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How I feel as a Muslim after the attacks in Paris

18 November 2015, 08:49Saffiya Ismail

I woke up to the breaking news in Paris. Instinctively, I contacted two of my friends living in Paris to check if they were fine. I was shocked, just as I was the day after the attack in Beirut.

It seems that Muslims just cannot get out of the spotlight. This spotlight is created by insane deranged idiots.

We just cannot get a break.

Every time there’s an event, all fingers point at every single Muslim.

Why should every single Muslim shoulder the blame for terrorist attacks. You hear the media saying that Muslims are not doing enough to denounce the “others”.

What’s even more disappointing for me is that my friends who know me (or at least I think they know me) question me and my stances.

I’ve read their comments, I’ve even received crude inbox messages and it made me wonder, did you always hate all Muslims or did you always feel this way about my faith and about me?


Do I need to walk around with an “I-Condemn” sign 24/7 for you to realise I am totally against terrorism, terror groups or any acts of terror?

Should I be screaming “Not in my name”, every time an idiot screams “Allahu Akbar” before detonating?

Why should I apologise on any platform for ISIS?

I do not agree with ISIS, I do not support them, I am not responsible for them, nor am I responsible for their formation in the Middle East and I think I can speak for myself and the 1.6 billion Muslims out there.

The majority of Muslims condemn the loss of innocent lives and bombing of civilians, and speak out against Islamic extremism in any other country.

We have never denied that certain autocratic governments in the Middle East are cruel and oppressive. They are denying rights which were given to women 1400 years ago, yet there are Muslim countries, who are very progressive and who have women at the forefront of politics, etc.

The majority of Muslims condemn racism, bigotry, anti-Semitism, islamophobia and the list goes on.

Islam has been hijacked by “groups” who reportedly say that they are Muslims, yet they do not adhere to the core essentials of Islam: mercy, compassion, respect for all irrespective of their race or religion, patience, good manners, etc.”

Who is ISIS really?

10 years ago, when someone said ISIS, you would have thought it was an Ancient Greek or Egyptian religion.

But where did ISIS originate? It seems that their information was the result of the US led invasion of Iraq in Middle East.  But no one appointed them into speaking for the rest of us (Muslims).

The 99% of normal Muslims, such as myself, go about our daily lives, as we work, educate our children and make a positive contribution to our communities. We don’t want these merciless, heartless people representing us in any way or form.

They are misinterpreting everything in the Islamic religion. They are using verses out of the Quran to brainwash young adults (note: ISIS doesn’t recruit people over 30). It’s already crazy that many non-Muslims take a verse out of context to justify their hatred for Islams and Muslims.

Anything read, such as the holy book, can be open to interpretation.

Religion really has very little to do with the actions of their people, it's their culture they come out of. Every religion has some form of violence linked to it from Christianity to Judaism to Islam. However and most importantly every faith is rooted in the soil in which it is planted.

If you are already a misogynist, the verses will speak to that part of you. If you are a power hungry maniac, you will take the verse in mold it into you taking over the world, and you will use the verse to justify it.  I could read the very same verse, the power part could be speaking to my inner strength, the power to change by exuding positivity. The ones who commit these heinous crimes are reading the very same verses through the blinkers of their own cultural, ethnic, and power perspectives.

I am born Muslim, I read the very same verses and you don’t see me putting on a vest or one day picking up a weapon to convert every non-believer to my faith. When I read the Quran, it helps me fight my own Jihad, which is not a holy war, but my own internal battles.

Paradise is not promised to me or these groups who think they are the chosen ones. And how can killing innocent people justify your ticket to paradise? You have to be totally insane to believe this.

The blood of the innocent is on the hands of those who helped and those who’ve helped give birth to these mad men.

ISIS wants to take over the world.

Muslims are also under threat, but we are also targets.

Statistics show they are mass killing Muslims, because they refuse to acknowledge ISIS or join their group, if you do not imbibe and accept their philosophies, you will be killed. This alone should tell some bigoted people who slap stereotypes on everything that even I am under threat.

Why are Muslims frustrated?

We are all painted with the same ‘terrorism’ brush. We are monitored at airports with suspicion, railway platforms are death traps and on social media platforms we are ALL labelled terrorists.

Women are targeted for wearing hijab and women are killed by ISIS for not wearing hijab. Many peace-loving Muslims pay the price for these 1% nutters.

Do you think majority of the Muslims want this sort of life for their children and grandchildren or themselves? The entire world needs to rediscover our humanity.

We all need to join together to fight any form of terrorism, oppression, and injustice, so that we can live peacefully and respectfully on this planet. I don’t expect that I can cure everyone of their ignorance.

All I say is stop drawing parallels between these nutters and the rest of the Muslim. It’s about time that people understand the difference between religion and culture.

Check out Saffiya's blog and follow her on Twitter.

- Woman24


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