Ilm 2 Amal
One thing that Muslims are quite used to in these politically trying times is being automatically implicated whenever terrorist atrocities occur. Yesterday’s shocking events, which led to the murder of over 90 people in Oslo, was one such further occasion for potential culpability.
Sure, such an implication might be hidden behind thinly-veiled words such as “Islamism” or “Islamist” or “Fundamentalist Muslim” (concepts and theories about which so-called non-Muslim “experts” are as clueless about as the Muslims themselves) but there’s little doubt that such labels are fronting a groundswell of anti-Muslim sentiment. A brief perusal of a normal day’s news will show this quite clearly with anything from “Muslim toilets” to “Muslim halal meat” all proving to be the latest threat to global security. Obviously.
But surely we now expect such nonsense to come from right-wing “Islamophobes” – for that’s the level of IQ we’re dealing with when it comes to some of these “conservative” and right-wing commentators. Why are Muslims making such a song and dance about what FOX News jumped the gun with, or why The Sun ran their next-day front page saying what it did, based as usual upon their ill-judged assumptions? That’s what these ignorant folks have always done! What exactly were you expecting?!
But for others around the world who don’t have a reputation for such nonsense, many of whom yesterday immediately feared that extremist Muslims were behind the Oslo attacks – and perhaps even voiced such a fear whether responsibly or irresponsibly – well, can they really be blamed? Hell, even I was petrified that they’d soon discover some Muslims behind it all! Hell again, I still refuse to rule out some extreme Muslim group behind it somewhere until I hear this monster Anders Breivik testify with my own ears!
None of us should have any doubt that there are a small number of hardcore, committed extremist Muslim terrorists who fully desire to cause such death and carnage around the world due to their misguidance and utter ignorance of true Islamic principles.
And this isn’t simply theory. If my personal experiences arguing with such fanatics isn’t sufficient, just the last decade has provided a catalogue of proof and opportunities taken by such terrorists to put their beliefs into practice, whether through horrific attacks in New York, London or Madrid as well as not to forget Pakistan, Jordan, Egypt and other Muslim countries. It is therefore not beyond the pale that when we see and hear of such terrifying breaking news we suspect Muslims might have been involved. The fact that tens of millions of Muslims in the West breathed a collective sigh of relief once official reports suggested no links to Muslims, is proof enough. Go on, admit it. You were one of them.
No, I don’t feel it to be completely fair to attack all those commentators who were suggesting possible links to Muslims. I would rebut anyone attacking me for thinking out loud that Muslims were behind this again, so I think others should be extended the same courtesy. A mistake is a mistake. They’ll be embarrassed enough as it is without Muslims having to stick their size 11’s in as well.
To my mind, Muslims mustn’t descend into the same muck that Islamophobes wallow in daily i.e. to use every single possible opportunity to attack those they see as the “Other”. And that’s why I also think that Muslims and other (mostly leftish) organisations should tone down their rhetoric that is flooding the social networks with continuous cheap comebacks upon some of these folks, or looking to gain political capital over the right. Now is a time for respect – a respect for the enormity of what has just happened in this tragedy.
This is not the time to gloat about “how Christians won’t be asked to apologise” or “the right-wing are as bad as the extreme Muslim terrorists” or whatever. Now is the time to grieve together over a quite sickening and horrible chapter in our modern day European history, and then we can work together later to try and ensure this never happens again – from anyone of any group.
I wish to take this opportunity to send my deepest condolences to the Norwegian people and especially those who have been directly affected by this terrible tragedy. I also wish to send personal condolences to my friend HRH Crown Prince Haakon, a noble man who I’ve worked with on interfaith and global dignity projects, someone who has always impressed me as such an excellent representative of his wonderful country. Your loss Haakon, is our loss.
Let us now mourn as members of the same family of humanity for indeed “blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4). Leave those who have no humanity to concentrate on what they like best: nothing but petty opportunities for cheap political gain.