Since the terror attacks on Paris, the Islamophobia in the western world has taken a fresh turn. Being no different than 9/11 in its aftermath, the Paris attack has resulted in an increase in attacks being carried out against Muslims especially women wearing Hijabs in US, UK and Canada. Adding further fuel to the fire are the extremely hateful remarks of Republican nominees Donald Trump and Ben Carson about Muslims being asked to wear special ID’s and getting registered. Trump has further elaborated that he is ‘strongly considering’ shutting down American mosques for security and has claimed, with full support from Ben Carson, that he saw Muslims cheering during the 9/11 in New Jersey.
Watching Donald trump and Ben Carson spit hate openly against Muslims with a new found justification of Paris Attacks has sent shivers down my spine. The statements, apart from being extremely racist, also carry within themselves a legitimacy for further violence against the Muslims; after all, the trickle-down effect on the locals of a republican nominee who is leading the polls would be terrific and is perhaps one of the main reasons, apart from the Paris attack and its perceived connection with Muslims, behind the increase in violence against Muslims. Prioritizing American security might be one of the best ways to gain votes of the majority, but leaders like Trump and Carson at least should realize that instigating more violence is never an appropriate solution.
So where does the solution lie then? To start with, blaming a single community, who is not even remotely associated with the perpetrators of violence, is certainly not the solution. It’s about time that world realizes that ISIS in not Islam, though the strategic use of the word ‘Islam’ by ISIS has certainly made the whole world a puppet who is exactly acting in the same way ISIS wants it to; dividing further and perpetrating more violence in response to an attack by the ISIS. It is ironical, how innocent lives are lost during an attack and are also lost in the aftermath as well, as surviving innocents lash out against other innocents, blaming the other side unduly for the attacks. This extreme mercilessness of individuals towards their fellow beings results in much more than simply the loss of innocent lives; it destroys humanity. When people are killed simply because of their existence, it indicates that we have stopped thinking objectively and we are allowing ourselves to be led by the stereotypes and prejudices against a target population. Mob psychology, once formed (as it certainly did after 9/11), is almost impossible to modify. It can die down over the years but it cannot be completely wiped out. Rather it simply remains there, like a dormant monster, waiting to be triggered again, and in this case the discovery of a Syrian passport near the terror site in Paris has effectively provided that trigger. Once, this mob psychology takes over the whole US and the western world, people would be engaging in inhumane acts against Muslims with no fear of accountability and justification. When violence triggers further violence against innocents, where does humanity stand a chance?
The need of hour is unity and consolidation. The hatred which has embroiled the world, with the myopic individuals dwelling deep inside it to come up with an answer for this same hatred, will not yield the solution. This problem would not be solved until the Western world decides to shed the stereotypes and realize that not all Muslims are terrorists and not all terrorists are Muslims and the fact that provocative speeches would certainly not yield anything beneficial to any person inhibiting this planet, be it Christians, Muslims or Jews as engaging in the violent acts against innocents is as terrible for humanity as being the victims of these cruel attacks. It’s time that the world starts to fight violence in real terms, instead of continuing to pave further way for it by giving the prejudices and stereotypes a violent expression. To quote Martin Luther king, ‘Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that’. It’s time that the world opens up its eyes and let not the Paris attacks become the excuse for further violence against innocents as 9/11 attacks did. It is the responsibility of each and every individual to politically educate himself/herself and objectively ponder over the real causes of the issues instead of following the prevalent notion ‘ All Muslims are terrorists’. Only be realizing that eventually it’s not about Muslims or Syrian refugees, it’s about humanity and the terrible deeds that are being performed to make the existence and survival of our fellow human beings downright difficult and impossible would we be able to come out of this terrible mess of violence and terror that we have entangled ourselves in.