I have wanted to ask this question for a long time now, Is it a crime to be a Muslim in this world?
Yesterday August 10, 2006 The British officials uncovered a plot to blow up airlines carrying people to from London. All the 21 people apprehended are Muslims and some have Pakistani heritage. After this incident, President Bush declared that “Islamic Fascists” are waging war against the West and democracy. Muslims in and in fear a backlash after this incident, which once again shows the growing hostile attitude towards Islam as whole, not just towards the terrorists.
Why do I have a problem? Well I have a problem with this demonization of Islam and Muslims for crimes committed by some misguided people. This is wrong and violation of basic freedom of religion and freedom of association. If one Christians commits a crime do the media make all the Christians criminals? No. If a Hindu kills someone do the media make all Hindus murderers? No. Not for a Sikh, a Jew, you see that this “collective criminalization is jut for Muslims. One Muslims blows up a building and the media and the government jumps up and down screaming all Muslims are terrorists. Is this fair? Does this make any sense? Are we trying to say, it is a crime on itself to be a Muslim?
I am not a Muslim but I feel bad for the community which has been at the receiving end of the public backlash especially after the event of Sept.11. The terrorists have hijacked a religion and the community to achieve their motive. They have hijacked Islam to achieve their goal of spreading fear and violence. But these are few criminals, the whole Muslims community is not planning to blow up American buildings, kill the British. So why is the media repeating “Islamic” terrorist, why our president is saying “Islamic Fascists?” Islam has nothing to do with the terrorism and the terrorists. It is the religion most of terrorist follow but Islam is not telling them to be terrorist. To blame the whole community and the people is wrong.
So what is the solution? I believe that we should have a confidence building measure to foster understating between Islam and other communities. Learning the true message of Islam and the culture will help us understand why Muslims do what they do and how we can eliminate the fear and suspicion about them.
The fact that many Muslims living in the West, especially in Europe feel marginalized and out of the national main stream prove that we as a community have failed to have a culturally assimilative society. We have created separate “mini-nations”, where different culture and religions live among themselves but never mix in the society. There has to be a concentrated effort on all sides, Muslims and the Western world to come closer and put an end to this blaming game which just spreads hate and lies.