I am at an airport waiting for my security check. Its a routine procedure- first check-in, then immigration, next security check and then finally boarding. A man, bearded with a topi walks up to the officer and presents his passport to him. Five minutes later the officer is scrutinizing his face; then unlike the other passengers interrogates him for another ten minutes and to beat all that takes him for a complete strip-down security check in a private room.
The man came out red-faced as we all stared. We learnt later, he was Muslim.
How would you feel if you were the object of inspection and suspicion because of nothing else except your religion? Isn’t that religion-ism?
9/11 was that defining day .The day that people lost faith in each other. Terrorists brought us down and they happened to be Muslims. No fault of the million other peace loving Islamists in the world.
Umar Farouk Mutallab’s attempts at terrorism recently have become the pioneer for the much privacy – invasive body scanner equipments. These devices show every inch of your covered skin to the airport officer behind the screen. Modesty and pride in trade for security today.
I read somewhere a line – Not all Muslims are terrorists; however all terrorists in the world are Muslims.
Nathuram Godse shot at point-blank range and assassinated our Father, Mahatma Gandhi, in full public eye on January 30, 1948. It was an episode that shook the nation. He was Hindu and aimed at terrorizing the father.
The LTTE planted a bomb in Sriperambedur, India with the sole purpose of killing the man who tried to help Sri Lanka; the then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. The bomb blew everything to bits and Rajiv Gandhi died an instant death. They called themselves revolutionaries fighting for their own country. But they were terrorists.
In 1995, the Oklahoma bombings killed 166 innocent people. These were the handiwork of two Christians.
RSS Hindus singled out Muslim men and killed them, sexually assaulted the Muslim women and carved out the fetuses of a pregnant Muslim women in the Godhra 2001 riots. In all around 1000 people were killed. People were rounded up in pits and burnt alive.
If the world considers Osama Bin Laden as Islam’s hero today, will it not be as justified then if we place Hitler or even Bush as the martyr of Christianity.
When the word Islam itself means peace, how could this religion propagate terrorism. No religion in this world encourages violence. So where is this prejudice against Islam alone coming from? Should we ask our ex-president A P J Abdul Kalam who was frisked at a US airport? He underwent a full body search and had to even remove his footwear.
Mohammed Haneef was wrongly accused of his links to the Glasgow attack and detained without being charged with a single crime. Human rights violation has never been ignored to this extent.
The US infiltrated Iraq soil on loose grounds that Saddam Hussein was harbouring nuclear arms. They never found anything but they got what they wanted. A public trial of the dictator and a public execution; and the whole country followed under US control. That sounds justified?
Iran,Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia were the largest Muslim countries which could ever pose as a threat to the United States . Today, Afghanistan and Iraq are under their complete control. Pakistan is being constantly watched and remains a puppet in their hands. Saudi Arabia could never pose serious threat because of its business aspirations. What remains is Iran. If and when the United States find a legal loophole to rage a war on it, however flimsy as it may sound; they will bring it down and take it out.
When a sole community is suppressed from all directions, such events give its people a greater urge to fight back and survive. What goes around comes back around. Now if I told you I was Muslim, would you trust yourself and get on a plane with me?
NOTE: Any religious feelings hurt is deeply regretted and not intentional.
The writer is the Tamil Nadu correspondent at Youth Ki Awaaz
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