It is only zealots who pro­mote hate

The Star Early Edition - - THE STAR AUCTIONS -

SINCE 2000, the ma­jor­ity of terror at­tacks have oc­curred in five coun­tries – Iraq, Afghanistan, Pak­istan, Nige­ria and Syria, all Mus­lim-ma­jor­ity coun­tries. Close to 90% of the vic­tims of Isis are Mus­lims.

Mus­lims across the globe are not threats. They are threat­ened. Sadly, as Mus­lims, we con­trib­ute to our own ha­rass­ment by in­cor­rectly be­liev­ing that if we just apol­o­gise, then the anti-Mus­lim rhetoric will end. And it never does.

Con­dem­na­tion be­comes our ad­mis­sion of guilt, and we in­di­rectly ac­cept that terror is borne of us, and, there­fore, we must make up and con­done poli­cies that crim­i­nalise us to prove “we have noth­ing to hide”.

But these calls for con­dem­na­tion serve only zealots, who will never be sat­is­fied. They thrive and profit off the fear-mon­ger­ing and hate.

I am hor­ri­fied by these at­tacks, but not be­cause I am Mus­lim. I am hor­ri­fied be­cause I am hu­man.

Ter­ror­ism is not mine. I will not claim it, not even through an apol­ogy.

By con­stantly apol­o­gis­ing and de­nounc­ing these at­tacks, Mus­lims re­in­force the mis­guided pub­lic per­cep­tion that they are con­nected to Isis through the same ba­sic ide­ol­ogy, when in fact they have noth­ing in com­mon at all.

Would it seem equally sound and le­git­i­mate to ask ev­ery Chris­tian, more than 2.2 bil­lion of them, to de­nounce the bru­tal­i­ties com­mit­ted in the Iraq War and the sub­se­quent oc­cu­pa­tion of Iraq by US forces led by Ge­orge W Bush, launched on the false premise of the ex­is­tence of weapons of mass de­struc­tion?

This even­tu­ally led to the rise of Isis – a fact that has been quite can­didly ad­mit­ted by for­mer Bri­tish premier Tony Blair, who al­lied with Bush.

Would it not be ap­pro­pri­ate to ask why ev­ery Chris­tian should not apol­o­gise for the mass mur­der of 6 mil­lion Jews in a pre­dom­i­nantly Chris­tian and anti-Semitic Europe of the 1930s, and the killing of thou­sands by the Lord’s Re­sis­tance Army in East Africa?

Would it also be valid to ask ev­ery Hindu to apol­o­gise for the genocide of Mus­lims in Gu­jarat in 2002, the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ay­o­d­hya and the ri­ots that en­sued there­after, and the killing of Sikhs in Delhi in 1984? Maybe not.

This is a dou­ble stan­dard meant to be ap­plied only to Mus­lims. Shaista Mia Morn­ing­side, Dur­ban

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