Muslims unfairly under suspicion
By : Linda S. Heard
There is a post doing the rounds of social media that reads “There are about 1.7 billion Muslims in the world. If Islam really promoted terrorism you’d all probably be dead by now.”
Unfortunately, following the attacks on Paris, Muslims in the US and Europe are shaking their heads, saying, “Here we go again!” Anti-Muslim sentiment is on the rise just as it was post 9-11.
Two American citizens of Palestinian origin were prevented from boarding on a Southwest flight from Chicago to Philadelphia all because a fellow passenger had overheard them speaking in Arabic.
Four passengers of Middle East descent were removed from a Spirit Airlines flight from Washington to Chicago after a terrified woman ran with her child to the rear of the plane. Attacks on mosques, individuals and even homes in the US are increasing.
French Muslims say they are beginning to feel alienated and while walking around they are often met with hostile stares and the same for the UK where Scotland Yard has registered a 22 percent spike in religiously-motivated hate crimes.
Such paranoia is being whipped up by US Republican presidential candidates who should be ashamed of themselves — and God save not only America but also our world if any of those concerned make it to the White House!
Donald Trump swears he’ll close all mosques and force American-Muslims to carry special ID cards. Marco Rubio wants mosques as well as places where Muslims gather such as cafes, diners shut down. Ben Carson has referred to Syrian refugees as “rabid dogs.” Ted Cruz wants refugees to be subjected to a religious litmus test to cherry pick Christian asylum seekers.
The Rhode Island Sen. Elaine Morgan wrote in an e-mail forwarded to her colleagues, to the effect refugees should be segregated in camps because “the Muslim religion and philosophy is to murder, rape and decapitate anyone who is non-Muslim.” How can a senator be so terminally ignorant and disgracefully bigoted!
Let us get something straight. In the first place, at least six of the Paris attackers were either born in France or Belgium and could hardly be called adherents to their faith when several were known criminals, at least three, including the alleged mastermind believed to be close to “Caliph” Baghdadi were heavy drinkers; several were high on cocaine and heroin and one owned a bar.
The woman killed during the police raid on two apartments has since been described as “a party girl” who drank, smoked and posted dubious photographs of herself on the Internet, including one taken while she was in the bath. Her friends assert she never attended a mosque and didn’t pray.
The Syrian passports found at the scene where suicide bombers had detonated their belts, are known to be fakes. Nevertheless those refugees fleeing pure horror are being made to pay the price with stringent border controls that leave many literally trapped with their children in no man’s lands outside the borders of Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia.
While it’s understandable that Europe is hyper-nervous it should be remembered that Daesh has slaughtered more Muslims that non-Muslims. Those, its affiliate, recently bombed in Kabul were Muslims. Daesh-claimed suicide bombings in Beirut killed 40 Muslims. The United Nations reports that over 24,015 Iraqi civilians — the vast majority Muslim — were killed by Daesh during the first eight months of 2014 alone. How many of their victims were Syrian is unknown.
Casting aspersions on 1.7 billion co-religionists is akin to blaming all Christians for the brutality of the Spanish Inquisition or the genocides perpetrated by Nazi Germany. Muslims are just as much the victim of a group that is primarily politically motivated to grab territory, natural resources and power over populations.
The bigoted attitudes on display now are a gift for Daesh because if Muslim communities begin to see themselves as targets, discriminated against, their places of worship closed and vulnerable to their front doors being knocked down by police in the early hours of the morning, they will no longer feel American or French or Belgian or British. Exclusion will lead to more disaffected youth heading for Syria or Iraq.
Governments and people of all religions are in the same boat. They must work together to combat this terrorist scourge and its hateful ideology in every way possible. Muslims everywhere are speaking out against Daesh like everyone else. Why wouldn’t they when this evil entity threatens them too? The Sheikh of Al-Azhar has called for all of them to be hanged or crucified.
Muslims have taken to the streets of Europe to make their feelings known, including a young man holding up a poster that reads, “My wife is a Muslim. She’s not a terrorist but I’m scared of her anyway” and another who covered his face asking passersby in Paris to hug a Muslim. The good news is that many good people did just that.
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in the Column section are their own and do not reflect RiyadhVision’s point-of-view.