What’s going on in the world right now is pretty scary and it’s bringing out the worst in some and the best in others. I’m super proud of the way my town in particular has reacted to the refugee crisis and the amount of support being shown to the areas affected by attacks of terrorism. Protests have taken place, money has been raised, donations have been given and opinions have been shared which all contributes towards the greater good. The other side of the coin has well and truly succumbed to fear and allowed it to control them – vowing to take up arms and stand and fight the horrible scary Muslims. Wanting to defend your country is commendable and I think we quite possibly need defending too, but the confusion seems to be coming from whom exactly we are fighting. Misplaced and misguided anger is being directed at Muslims, refugees and brown people as a whole which just baffles me. Considering that all extremist groups including the likes of ISIS, Al Shabbab and so on only make up 00.03% of the entire Muslim population – 00.03% too many for certain but this miniscule amount of hatred is poisoning views against the billions of innocent peace loving Muslims. This is exactly what the terrorists want! They want us to hate Muslims and force naïve young men and women into their open arms ready for brainwashing, they want us to wage a war on all Muslims so that they can intervene, they want us to live in fear and change our behaviour, they want us to give them a REASON. I’m under no illusion that they need a reason because they don’t really, but us normal peace loving people do respond to reason and if they can point to any single event and say “this is why!” then they are winning.
I was at a concert in a city at the exact same time that the attacks took place in the Bataclan in Paris, doing the exact same thing as they were, except I was lucky enough not to be shot at. I’m not ignorant to the horrors going on in Beirut, Kenya and Syria. I know that it’s probably ten times worse over there and I know it’s terrible that the West aren’t as devastated by the violence going on in the middle-east and Africa. But I’ll be honest: it really brings it home when it happens on your doorstep to people just like you. Maybe I’m just as bad as those who want to “close the borders” by being more affected by the events in Paris than those is Beirut and Kenya but is it not natural to feel more at risk when these things happen so close to home? None of this has changed my stance on the refugees nor does it affect my view of Muslims overall, I wish this were the case for everyone yet sadly the islamophobic knuckledraggers are rearing their heads and using the awful events of the weekend to fuel their own agendas. I weep for not only the innocent victims but all of humanity for what will happen next, we’re on the brink of something awful and all I want is for the terrorists to be found and stopped without anybody else getting harmed in the process. This just isn’t looking likely unfortunately.
Much like the different types of Jews and Christians, Wahabbist Islam (arguably not Islam at all) is not the same Islam that most Muslims we know of follow, it is an extreme and hateful caricature of Islam that incites violence and hatred to non-believers and promotes rape and murder. Other Muslim denominations like Sunni and Shiite are as much of a target as the West, because they are referred to as “muslim imposters” for not being as extreme as the Wahabbis in their views. To put it in perspective: they condemn those who visit Mecca to take part in pilgrimage as they view this as worshipping false idols – that’s like a group of Christians attacking another group of Christians for going to mass in a church. Their whole aim is to debilitate their opponents with fear and brutality, if we are running scared and acting out of fear then they are winning and we can’t let that happen. We have to rid ourselves of the view that ISIS is associated with the entire middle east and Islam as a whole and see them for what they are, a global threat of terrorism who want to hurt us ALL. They aren’t Islamists because they do not abide by the rules of Islam, they are quite simply inhuman. I hope the #notinmyname tag continues to make an impact as the Muslim community disassociating themselves with these vile creatures is what the world needs to see, not that they should have to prove to anyone that they aren’t pro-ISIS but they shouldn’t feel that as Muslims they are more at risk of retaliation than non-Muslims. I for one think that the most powerful and harmful “fuck you” to ISIS would be for all Muslims everywhere to openly denounce the group from their faith. Sadly they are right to be afraid as IS are more likely to harm their own people than the West as traitors provide a bigger sting to them than the already corrupted heathens of the West. So to those sceptical of the wider Muslim community, don’t punish them for the actions of the very people they are trying to distance themselves from – they are just as scared as we are.
My heart aches for everybody affected by the attacks in Paris, Beirut, Iraq, Kenya, Israel and everywhere else but most of all it aches for an end to this war before it fully begins.