (as some have grossly called it). Rather, they are a disgusting act manufactured by uneducated and naive individuals more interested in falsely defining jihad than picking up a book. And yet, people still point fingers at the Muslim community as a whole.
No surprise that ignorance instigates fear. No surprise that history repeats itself. No surprise at all.

Though these events were in no way a surprise, exceptionally shocking and filled with the utmost sorrow, the aftermath was perhaps another shaking slap back to reality - (at least, on a personal level) – that perhaps very few ounces of ‘progress’ have been made since the birth of Islamophobia. Social media is plagued with thousands calling for a reconsideration of the “Syrian refugee crisis”. Senators writing to Obama informing him that they will not be accepting refugees into their state(s) (perhaps forgetting that this terror is exactly what they are trying to run away from?). Even here in Canada, a group of individuals insisting that we reevaluate our decision to welcome a number of refugees. Some have even called for a shutdown of all Mosques (Headline titled: Trump Says Something Stupid Again) and a deportation of Muslims (sounds like ethnic cleansing to me). 
As seen in both political media and social media, lives of those living in America or Europe are discussed about considerably more than those living in Asia, Africa, or the Middle East. This is perhaps most recently seen during the tragic events in Paris. The overwhelming crisis appeared on all news sources. Millions of people shared the events and headlines on their social media platforms – actors, actresses, politicians, and the world's most important, influential leaders, voiced their condolences and their willingness to support Paris in whatever they may need. The hashtag Pray for Paris was trending on just about every media outlet and Facebook introduced two new features – one for Parisians to inform friends and family that they were safe, and one which allowed users to temporarily add the French flag to their profile photo.
Though this support is in no way a negative affair, the same reaction does not materialize when another non-Western country is involved. Only one day previous to the attack on Paris, Beirut was grieving over the detonation of three suicide bombers which killed 43 civilians (which, I admit, even I did not hear about until a few days later).  Hundreds of individuals die daily in Syria, and Gaza still remains an occupied territory in Israel. Yet the reaction of these catastrophic events are not granted the same media coverage. Not even a little.
This is in no way a new phenomenon. The idea of a so called “Western” society has affected the lives of billions (in no way speaking for everyone who lives in the West). Specifically in the “Muslim World.” The idea of a “Muslim World” – at least on a financial, political, cultural, and military standing – is a strange concept far from reality. The vast majority of the Muslim population today is so immense and exceptionally diverse. It is filled with a plethora of languages ethnic groups, ideology, and sectarian positions - most of which are non-Arab. FYI. Even in Western Countries themselves there are over five million American Muslims and ten million European Muslims – and these are all individuals who were born in “The West” and lived there their entire lives.
Yet still, so many envision 'all Muslims' to be radical terrorizing individuals. To which I roll my eyes. There are currently 1.57 billion Muslims in the world (23% of the world's population). If you were to speak to these individuals, it would be exceptionally obvious that ISIL (which should be referred to as Daesh) in no way holds religious legitimacy and should in no way be treated with any form or level of credibility - aka: how we stand against any other fanatical group. Therefore, I do not apologize or bother explaining my "interpretation" or "beliefs" to those asking why "my religion" "allows" for such violence and abuse. My religion does not allow that nor does it support it. And obviously, neither do I.
So, before you blame Islam for killing “in the name of God,” I urge you, please view this as you may view the West Baptist Church – a wretched, misinformed few citing religion for their own personal agenda. In this case, a way for Daesh to further “prove” that the West and Islam are against each other. Islam and Muslims are not the problem. Radical, extremist people are.

TLDR: ISIL/ISIS (Daesh) does not represent Islam and believing that it does in any way is pretty moronic. 

2 comments

  1. I agree with you, Islam and Muslims are not Daesh.
    We must be strong against the terrorism...

    ReplyDelete

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