The mosque in New Zealand

The entire Muslim world has been shaken by the terrorist attack on the mosque in New Zealand. As it is many people nurse a lot of anger against Muslims because of numerous past incidents of terror committed by Muslim terrorists across the world. Numerous people die in such incidents, innumerable women get raped. For these reasons islamophobes never miss an opportunity to insult or hit back at Muslims. The act of terror on the mosque is an instance of that very Islamophobia.

The attack on the mosque itself is nothing new. Sunnis have always been known to attack Shia or Ahmadiyya mosques. The attacker in New Zealand is a right-wing Christian fundamentalist and racist who hates people of colour, especially immigrants. A lot like racist Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik. Their kind of Islamophobia is a lot more extreme.

Islamophobes have taken it for granted that since all Muslims are terrorists, killing one is akin to getting rid of a terrorist as well. Their minds are so clouded with hate, their brains so impaired that they cannot reasonably understand that most Muslims are not terrorists. Millions of innocent, regular Muslim people across the world have to pay the price for the terrorist acts committed by a few Islamic fanatics.

The way Muslims have come together to bemoan the collapse of humanity, 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 more acutely sad at the death Muslims than they do when someone else is involved? I have seen islamophobes 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 it’s someone from my family or my community who is the victim, otherwise, I could not care less – 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 tag ‘not a terrorist’, they must exhibit kindness and compassion towards non-Muslim people just as they do to their own. 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 seek to blame the wrongdoings of USA and Israel for Islamic terrorism, will they now blame the machinations of ISIS, Al-Qaida or Boko Haram behind 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 laws, you cannot say anything about what I wear or what I eat, 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 sketch of a woman. If you do any of these I will kill you, set you on fire, destroy your world…’ These are childish and brutish demands! 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 of all people, irrespective of religion, faith, colour, gender or language.

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