Until when will I be able to wake up and just take a deep breath not tainted with sadness and distress?
Until when will the bloodthirsty savages who have their own horrifying agendas stop causing terror in the name of the faith I so visibly represent?
Until when can I stop feeling the pressure to constantly clarify to the world wide web, by the way guys, all Muslims aren’t like this, we’re actually normal people… like you! Normal and safe, don’tcha worry about a thing?
Until when can we, Muslims, stop apologizing for the damage caused by others, simply because they choose to use the banner of Islam as their false source of motivation? (Note that condemning is one thing, apologizing is another.)
Until when can the very same Muslims who apologize and condemn acts of terror, not also be recipients of attacks themselves from their own neighbors and citizens moments later?
These murderous imbeciles, if you take the time to read up on their backgrounds, are never actually religious Muslims. So you know those Muslims you stumble on in the restroom washing their arms because they’re making ablution to pray during their work day? They’re not the enemies. Those Muslims fasting sweltering hot long days in the summer without drinking water? They’re not the enemies. Those Muslims reading out of their little Arabic Quran book on public transport? They’re not the enemies. Those hijab-donning, long-sleeved, even face-veiled women you see at the malls? Not the enemies. Those brown-skinned men with the long beards who carry prayer beads as they stroll out of a masjid? They’re not the enemies.
But, but, most people protest exactly as the sensationalized media trained them well to, what else is motivating ISIS (Da’esh) to blow up people in the West if it’s not Islam?
My dear, dear readers,
what motivates Da’esh (ISIS) to kill people who don’t believe in Islam
is the same thing that motivates them to kill hundreds of fasting, praying, faithful Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan, and
it is the same reason that they see no issue with bombing inside the holy city of Medina, Saudi Arabia, close to where the Prophet of Islam, Prophet Muhammed ﷺ, rests.
How can you even think for a moment these cowards have any true intrinsic motivation remotely inspired by Islam? Even the most backwards and ignorant fools who completely misinterpret the Quranic text couldn’t draw the same conclusions – to bomb the tomb of the Messenger of that faith! So in whose name do they dare claim to be while they drown the streets with blood?
حسبن الله ونعمل وكيل
Now as a human being (and I can’t believe I have to remind people this is first and foremost what I am, and clearly I do because Muslims are being attacked left and right because they’re lumped in the same category as the terrorists) –
as a human being who happens to be Muslim, every time I hear the grave news, I feel the silent pressure from all sides to denounce something. Like a box that squeezes to you closer and closer, trying to suffocate you. When headlines have to specify that the attacker(s) claimed faith is Islam, I feel like it is ridiculously obvious to all that this “fact” has no logical correlation with the actual motives of the cruel actions taken. I rather prefer not giving the criminals any further spotlight, fame, and space on my social media platforms in my condemnation of them.
If this seems like an insensitive thing on my part, then please consider this: I am a human being who also happens to be a Palestinian Canadian. My people in Palestine have been getting killed and abused for over half a century, just about daily. My heart is in turmoil always, bearing also in mind that human beings have been dying everyday in Iraq, Afghanistan, Burma, Syria, for as long as I can remember, and in so many other places around the world that it’s hard to breathe just thinking about it. But if I have to condemn every single death around the world as it happens, I will spend the rest of my days condemning verbally but not actually helping anyone. You’ll just have to take my word that whether I post a condemnation status for an attack or not, my heart bleeds with the pain of it all, for the pitiful state our humanity has sunk to.
Despite my preference to not shine the spotlight on the terrorists – because for sure it was one of the results they wanted – I am finding myself doing more condemning than ever these days anyways. Like it has been for a lot of Muslims – a long painful journey – I have learned the difference between being a Muslim who condemns acts of terrorism, and between being an apologetic Muslim who shrinks whenever some madman claims his faith (which is also her faith) inspired him to blow himself up around civilians. The former is good, the latter is not.
Perhaps it shouldn’t bother me as much as it does, but I find it agonizing even when people say things like, “as a Muslim, I condemn terrorism!” But why do we need to clarify that it is because we are Muslim?
Can’t we just embrace our humanity and say “as a human being, I condemn inhumane acts?” There’s that lingering notion that Muslims somehow secretly support these acts, and we have to be very specific in pointing out that this Muslim does not!
There is a fine, fine line between being a Muslim who condemns, and being an apologetic Muslim; and I am tired of trying to balance myself on it so as not to fall into the apologetic Muslim pit.
I will never apologize for the actions of people like Da’esh (ISIS) because I do not associate myself with them in any way, shape or form. (Be assured that no truly believing and mentally sound Muslim actually buys ISIS’s shitload of ideas.) But I condemn their actions with every fibre I have.
Nor will I constantly be watching the news, scanning the newspaper or anxiously searching my Twitter newsfeed to learn immediately whatever horrific acts terrorists take “in the name of Islam” so I can publicly announce to the world, “you guys! I’m NOT like them!”
So as a non-apologetic practicing Muslim woman, know this about me:
I will proudly continue wearing the hijab,
Proudly continue praying and prostrating in public spaces,
Proudly continue reading from my tiny-sized Arabic Quran on the subways,
Proudly continue wearing my Palestinian kuffiyah scarf as a symbol of justice and resilience,
While I continue to
curse the likes of Da’esh (ISIS) and other death cults, and
implore Allah (God) to send His wrath on them, destroy their plans of mass destruction, sow the seeds of doubt and painful uncertainty in their hearts in this life and may they suffer for their actions in the eternal hereafter.
I simply do not have the patience to pray for their guidance, when they have so clearly chosen the path of woeful misguidance. There are others around the world who need my thoughts more than they.
So to the world, I ask once more:
Until when will we be able to wake up and just take a deep breath not tainted with sadness and distress?
Only Allah knows, for He knows Best.