In this time of hatred in our country, we need more and more initiatives that can bring communities closer. When the people come closer, they get a better perspective of each other. And when people get a better perspective, they’re able to resolve prejudices about each other.
With this same intention of engaging people to interact with the Muslim community, many good initiatives are being taken up in our society. A well-intentioned initiative – #TalkToAMuslim – was recently taken up on Twitter to show unity against Islamophobia. This initiative was also supported by some celebrities like Swara Bhasker and Gauhar Khan.
I personally have some reservations regarding this particular initiative. When I introduce my friends or family to a Muslim friend of mine, many times, they make offensive comments as jokes. I don’t think this happens only because my friends and family members do not generally interact with Muslims. I think it also happens because of their prejudices against Muslims. Should we give a platform to someone with such a rigid bias just so that they can ask more offensive questions?
I know it is the need of the hour to fight Islamophobia, but this initiative is not a good way to go about it. To fight prejudice, we first need to understand that a person’s identity shouldn’t be the only reason to talk to them. They are human beings who deserve respect and that should be all the reason. There is no rationale behind giving free space to bullies to hurt Muslims in the name of asking questions.