It would be a lie to say that the past week has been an easy one. It would be a lie to say that international events have not affected me. The only reason I have not posted about the issue is because at times I have an urge to pen a post and then at times I give up in despair.
I am of course referring to the events in France which I am sure you are aware of. When I read the news these days and in the aftermath of the terrible event, most of it is the same. Sometimes I find something which gives me hope, an article which does blame an entire religion for the actions of a few. At the bottom of these articles, I may find comments from ordinary people who make me smile. They allow me to hope that there are still people out there who have not been swayed by propaganda and the ceaseless assault on Islam. However, this happiness does not last long. Pretty soon, I stumble upon other reports describing how the entire religion is to blame and sorting the followers of the faith into categories whilst offering opinions on the rules of Islam as if the writers themselves are scholars.
Then there are the overwhelming double standards. (Did you know there was a hostage crisis in France today? It made a brief appearance on the news before it was confirmed that it was not a terror attack. So if anyone else commits the same crime but are not of the religion of Islam, then it is not terror? Ask the hostages, surely they must have felt terrified.) Every news article appears to be an attack on the religion with shocking comments by readers that make me wonder whether I will be safe in my own home in a few years time. Every article has its faults but the sense of despair means I do not angrily type into the comments section for I know it will achieve nothing. What is there to be done against the relentless media onslaught? The juxtaposition of freedom of speech and racism? The prejudice eye of the news outlets and television anchors. The hypocrisy of world leaders who join a freedom march whilst an entire nation suffers imprisonment in their own country?
The people I communicate with everyday appear normal, friendly and welcoming. Yet, I feel the world is becoming unfriendly to Islam and to religion in general. I am afraid that in ten years time I will be too afraid to take the train to work. I am afraid that in ten years time, I will have to travel in disguise, hiding my religious identity. Slowly slowly, a net is closing in and we are being attacked on all sides. Do you think any sane, true and real Muslim would commit such crimes? Yet we must apologise on the murderers’ behalf as if we have a direct link with them. They may share a few core beliefs regarding God, yet the similarity ends there. The Muslim community have constantly declared their distance from such people yet each time something like this happens, we are faced with the same suspicious questions. Do you think what they did was right? NO of course I bloody well don’t!
I fear events like these more than the everyday person on the street. Not simply because they result in the death of fellow human beings but I know what the backlash will be. The increase in ignorance, prejudice, misplaced hate and diminishing of religion in the world. I am tired of having to constantly explain myself. I am tired of battling and arguing my innocence. So no more, please simply understand.