Thursday, July 07, 2005

London bombing

I should be studying contracts, but I am so upset by some of the statements that I've read on Fark and elsewhere, that my blood is boiling.

First of all - the bombings in London were heinous, reprehensible, inhuman attacks and Al Qaeda and other such terrorists should be wiped out. My sympathy goes out to those who suffered in the attacks, and to the residents of London in general, because a terrorist attack of that nature does much to disrupt the mental peace of a community.

Nevertheless, the abundance of statements from members of the internet community unilaterally condemning "Muslims" and the religion of Islam for terrorism is completely out of hand.

Anti-Muslim folks like to quote bits of the Q'uran that refer to infidels, jihad, and destroying those of other faiths. What they don't like to quote is all of the passages (often right next to the passages in question) that refer to respecting other religions, to leaving them in peace. No doubt, the Q'uran emphasizes the superiority of Islam, but doesn't every religion? Christianity has the same thing in the Bible. Take various passages of the Bible out of context and you can condemn pretty much anyone for anything. Sure, the Q'uran may sound more militant, but we also have to remember that translating it from Arabic has also led to about as many misconceptions of Islam as have come from the incredibly unliteral King James translation of the Old and New Testaments.

Muslims should not be condemned. Terrorists acting in the name of Islam - religious extremists - fanatics who violate the basic tenets of Islam while cloaking themselves in the words of the Q'uran should be condemned. Much like those who cloak themselves in the words of the Bible and profess a Christian faith while committing atrocities.

If we begin to label Muslims as terrorists where will we stop? Can we rightly say that every Muslim is prone to such actions? Can we condemn an entire multicultural and diverse religion for the acts of a few maniacs?

I have known many Muslims in my life - from all different parts of the world - Pakistanis, Iranians, Jordanians, Palestinians, Egyptians - and they have all been kind, caring people whose only fault was their faith. How can faith be a fault when they have done nothing to hurt people?

Islam is a beautiful, rich and diverse religion, and we are shutting ourselves off from any comprehension of its true nature because we are blinded by fear, hate and the frustration of having a largely intangible enemy who hides and disguises himself, often among those who are innocent.

Many Muslims are angry - particularly in the Arab world - and many are angry with the West. This does not make them all terrorists. They are a people whose way of life was disrupted by colonialism, whose borders were arbitrarily set as part of a chess game between the Western powers during and after WWI. They are a people who have struggled with civil conflict, religious tensions, and poverty. They are a people who want to be understood but whose culture the West has consistently either over-romanticized, over-barbaricized, or over-simplified. If I were them, I'd probably be pretty mad at the West myself.

Think, people, before you condemn. Limit your condemnation to terrorists - to the animals who would blow themselves up or set bombs on trains filled with innocent people. Mourn for those who have lost their lives as a result of these attacks - but also mourn for mankind's quickness to lose common sense and jump to ridiculous conclusions.


Blogger Sydney said...

Fark is definitely one of those websites that I’ve learned to avoid during crises. Instead of being sorrowful and respectful of the people in London, it’s immediately turned into a fierce anti-Muslim discussion. I would visit other sites such as pandagon and rox populi and Shakespeare sister for far more insightful dialogue. I wish I had the links on me, but I don’t at the moment. But if you google them, you should find them pretty quickly.

By the way I wanted to let you know that I’ve really enjoyed your recent posts. Good luck with the contracts studying!

4:43 PM  

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