Quarterly: Issue No 82
Rabi us Saani 1438 / December 2016
GLOBAL HATRED FOR ISLAM & MUSLIMS
or anti-Muslim racism - is still not even acknowledged as a crime in most
Western countries. It is time for us to speak up for all
victims of terror, including the ones in Muslim countries. For example, the
latest attack on a shrine in Pakistan took place because the devotees follow
Sufism- a form of Islam defined as a form of Islam inspired by mysticism within
Islam. While it is common to hear prejudiced statements such as Muslims are
terrorists, refugees are dangerous, and Muslims are infiltrating our countries
– we must back up our claims with the facts.
The Rise of Terror and its Global Effects
Ever since the rise of global terrorism,
there has been an increase in Islamophobia across the world. There has been a
misguided, unjust and prejudiced rise of hatred against Muslims.
Let’s look at India to start with.
Despite Muslims accounting for 14% of the population, Muslims were represented
at 21.05% in under trial prisons in 2014 according to the National Crime Record
Bureau. Recently, the news has been flooded with overturning wrongful
convictions of Muslims who were branded as terrorists without proof. The most
famous case to come to light is that of Nisar-ud-Din Ahmed who was jailed at
the age of 20 and released at the age of 43 after it was proven that he was
jailed on the basis of false confessions for the five blasts onboard trains on
the first anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition.
Such political prejudices against
Muslims steeps into everyday life. This can be exemplified by cases such as the
innocent man who was lynched to death because he was accused of eating beef in
India, the travel ban that was imposed on 7 majority Muslim nations by the
United States and Poland’s refusal to take in a single Syrian refugee from 2016
after stating “After recent events connected with acts of terror, [Poland] will
not accept refugees because there is no mechanism that would ensure security.”
There is no denying that terrorist
attacks are dangerous, heartbreaking and terrible for any nation to witness.
Major terrorist attacks have taken place in 2016 in Brussels, Nice, Orlando and
numerous other places across the world. However, people have started
associating terrorist attacks with Muslims.
The Largest Victims of Terror
On July 3rd
2016, 300 people were killed and 225 injured in several bombings across
Baghdad, On June 28th, 45 people were killed and over 200
were injured in suicide bombings at an airport in Turkey and over 67 people
were killed in two car bombings in Ankara within a month of each other. These are just some of the many terrorist
attacks taking place amongst Muslim nations.
The fact of the matter is that terrorism
in Western nations is highlighted for days at an end and justifiably so. People
came together from all across the world to showcase solidarity when the Charlie
Hebdo attack took place in France and when the shooting in an Orlando nightclub
claimed dozens of innocent lives. However, the world watches in silence and
ignores the anguished cries of heartbroken families if the victims are from
The fact of
the matter is that Muslims are actually the biggest victims of terror. According to the University of
Maryland’s global terrorism database, a total of 167,221 terrorism-related
fatalities were reported from 2001 to 2015. However, 98 percent of the deaths
occurred outside the United States and Western Europe. 75% of all deaths
occurred in Muslim-majority countries, 22.4% in the rest of the world and 2.2%
in the US and Western Europe.
A Cry for Refugees
Since 2011, an estimated half a million
Syrians have been killed in Syria since the rise of ISIS. Millions of people
have been displaced and millions of children are left without a future. With no
food, no water, no hospitals, no safe shelter and no education – Syrians have
no choice but to flee their nation, where they are persecuted by ISIS and aware
of the fact that death is probably just around the corner.
ISIS is a terrorist organization that
not only persecutes non-Muslims, but also Muslims who do not believe in their
ideology of Islam. Any cruel group of individuals can take a holy doctrine and
spread hate. For example, a French journalist called Didier Francois is one of
the rare individuals who has been captured and released by ISIS. In an
exclusive interview with Christiane Amanpour, he stated that “It was more
hammering what they were believing than teaching us about the Quran. Because it
has nothing to do with the Quran.” He stated that it was more political than
religious, but ISIS knows that religion holds more power than politics.
We have to understand that Muslims also
fear ISIS and terrorism. As a matter of fact, refugees from Muslim nations are
fleeing to gain freedom from the terrorism they witness on a daily basis. In the
past, Muslims have given shelter to hundreds of refugees. For example, Albania
gave thousands of Jews refuge during World War 2 – saving them from brutal
torture and death in concentration camps.
Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor who
may not have had to go to Auschwitz if only someone had given him refuge, once
wrote: “We are all brothers and we are all suffering the same fate. The same
smoke floats over all our heads. Help one another. It is the only way to
It is time for us to come together and
help the millions of refugees that are running away from terror – the very
thing we are against. We have to speak up for unfortunate victims of terror who
do not have the means or resources to leave their homes that are being
destroyed by bombs.
It is time to
unite against prejudice, hatred, fear and violence to fight the enemy. The
enemy is terrorism and we need to fight terrorists and not Muslims.
foremost, we must push for Islamophobia to be acknowledged as a crime and to be
included in all national and Western statistics throughout the world. Muslims
should be supported in counteracting Islamophobia and thus must be seen as
allies with non-Muslims in the fight not only against extremism but especially
in the fight against racism in Western countries. Both civil society actors and
states should acknowledge the seriousness of this issue and develop concrete
policies to counter Islamophobia.
Allah (SWT) says:
“You shall certainly be tried
and tested in your possessions and in your personal selves; and you shall
certainly hear much that will grieve you, from those who received the Book
before you and from the polytheists (who worship many gods). But if you persevere
patiently, and guard against evil - then that will be a determining
factor in all affairs.” (Al-Imraan: 3: 186)
May Allah bless
us all with safety and protection against the enemies of Islam! Ameen.
SOCIAL MEDIA AND ITS IMPACT
A recent study by Microsoft
highlights that humans now have an attention span of 8-seconds – a
four-second reduction from a decade ago and one second shorter than the
attention of a goldfish. This is largely
due to the digital revolution.
Further studies show that 53-percent of which is digital and 23 percent
of that is from social media. There is no denying that social media has
transformed reading habits around the world. However, it is important to avoid
sensationalizing the phenomenon as the focus must be on adapting to the
challenge as it develops.
However, the real challenge is the one
that can be imposed by people. Whilst
social media has made information more accessible, it is up to people to
actively challenge the algorithms to ensure that they receive a wide-angled
view of the news that they read.
I request your sincere du'aas.
Abdul Haq Abdul Kadir