By Majid Morceli
By Majid Morceli
San Francisco – What happened today in Paris is not only an attack on the cartoonists who paid dearly for what they chose to draw in the name of freedom of expression, it is an attack on you, me and all of us Muslims. Anytime someone claiming to be a Muslim hurts a non-Muslim in the name of Islam, the rest of us Muslims suffer the consequences of their heinous acts.
Muslims suffer after each terrorist act that takes place in the western world. All of a sudden we find ourselves feeling guilty for what the terrorist has done, and even worse are the long-lasting feelings that the acts of terror engender. This morning I find myself trying to read my colleagues’ minds in the hopes of discovering whether they are thinking about what happened in France and relating it to me.
The majority of the western world is not going to discern between you, the terrorist, and me. In their eyes, Islam is the culprit and it is a religion that encourages the killing of the innocent. Even when acts of terror are committed by non-Muslims, Muslims are always the first ones to be singled out and targeted with hate crimes; North Africans in France will have a hard time in the coming days and weeks. Islam phobia is now very rampant in France; far right groups are depending on the frustration of the French people and winning in the polls, to the point that many are calling for the deportation of all Muslims. Let’s hope that the French people and authorities understand that what happened is the act of the terrorists and the terrorists only.
One other major effect of these acts on Muslims is how it devalues Muslim lives in the eyes of Westerners. Take Syria for example. More than a quarter million Syrians have been killed in the last three years and the world is going about its business as if nothing happened. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been killed, and again, no one cares, to the point that the media no longer reports on these tragedies, and treats them as something common in the Muslim world. When something is common, it is no longer considered newsworthy.
Leaders all around the world are refusing to give in to terrorism, and we as Muslims must follow their lead; if we do not, the extremists have already won. If I were one of those leaders, I would also ask the French people not to resort to vengeance and not to take their anger out on innocent Muslims.
As a matter of fact, the French people are now in a position to show, not only the terrorists, but the whole world, that they will not use terror tactics and hurt innocent Muslims and their properties, but that instead they should treat Muslims with kindness and understanding and dash the terrorists’ hopes of creating mayhem. Doing so will ameliorate relations between Muslims and non-Muslims in France as well as in countries all over the world.; it would be making something good out of something evil.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy
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