“Why do Muslims do this?”
Earlier this year, France was hit by terrorist attacks. Today, we walk through the same dark street once again.
More than a hundred lives perished in the coordinated attacks around Paris. While many remain shocked and begin mourning for the lives lost, millions of others condemn this monstrous act of hatred.
Indeed, this is an assault to humanity. This is an assault to every society. This is an assault to our liberty. This is an assault to the better world we are trying to create.
I first heard of the incident while I was having breakfast with my German friends in the middle of nowhere in between Kelantan and Pahang. “Why do Muslims do this?” they asked me.
It was a déjà vu moment.
Almost instantly I remembered 9/11, the Bali bombings, the London bus bombings, the Mumbai hotel attack, the Boston marathon bombing, the Charlie Hebdo shootings and the Sydney café siege.
“Why do Muslims do this?” I can’t even remember how many times I have asked myself the exact same question.
Most Muslims would address the question by defending the sanctity of Islam; by extolling the beauty of the religion; by placing the blame entirely on the hatred manifested by a few adherents. For most non-Muslims around the world, however, Islam does not seem to be a religion of love. How can we blame them when all they see is violence?
As Muslims, I believe we ought to take some responsibility. We cannot always be defensive. This is not an isolated incident which took place somewhere in the world. Even in our own homeland we hear of violence initiated by Muslims against non-Muslims. Of course, the violence is not of equal weight and magnitude but violence it is, nonetheless.
We MUST ask ourselves:
- Why is Islam so easily manipulated?
- Who is poisoning the minds of Muslims?
- Why do we so easily label those who do not condone our beliefs and actions as anti-Islamic?
- Why is the progression from a moderate into a fundamentalist into a radical into an extremist into a terrorist… so easy?
We need to identify the flaws in how we practice our religion. As Muslims, it is time we stopped defending. It is time to take responsibility. We may not be guilty of the massacre committed in the name of the religion we love, but we will still have to carry the guilt if we do not do anything about the flawed practice of Islam.
Showing our support and sympathy is not enough. We as Muslims must respond to this cruel attempt to ‘cleanse’ the world in the name of Islam. Let us bring back humanity into our practice of Islam. It should begin here, in our homeland.
Allah gave us both mind and heart. Let us use it.
Nous Sommes Unis.