I was just reading this very well written article by a Muslim boy living and growing up in America. He has shared his feelings about how people’s attitude towards him and his religion changed after 9/11. It was very nice to read something like this from a Muslim. In the end of the article he rightly says that terrorists don’t represent Islam, Just like Ku Klux Klan doesn’t represent Christianity. In our India’s case I would like to say that the Hindutva brigade does not represent Hindus, or the Sikh terrorists never represent the Sikhs.
Then why do Muslims invite the ire of the other communities? I think the problem lies in the silence within this community when it comes to terrorist acts all across the globe. The Muslim community rarely stands up when barbaric terrorist attacks take place. Of course there are lone voices but since they are so rare they don’t seem to represent the entire community.
With Christians and Hindus on the other hand people are very vocal when it comes to opposing extremists and fundamentalists. The members of Ku Klux Klan were persecuted by the society and by the government. They were always considered villains and there is no world renown Ku Klux Klan member. Do they have someone like Osama Bin Laden or Qaddafi or Khomeini (the list goes on and on)? Similarly Hindu extremists are looked down upon by the society and intelligentsia and shunned by the government. They never become a part of the mainstream. Even intellectuals who indirectly support such ideologies do so as a reaction to minority appeasement.
In order to gain the confidence of the rest of the world Muslims will have to come out en masse and put up a joint front against terrorists breeding amidst their communities. They will have to shun violent practices. They will have to change the mentality of the Dark Ages that drives these extremists. Of course the problem lies on both the sides but the bigger problem lies on the Muslim side and unless this problem is resolved nothing productive is going to happen and there always going to persist this state of conflict. They have to stop perpetually playing the victim card.
A few days ago we were watching this movie called “Resistance” in which a family of Jew brothers not only saves itself but also thousands of others Jews from the Nazi onslaught. Now the Jewish community had plenty of reason to take to arms and resort to terrorism. But they didn’t. The main protagonist of the movie once comments, “We won’t turn into animals like them and if we die at least we will die as humans.” This is the attitude the Muslim community needs.