By JAVEED BIN NABI
Whenever there is an act of terror, or even an incident of shooting anywhere around the globe, I find myself praying that the attacker is not a Muslim. Because every time, on every terror attack, the media shows its double standards and zealously spreads offensive narratives. It is then hurriedly said that every Muslim is a terrorist and a monster.
Being a Muslim, I always condemn every terror act around the world, where both Muslims and non-Muslims are brutalised. But unfortunately, because some evil elements like Boko Haram and ISIS, who have wholly hijacked religion, and are carrying out abominable acts in the name of Islam, the latter gets a bad name. Instead, we know Islam is religion of peace and enlightenment. A religion where nobody is dispensable, and all are equal. But in today’s world, the media and these organisations put out their foul narratives to defame Islam. Otherwise, it is a truism that whenever there is a terror act anywhere around world, almost always Muslims are targeted.
Why blame only Muslims? We have seen in the past that western chauvinism has led to gross crimes. If every Muslim is a terrorist and callous in nature then who started the two deadly world wars in which millions of people were killed? Who dropped atomic bombs on two cities of Japan? America and its allies during the illegal invasion of Iraq killed around a million children, then we have the ongoing war and occupation in Afghanistan, NATO’S intervention in Libya and backing of the Saudis who are dropping bombs on Yemenis.
Throughout the world, the human rights of Muslims are being curtailed and curbed, freedom of speech is being muzzled and propaganda is repeatedly put out against Muslims, which leads to the sense of isolationism among Muslims around the world. Terror acts in Muslim countries do not get the same attention or condemnation as terror acts in Paris or Brussels. This, despite Muslims witnessing brutal terror acts like in Pakistan, Nigeria, Kenya, Egypt, Yemen, Turkey, Iraq, Palestine, Syria, Afghanistan and Kashmir. But the so-called civilised leaders of civilised countries turn their eyes away from all this. Are daily attacks by Israel on the Palestinians not an attack on humanity? Was the barbarity of Putin of Russia on hapless Syrians not an attack on humanity?
On the other hand, we have seen how US presidential candidates are frequently giving radical and incompatible statements on Muslims of the world. Undoubtedly, they always blame Muslims and their religion. Yet, hundreds of Islamic religious scholars have condemned heinous and brutal terror acts in the Middle East and other parts of the world, be it by ISIS or Boko Haram or what happened in Paris, Brussels or Kenya.
If the people of the world, irrespective of caste, creed and colour want to live peacefully, and in prosperity, then we should avoid blaming Muslims and Islam. For a while, we must think critically where the world is heading and the need of the hour is to change the current ‘death policy cycle’ of western nations towards Middle East and South Asian countries. However, if we fail to change this cycle then bloodletting will grow, and more generations will be ruined.
—The writer is a student of International Relations at IUST