You probably don’t concern yourself with much, or anything, to do with Islam. I haven’t in a long time. Growing up a Muslim was tough and I lost my faith aged 12. I won’t get into the reasons. I have my own relationship with God. I go to Church, I went to a Church school, I find solace in talking to my own version of what God is. I sometimes go to Church to think, to talk, to ask God to take care of The Warrior for me (she was raised with two religions but she feels more Catholic), or to just sit and be quiet for a bit.
That’s not to say that I stopped being Muslim because it was awful. It just wasn’t for me. I understood it and I practiced it but I never felt like it was mine. Maybe I was simply too young to understand what religion was. Even so, I think my relationship with God says a lot about me anyway. I made it my own. I made it personal to me. It doesn’t fit much into any one religion and I am ok with that.
I hear more and more these days, especially since the country voted to leave the EU, that the reasons behind a lot (not all) of votes to Leave was to get rid of “the Muslims”. Islam has been related to terrorism so much, particularly since 9/11, that the lines between religion and terror have not just been blurred, they have been obliterated.
Islam is a peaceful religion. Are there issues with it? Of course. I think that it can sometimes be hypocritical. But that is true of ANY religion. Islam has been vilified over the course of the last 15 years or so, maybe more. It is something that many do not understand. That’s fine. There is a lot about other religions I myself don’t understand. The Warrior was raised a Catholic but also Hindu. I don’t understand Hinduism. I just don’t get it. Truth be told I haven’t really tried all that much. But I know that it should be respected because it is a religion. It is important, it is sacred to others and I should never ever disrespect it. And, most importantly, I shouldn’t disrespect those who practice it either.
I can understand the fear. I can understand why so very many people are terrified. Why shouldn’t they be? A terror attack could happen anywhere in the world and any one of us could be caught up in it. But terror attacks are not just committed by so called Muslims.
Anyone, anyone who chooses to blow themselves and/or others up, who obtains an assault weapon and shoots blind into a crowd of people, or enters a building and shoots anyone – whether that be one person or several people – is a terrorist. No it is not their religion that makes them a terrorist. No it isn’t. Their religion is not telling them to do this. That’s bull and that’s what they want you to think. For those of who you buy into this rhetoric, congratulations, you’ve done exactly what they want you to do. You’re proving to the Muslims who find this kind of barbarism appalling that they are alone in the world because you choose to buy into fear and not using your own common sense.
The Orlando shooter was a Muslim, yes. But he was also a suspected homosexual who was struggling with his sexuality, his identity. It was not an Islamic terror attack. It was a homophobic one. It was more about his homophobia, his self-hatred, his mental health and the fact that it is way too easy for people in America to obtain assault weapons. Those who chose to openly make this about Islam are wrong. They are dangerous. You know what? They’re just plain stupid. Did his religion play a factor in all of it, of course it did. I am not saying it didn’t. But it wasn’t the primary reason and it certainly wasn’t the only reason. In any case what he did, as a so called Muslim, went against his religion. It wasn’t for it.
If you need any further proof of just how un-Islamic these people are then just take a look at the latest terror attacks in the last two weeks alone. The airport in Istanbul, where three suicide bombers killed 45 people and even more injured (authorities have since charged 13 people with the attacks). 19 of the dead were foreigners. In Dhaka, 20 people were killed after a drawn out and terrifying siege on a bakery. 16 of them were foreigners. One young woman, a Dhaka native studying in the US, was told she could leave but she refused to leave her friends. She was killed. Just this past weekend suicide bombs were set off in Baghdad in what the attackers knew would be densely populated areas for the time of day. The death toll now stands at 165.
Here is what I implore anyone who either hates or fears Muslims. Please don’t. These attackers are not Muslims. They are not Muslims. They have killed so many people, often in the most barbaric ways. The last three attacks have all happened during the holy month of Ramadan. Aside from not killing anyway, killing during this month is the worst kind of atrocity a Muslim could commit. It gets you a one way ticket straight to hell. They know this and they don’t care. That doesn’t make them any kind of Muslim. It makes them hateful murderers. In Baghdad they targeted women and children. They targeted areas they knew would have the most people within it. How did they know? Because they knew people would be out and about to break their fast. That’s how. It’s a holy time of the day. A true Muslim would never desecrate their own religion like this.
They are using Islam. They are hiding behind it, twisting it to fit their own dangerous ideologies. And they are winning if you associate terrorism and murder to this religion. They are not the same. They kill their own so you will be afraid of all of them. So that you will marginalise anyone who practices Islam in the proper way. Don’t let them do this. Open your eyes to what they are doing. Think about it, not just when it is on your doorstep, but when they kill their own. In Turkey. In Bangladesh. In Iraq. Anywhere.
Their religion is hate. Their God is hate. It’s not Islam.