New York - Many times I hold back my feelings and my opinions, but today I couldn’t keep quiet any longer, we can no longer keep dehumanizing Muslims.
New York – Many times I hold back my feelings and my opinions, but today I couldn’t keep quiet any longer, we can no longer keep dehumanizing Muslims.
I read many articles, I write many others, and I am constantly aware of the news that do not become popular in mainstream media outlets, especially in my own country, the United States.
I hear about the pain and suffering that innocent victims go through daily, those that are neglected, unwanted, stereotyped, and regarded as collateral damage.
I am deeply and personally affected by the recent terrorist attacks that have hit countries like Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Palestine, and France. I am saddened by the lives taken away at the hands of criminals that find joy in killing others. Those that terrorize innocent victims are terrorists and they have no religion, race, or any other classification besides criminals.
As a US citizen, I can never forget 9/11/01 events. It only takes one visit to the sites and the pain of death fills your soul.
I am sure the same pain and an even bigger one lives permanently in Syria, Iraq, Palestine, and Lebanon where these type of attacks are unfortunately their everyday life. The majority of these people are Muslims and they are being annihilated by the same people that target the Western world.
We have been so desensitized by the media that we see footage and pictures of refugees dying like animals and people screaming after a bomb has gone off and killed an entire neighborhood and we are numb! Yes, we are numb to it!
We watch it (if we are interested and the headline is catchy) and we keep on with our lives as if it were not our problem. How can we just witness entire communities, countries destroyed to rubble, and we change the channel, click another article and do not jump to condemn it?
Terrorists more time to study us than we ever take to study them. We are too busy with our lives and they are too busy also planning how they will take our lives. It’s a reality that we deny until it hits home.
On Friday, November 13, the monsters of ISIS orchestrated deadly attacks in Paris and the world woke up. Yes, the world, because even in the Middle East and Africa, people have gotten used to their own misery, but when those terrorists touched Paris, the world recognized the pain of innocent lives being murdered in the cruelest and most vicious of ways.
Since Friday night, I cannot think of anything else except Paris. The city where I’ve spent some of the most beautiful and life-changing moments of my life. I love France and I love the French, and I am incredibly hurt by the violence and the fear they are living.
In no way do I want to undermine the pain and the horror of the terror in France. I am proud of the support my country and the rest of the world is showing for France. It shows me that we can still come together as one and fight for the injustices our brothers and sisters undergo.
However, at the same time, I have been watching since Friday night how Islam and Muslims have been blamed for the atrocities committed by the so-called Islamic State.
I have seen footage of the Holy Koran lit on fire. I have read messages on social media networks that speak horrors about Muslims. I have seen and heard people verbally attack and insult an entire religion and its people.
Seriously citizens of the world, can you not see the difference between Islam and terrorism? Islam has absolutely nothing to do with murders and suicide bombers. Islam is not ISIS or any other radical group.
Islam is peace! Islam is generosity, discipline, respect, honor, moral values, love and adoration for God (Allah in Arabic, still the same God), patience, self-respect, dignity, integrity, love for others, and kindness among other beautiful traits.
No, I am not a Muslim, I am a Christian (not Catholic) who loves Muslims, who respects Islam, who enjoys every bit of their ideals and who is blessed to know some of the most amazing human beings that God has created, who also by the grace of the Creator, happen to be Muslims.
I have been given the blessing and honor to share my life with Muslims, to know them, to eat with them, to talk about every subject, to receive their generosity. I have slept in their homes that they have opened with full trust. I have walked their streets, I have laughed with them, I have felt their true love and spent wonderful times next to them. And for that, I am forever grateful.
Yet, I have also seen their pain; I have seen the fear in their eyes, their silent cries, and their people being murdered. I have seen how they are humiliated and treated with disrespect. I have seen them turn their eyes away to avoid a nasty look from someone who thinks their life is worth more than theirs.
I have seen how they get used to being treated as second-class citizens, and it is wrong! There is nothing honorable about it. The injustice turns to anger, then to resignation, then to misery, and finally to rejection and fear.
Why does it have to be a rare occasion when a Westerner treats a Muslim with love? It is amazing how much joy and disbelief (at the same time) I find in the hearts of those that should see my love as normal.
There is a marked division between Muslims and the rest of the world. A division created by the same governments that rule our powerful countries. A ravine-deep division that terrorists use to advance their despicable agendas.
Terrorist groups kill Muslims with the same disregard for life that they do when they bomb a Westerner. These criminals are not Muslims; they do a disservice to everything a Muslim stands for.
When we judge them and treat them with hatred and discrimination, we fall prey to the trap in which terrorists want to keep us. They want us to hate each other and live in so much fear that we lose our minds.
What if we stood together? What if we prayed for each other? We were all created by the same God, creator of all things. What if we acted with respect for each and every life? We want our governments and entities like the UN to solve the problem as we stand back.
Our governments have made mistakes and we pay the price for their mistakes. We cannot stand back, we are the most affected targets; we are the civilians, the weakest link.
I am not an expert on foreign policy and I am not here to offer a solution to this conflict. What I do want is for you to open your heart. If you have ever asked yourself, what can I do to help this never-ending conflict? Well, start by seeing who your true enemies are and open your heart to those that have nothing to do with your pain.
We might not have the power to change the world we live in, but we do have the power in each one of our lives to reconsider, to accept, to forgive, to love, to take action, to be a useful member of our societies.
Let us understand that hate is exactly what evil wants, it feeds off hate. We can come together and let go of our fears, complexes and insecurities of what we do not know. Let us condemn and denounce the atrocities of the world, let us show the others we care for their lives.
May the Almighty power of God, his limitless love and mercy bless, protect, guide and bring joy to the world. Most of our problems stem from the lack of God in our lives, because God is LOVE and only LOVE, which is God can truly transform the hearts.
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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