There has been a history of prejudice and violence against Muslims in the United States of America, Europe and other countries of the world. Recently, we have seen it even in India. We see many videos of using religious slurs against Muslims.
In the USA, it had increased after the 9/11 attack, since the terrorist involved in the attack were Muslims and every Muslim was thence seen with suspicion. Muslims have always condemned these attacks; still somehow because of politics, people are brainwashed and they are made to hate a certain community. All of this just for vote-bank politics. It happened with the Jews in Germany during Hitler’s time and it was worse, far worse than what Muslims are facing today.
During the annual gathering of South Asian Sunni Muslims in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh this week, almost 1.5 million attendees signed a document protesting global terrorist activity. There have been multiple occasions when Muslims and Muslim organizations have come up and condemned terrorism in the name of Islam. But sadly, people only see the dark side of the alley.
Most of the terrorist attacks that happen are in Muslim-majority countries. Even mosques, sacred places of worship, are bombarded. How can a Muslim attack their own mosques? Last year, there was an attack on a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand. We have seen hundreds of cases of shootings and killings on schools in the USA and killing of Muslims in the name of cows but no one calls them terrorists. Why is it that after so much condemnation from the Muslims, they are still labelled as terrorists? The main reason that I can see is politics.
Islamic fundamentalism started in 1995. No doubt, the fault was on Muslims’, people who started it were ‘so-called Muslims’, although it is debatable if they were Muslims in the truest sense or not. Russia invaded Afghanistan, they fought back for their independence, then the United States interfered and that’s how the whole story begins. I have heard someone say that bad luck for Muslims in Middle Eastern countries started when oil was discovered, and countries like the USA took benefit of that and to get oil from them- be it making two countries fight or fuelling civil wars in the countries and killing their leaders. They have turned the whole of the Middle East into their arms and ammunition market. Today, most of the revenue that the USA makes is by selling the weapons of war.
Islamophobia has, in a way, helped Islam also because, since the 9/11 attack, people started hating Muslims; but at the same time, they also got interested to learn about religion. Studies show us that today Islam is the fastest-growing religion. But the real problem is that no one thinks about the innocent peace-loving Muslims who own small shops, do simple jobs, and want an easy life and education for their children. Further, because of the rise in the number of Muslims, people are mad that they are going to take over.
This feeling is what politicians feed on and take benefit of. Be it in the USA or India, we have seen, that if the USA attacks the Middle East in the name of nationalism if, saying that they have eradicated terrorists, people get happy and vote for them. In the same way, the feeling of nationalism and an attack on Pakistan is enough to win elections in India. Nobody gives a damn about those soldiers who die in the process of attacking another country or asking the necessary questions.
Although in the USA, this is an old trick and people have slowly started realizing it, but this process is still very new for the people of India and they are going to realize in a very long time from now.
Media also has a significant role in it. Since Muslims in the whole world do not have any control over mass media, leaving one or two organizations, the media portrays them in bad shape because of the intimidation by the governments. Hate speech or even violence by a non-Muslim goes unnoticed whereas something said by a Muslim becomes the topic for prime time debates. People love watching debates and that’s how the fire of hate is fuelled. We have seen people chant Jai Shri Ram and these people are unaware of what Shri Ram has preached all his life In the same way, those terrorists do not know what Prophet Muhammad has preached all his life.
Islam is derived from the Arabic word “salam” which means peace, and we should look at Islam like that. Just because somebody has a Muslim name doesn’t mean that he is a true Muslim. Ajmal Kasab, the terrorist who was involved in 26/11 knew nothing about Islam, so would it be alright to say that Kasab attacked in the name of Islam? It was just brainwashing that could have been done in multiple ways. When it’s an attack by Pakistan on India, it’s by a country, not by any Muslim.