I am not a Muslim. I do not identify with Islam or Christianity or Judaism or whatever. I do believe however, that there is a higher power of some sort that exists to keep the world in order, well most of the time at least. My agenda or the driving force behind my desire to want to write about something I do not identify with is the need to put certain notions into perspective and to convey my emotions towards this infamous topic.
There is no greater weapon for man than a pen and his use of words, well at least that was what I was led to believe. Way before the shooting in Paris, before the Journalists of Al Jazeera were jailed in Egypt, before Malala got shot in the head, the same pen proved to be a means to involuntary destruction.
You see a debate is won through logical arguments and rebuttal, and in essence the individual that proves to be more convincing, rises as the winner. Ideally, we and by we I mean I would like wars to be fought through similar logical arguments and sensible rebuttals. But that is something I can only hope to see in the distant future.
Yes, your pen is a great weapon, but do you know what can get the job done fast and easy? An M795 artillery shell. And so that is what extremists and those alike are doing. They are choosing the easy way out and we and I mean WE , allow for weapons to be used as a means to get rid of the ‘baddies’ everywhere else. However, this hard-approach has resulted in the friends of ‘baddies’ using weapons to inflict harm upon us. And that is not okay and neither is sending troops to the middle-of-the-east to participate in wars you helped start.
‘Islamophobia’ well it is not an actual word, or not one that Microsoft Word can recognise, but more of a term coded to describe the great fear of Islam. Well let me just clarify something, Islam and Jihad are not quite synonymous, and the last I heard from many other NON-MUSLIMS, is that it is indeed a peaceful religion that nurtures values such as respect, humility, forgiveness, patience etcetera. However, because I am a non-muslim and my views obviously do not represent the universal truth, my views of this religion might be flawed, as I am unaware of what is written in The Holy Qur’an. But because Islam is not my area of expertise, I choose to reserve any negative comments with regard to the religion and any other religious denominations for that matter.
I want to see things in different perspectives, I choose to believe in the existence of good and bad in all aspects of life, education has taught me to regard the apparent differences around me and to embrace them, to allow it to enrich my life and shape me into a cultured, respectful individual.
In the same sense that I choose to do the above, you can choose to fear my Muslim brothers and sisters. But I reach out to you, and urge you to stop. To think. To reflect. To realise that the extremists and ‘baddies’ make a similar choice, out of their own will, to commit heinous acts and you should not be holding the 1.5 billion strong believers of the same god responsible for decisions they made. Yes, they may cite the Qur’an and god as their biggest motivator, but their interpretation of the Holy Scripture should not resonate that of the millions others who find strength and peace from living by it.
As individuals, we seem to be ingrained with the fear of the unknown and oppose ideas that we cannot relate to. I am not looking to change that, or change you. All I ask is for you to realise that
- The use of violence and weapons of destruction hypothetically burns more bridges then it will ever build, and in order to progress, we should look towards finding viable solutions that promote unity and not just tolerance.
- Denouncing an entire religion based on actions of a minority group is not wise. Hate fuels hate, and soon enough this hate will single-handedly destroy the social fabric and freedom that many people have died fighting for.
And here are my solutions for my anti-muslims
- Everyone is entitled to an opinion and the last I checked, freedom of speech was built on that very sacred ideology. But be constructive, have a purpose for making accusations and back your ‘claims’ with evidence, or else noise will remain noise and your voice will be drained out by the shots being fired.
- Empathy is key. Do not expect Muslims all over to apologise for crimes they have no part in. I mean, the thought of actually requesting another person to say sorry for a wrong-doing that was not his, is absurd. So try to relate to your Muslim counterparts, empathise with them, put yourself in their shoes and act accordingly.
Most importantly, enough with the double standards. There are many more muslims dying in the hands of extremists, war criminals, neighbours(#freegaza), despicable individuals, head of states and so on. If you want to fight terrorism, then fight it. Invest your time and effort in addressing this ubiquitous problem. By all means, condemn the killing of journalists who were merely expressing their right to freedom of speech through their craft, but to see an end to it, you have to be willing to challenge people who do not share the same discern of freedom of speech and human rights. Unless you are prepared to bear such responsibilities, many will continue to vilify your damning hypocrisy.
Lastly, to my muslim brothers and sisters, though I may not identify religiously with you, I believe in the fair treatment of all and universal peace. I also believe that you should be able to practise your faith freely, without the need to validate your right to do so. I also hope you are able to find it within you to forgive those who constantly condemn the sanctity of your holy religion. They fear, therefore they act, but even the chirping birds stop to listen eventually.
Just a university student, with the desire to be the change she wants to see in this world.