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Not just New Zealand, Muslims must come together when terrorists attack non-Muslims too

Author: Taslima Nasreen
Publication: The Print
Date: March 19, 2019
URL:      https://theprint.in/opinion/not-just-new-zealand-muslims-must-come-together-when-terrorists-attack-non-muslims-too/207671/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

Muslims must learn from how non-Muslims have come together to express grief and compassion with the victims of the New Zealand attack.

The entire Muslim world has been shaken up by the terrorist attack on the mosque in New Zealand.

But the way Muslims have come together to bemoan the collapse of humanity after White supremacist Brenton Tarrant opened fire in two mosques, why do they not do the same when non-Muslims or non-believers die at the hands of Islamic terrorists? Is it because they feel sadder at the death of Muslims than they do for others? I have seen Muslim haters who, let alone being sad, exhibit genuine happiness when they hear of Muslim people dying. Aren’t these two mindsets remarkably alike!

I will cry only when someone from my family or my community is the victim, otherwise, I could not care less – but that is not what it means to be a good human being. To be loved and respected, it’s not enough for Muslims to sport the ‘not a terrorist’ tag, they must exhibit kindness and compassion towards non-Muslim people. The amount of freedom, cooperation and respect that Muslim people get in most non-Islamic nations is way more than even in Islamic countries. Thus, no matter how conservative they are, many Muslims hanker to settle in non-Islamic nations.

Muslims must learn from the way non-Muslims from across the world have come together in solidarity to express their grief and compassion with the victims of the terrible incident in New Zealand. When non-Muslims lose lives in such senseless acts of brutal violence, Muslims too must come together in solidarity.

Those who always blame the wrongdoings of USA and Israel for Islamic terrorism, will they now blame the wrongdoings of ISIS, al-Qaeda or Boko Haram for the man barging into the mosque in New Zealand and killing all those people? If not, then obviously there must be something wrong somewhere.

The time for Muslims to remain in their state of childlike innocence has passed, the time has come for them to behave like adults and accept their responsibilities. ‘You cannot talk about my religion, you cannot argue against my sharia laws, you cannot say anything about what I wear (whether a burqa or a hijab) or what I eat (my preference of halal meat), you cannot talk about the animals I slaughter or the discrimination between the sexes that I practice in my social life, you cannot hurt my religious sentiments, make a comment against my Prophet or make a cartoon of him. You can’t comment about me praying namaz in the middle of the road and obstructing traffic, you can’t comment about my azan. If you do any of these, I will kill you, set you on fire, destroy your world…’

As it is many people nurse a lot of anger against Muslims because of numerous incidents of terror committed by Muslim terrorists across the world. And Muslim haters never miss an opportunity to insult or hit back at Muslims. The act of terror on the New Zealand mosques is the result of this hate.

The attack on the mosque itself is nothing new. Sunnis have always been known to attack Shia or Ahmadiya mosques.

The attacker in New Zealand was a racist, Right-wing Christian fundamentalist and someone who hated immigrants. A lot like the racist Norwegian terrorist and mass murderer Anders Breivik.

Muslim haters believe that since all Muslims are terrorists, killing one is akin to getting rid of a terrorist. Their minds are so clouded with hate, their brains so impaired that they cannot reasonably understand that Muslim doesn’t equal terrorist. Millions of innocent Muslim people across the world have to pay the price for the terrorist acts committed by a few Islamic fanatics.

Thus, Muslims have to rise and condemn all acts of terrorism. If one wishes to be civilised, one must acknowledge not just one’s own rights but the rights of others as well – the human rights, democratic rights and freedom of expression granted to all people, irrespective of religion, faith, colour, gender or language.

- The author is a celebrated writer and commentator.
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