Why Hate Muslims because of ISIS or Terrorists?
Mangaluru: I decided to write this very sensitive topic which I thought would be very relevant as to what’s going on pertaining to communal violence and hatred between certain communities in and around Mangaluru. A special documentary “Why They hate Us” on CNN-IBN by anchor Fareed Zakaria inspired me to write this column to bring awareness among people in our society here not to hate each other because of their race and color- and also because of part of their community are radicals or bad people. Why hate all Muslims because of a few ISIS members or terrorists? We don’t hate all Christians because there are a few atheists or Christian haters-do we? We don’t hate all Hindus because of some Hindutva activists or saffron organizations who incite communal violence in the society-do we? Then why only target Muslim community and hate them as bad people. That’s not right.
We do have great Muslim people serving the country, state and locally. Late Dr Abdul Kalam was one of the great president that India had so far. In state, we have our Health minister UT Khader who has done much more than any state health ministers in the past-and presently some activists and politicians not liking his race have been attacking him with some false allegations. Our DC AB Ibrahim, also seems to be a very good administrator, but certain elements/activists are trying to put him down because of his religion. We do have great doctors, sportsmen, entrepreneurs, leaders/politicians, professors/teachers, scientists, and many other professionals, who are Muslims in Mangaluru. I have noticed that, when there is a headline in the media stating that a person from Bhatkal with connection with ISIS or other terrorist organization has been arrested, people talk bad about Muslim community or they show anger or stare at Muslims when they walk by on the streets, malls etc. But why, these Muslims have done nothing wrong? Why dislike and hate them for a crime committed by a useless and loser in their community?
I do have many Muslim friends, and they are just human and friendly like all of us. I don’t treat them different, but equally. Other day I was with couple of my Catholic buddies, and they made a comment when they saw a bunch of bearded Muslims men walking past a American brand clothing store at Forum Fiza mall- I really didn’t like my friends such kind of attitude. We should know that Christianity is based on the commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself”. There is no other commandment greater than these, yet many express hate towards others of a different religion. My faith tells me to love everyone, yet I see many of my faith hating towards the Muslim or other community. I have always embraced and accepted everyone no matter what their race, religion, gender, or any other identifying features of a person. It frightens me when innocent people of the Muslim religion are being targeted because of the extremists of the religion. Grouping these people together is toxic to everyone.
The Sunday sermons have taught me more than anything that the people of Christian faith accept everyone no matter what they have done. Jesus forgives all of our sins, and we should never be one to judge another no matter what they have done. So why judge those of another religion? I still remember how Americans were dead against Muslims when the 9/11 incident took place- I was in US during that time, and because of my color I too was stared and hated by many Whites. I was lucky to be alive during those September days walking down the Chicago streets being a ethnic of brown color. There are so many religions out there and in the United States. Everyone has their right to practice whatever religion they please.
Many may argue that Muslims were behind 9/11 attack and the recent Paris attacks–but only a small percentage of Muslims are extremists. Surveys show that a small percentage of Muslims have a favorable view of al-Qaeda. So if the majority are against al-Qaeda, why continue the stereotype? The fear of terrorism has been on the rise since 9/11, other Muslim radicals attacks and it’s at its peak now. Our fear of Muslims is turning into hate. Our hate is spurring a fear in Muslims, and soon could turn to hate. We have to remember that not all Muslims are terrorists. When you come from a faith so full of love from the God you are worshipping, you should be a naturally loving person. His overall message is to love everyone, even your enemies. Even terrorist hate groups. Simply stopping yourself from grouping every Muslim a terrorist is a start.
When Muslims say Islam teaches peace, they really mean it-There is no bigger award for those who promote peace than the Nobel Peace Prize. That being said, 5 out of the 12 past people who have won this award have been Muslims. So if all Muslims are terrorists because a single digit percentage of terrorists happen to be Muslim, then all Muslims are peacemakers because 42 percent of Nobel Peace Prize winners in the past 12 years have been Muslims. We should also know that Muslims hate ISIS and other terrorist groups just as much as you do. Here is a fact that is not well known to many: Muslims are the the largest victims of ISIS’s terror as well as the largest victims of all terrorism in general. Muslims want to defeat terrorism just as much as any one of us. This is why they have Muslims like Niloofar Rahmani, Kubra Khademi, many Muslim youth, and various Muslim groups and scholars that have done much more to combat ISIS than Islamophobes like 2016 US presidential candidate Donald Trump ever will.
On behalf of all Muslim around us, I urge you to rise above your unfounded fears and trust in the truth that implores you to accept them as equal citizens of this nation and for that matter, Mangaluru. Look past their hijabs and long beards and see the love they have in their hearts. And please, stop seeing them as terrorists when it is terror that they resist. Muslims too want to help defeat terrorism and they want to help make this nation great, all you have to do is grab their hand.. and they are ready and many have extended it out. What I want to tell all of you is that it is not too late to love the people around you, regardless of their sexual orientation, race, or religion. We all sin, and in the eyes of our Lord they are all equal. We all live on this Earth together, so why not make it more positive than negative? Be the change, and accept everyone. Let us stop communal hate and violence. Let’s stop killing because of race and color. Let’s stop all the murders and violence between religion groups in the outskirts of Mangaluru, namely Ullal, Surathkal, and other places. Let’s make Mangaluru and surrounding areas a peaceful destination to live and serve. Thank You!
Note : Pictures for illustration only