Tag Archives: terrorism

“Islamic Extremism is a ‘Muslim’ issue”

Ahhh, the world of Facebook…full of wonderful insights and keyboard warriors- there’s never a dull moment. A Facebook “friend” recently posted a status stating that that issue of Islamic extremism needs to be confined to Islamic communities: “South Korea has their issues and they keep it within their borders. Jews have their issues and they keep it within their borders…why do these [Muslim] extremists feel the need to cause trouble outside of their own community? Unlike any other group of people.”

*Face-palm*

I have so many issues with the above sentiment but I won’t waste too much time dismantling the things that are obviously wrong, I will just say one thing before I get to the crux of the matter. I didn’t realise that South Korea had ‘their issues’…I am going to presume that the writer of these wise words meant North Korea but was temporarily geographically challenged. Irrespective, the oppression that North Koreans experience is not just the problem of North Koreans…it’s a global problem. In the words of Martin Luther King, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” As I am writing this, I am experiencing déjà vu. This kind of mentality reminds me of a woman I described in my blog post “Collective concern, collective responsibility”, who said the following words- “what happens to Africans in Africa is Africa’s problem. Its none of my concern, its not my responsibility.”

The essence of what the Facebook user is saying can basically be summarised as follows: if Jews kill Jews its okay but if Jews kill Muslims its not okay; if Muslims kill Muslims that’s okay, but if Muslims kill Christians its not okay and so on. It’s basically like saying “if they kill each other that’s ok, but heaven forbid they kill one of “us”. I have concerns for this “us” and “them” division.

Labelling Muslims and terrorists under the category of “them” and everyone else under the category of “us” is not only a very primitive way of looking at the situation, it’s blatantly wrong. Islamic extremism is just as frightening to Muslims as it is to anyone else. Limiting Islamic extremists to terrorising other Muslims and no one else doesn’t actually fix the issue. All it shows, is that we are tolerant to violence that happens to “them”, but intolerant of the very same violence when it applies to “us”.

I feel like I am constantly repeating myself, I have already stated that not all terrorists are Muslim in my blog post “Do you have any Jihadi friends?”. But the sentiment of “Why do these [Muslim] extremists feel the need to cause trouble outside of their community? Unlike any other group of people.” – implies that Islamic extremists are the sole perpetrators of terrorism.

There are a lot of people who cause trouble outside and inside of their own community, but the media simply does not label these individuals as terrorists. The media labels them as ‘depressed’, ‘troubled’ or some other nice word other than ‘terrorist’.

When Dylann Storm killed 9 people declaring that “blacks are taking over the world” and “someone needs to do something about it for the white race”, his actions were described as “pure, pure concentrated evil”. His actions were not described as terrorism, even though they could have been. I am sure that if he were Muslim and substituted the word “black” for “non-Muslim” and the words “white race” for “Islam” the word “terrorist” would have appeared all over the media.

When Elliot Rodger shot 6 innocent people and proclaimed that he will slay every person he sees on the street, he wasn’t labeled a terrorist. When pilot Andreas Lubitz purposefully crashed flight 9525 and caused 150 people to die along with him, he wasn’t labeled a terrorist. People actually went out of there way to try to prove that Lubitz had converted to Islam and crashed the plane for a jihadi purpose. People created lies to rationalise in their heads that someone other than a Muslim could intentionally crash a plane and kill 150 people.

When Anders Behring Breivik shot 85 innocent people and set off a car bomb that killed 7 he was seldom (if at all) described a terrorist by the media. Even though Breivik’s motivation behind the attack was to eradicate Islam and Marxism from Europe, you don’t really see the media throwing around the word “terrorist” next to his name. If Breivik were a Muslim, who’s actions were motivated by wanting to eradicate the world of Capitalism and Christianity the word “terrorist” would have been thrown around left, right and centre.

The media, along with a lot of people who buy into what it says are so quick to pair up the word “Islam” with the word “terrorism”. Terrorism is terrorism, however according to the media it’s only terrorism when Islam is in some way involved. Even if it is terrorism and Islam isn’t involved, someone out there will do their best to make it look like Islam was involved, exhibit A: Andreas Lubitz.

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Although I am new to the blogging world and am completely incompetent at using technology (I only recently learned how to make hyperlinks), I believe that my message of peace and tolerance needs to be heard. To learn a little bit more about my background please read my post titled “A little bit about myself…”. To learn more about why I started this blog, please read my post titled“Introduction…”.

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“Do you have any Jihadi friends?”

Out of all the questions that my husband and I have ever faced, this one definitely takes the cake. I don’t even know where to begin with this so I think I’ll start with the setting within which this question was asked.

My Hubby is a successful personal trainer. He has several clients of various ages and backgrounds. He once trained a male teenager who was around 16 years old. My husband had trained him, on and off, for roughly 6 months. Usually, my husband is quite friendly and open with his clients, but given that this particular client was underage, he thought it best to exercise caution and keep more distance than usual. While my husband did his best to maintain a professional client-trainer relationship, the teenager always wanted to test the boundaries and ask my husband personal questions.

During one session, the teenager asked my husband about his nationality. My husband told him that he was from Iran and the conversation didn’t really go beyond that. On the next session, however, the boy came out with this precious gem:

 “So ‘cause you’re Iranian and all, do you have any Jihadi friends?”

I would have punched him, but that’s just me. My husband, however, answered the teen’s question with another question- “Can you tell me who jihadists are?”. After some silence, the boy replied with: “terrorists”. My husband then asked “Okay, and who are terrorists?”. After some more silence, the teen uttered the following golden nugget:

 “Terrorists are Muslims who kill people”- the teen replied.

Out of mouths of babes…I would have punched him again, harder than the first time. But my angel of a husband simply laughed and said “Oh-kay buddy, ten more squats, thanks”. Later that night when my husband told me about the conversation, I lost my temper. My husband calmed me down, laughed and then jokingly said, “If I actually had Jihadi friends, the kid wouldn’t be alive right now”.

I thought it appropriate to tell the teen’s parents about what had happened, but my husband said that he wasn’t prepared to offer the teen, nor his parents any such favours. As my cousin pointed out after reading one of my very first posts “Building Tolerance”, it’s not good for children to learn intolerance, it’ll only make it harder for them later on in life in our multicultural world.

Funnily enough, when I Google terrorist, the definition doesn’t state “Muslims who kill people”, it states “a person who uses terrorism in the pursuit of political aims”. While my husband handled the situation beautifully (and I can only aspire to such eloquence and patience,) he shouldn’t have had to experience that kind of situation at all. Having said that, had the conversation not occurred, I wouldn’t have been able to make this post, so I guess I need to be kind-of grateful to the teen’s ignorance and intolerance, otherwise I’d might have run out of material by now.

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Although I am new to the blogging world and am completely incompetent at using technology (I only recently learned how to make hyperlinks), I believe that my message of peace and tolerance needs to be heard. To learn a little bit more about my background please read my post titled “A little bit about myself…”. To learn more about why I started this blog, please read my post titled “Introduction…”.