While walking home from the local drug store today, I encountered a very interesting individual driving a black pick-up truck. He pulled up beside me and called out, "Hey!" Somewhat startled, I turned to face him however before I could reply he continued on and shouted, "Hey Muzzie, why don't you go bomb your own people instead of mine? Get the hell out of my country!" Following which, he simply drove away. I am not sure what sparked these comments, but a few things popped into my head instantly:
Firstly, I was born in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. I am Canadian. The people who live here are my people.
Secondly, I am not a Muslim. The driver had made the assumption that since the colour of my skin was brown, I must believe in Islam.
Thirdly, not all who follow Islam are terrorists. In fact, the grand majority of them are not. A terrorist is someone who commits an act of terror. An act of terror is an act of violence or intimidation, done in the pursuit of political gain. One does not to be a member of any particular religion or creed to become a terrorist.
The Qu'ran, as are all other Holy books, can be interpreted in a variety of different ways. The Torah, Bible, Qu'ran and others each have their own verses which can be described as violent when taken out of context. Lately, following the rise in activity by the Islamic State, I have noticed an exponential rise in racism expressed through common social media outlets, such as Facebook. Here are a few comments that I have managed to find.
"Burn all the Qu'rans!"
"Purge the world of these muzzie rats and their false god."
"I wonder if mecca would disappear altogether -- due to earthquake or else - will this nightmare be over? Because the infected rats would point their noses that way..."
"Arm yourselves and prepare for the coming race war."
It is too often that generalizations are made about an entire people or religion based on the acts of a small group of extremists. It is even more often forgotten the acts of terror committed by other religious groups in the past. Let us not forget the Crusades where the holy Knights Templar raided innocent Muslim, Jewish and Christian settlements. Let us not forget the anti-Jewish genocide which was the holocaust. Let us not forget the slaughter and harassing of African-Americans by the Ku Klux Klan during the American civil rights movement. Let us not forget the war crimes committed by the Catholic church during the Rwandan Genocide. Almost every religion has had its own extremist group. Just because common occidental media does not cover acts of terror committed by other groups does not mean that they do not exist.
The Arab League condemned the attack that recently took place in Paris. What took place there had nothing to do with the majority of Muslims. What took place there was done by extremists. To call all Muslims terrorists because of the actions of a small few is irrational. Now is not the time to point fingers at each other. Now is the time to strive for unity. Cooperation and coexistence are the only way to overcome what has happened. We are all human. No religion or creed can change that. Let's work together and solve our struggles. Racism is a strategy that only degrades us.
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