I think it’s time I shared my thoughts on a certain subject. I have hesitated in writing this post because I know that no matter what I say, there will always be people who want to twist my words and use them against me. But it also seems that in remaining silent, these same people will also blame me for not taking a stand. So given the choice, I would prefer to be blamed for my words rather than my silence.
First let me say that whenever innocent people are killed or injured, no matter where they are or who they, my heart hurts for them. It’s human nature to grieve for the suffering; I feel it’s especially strong in me, hence the reason I went into social work– to attempt to make a difference and alleviate some of that pain.
So as you might imagine, my heart has been suffering along with everyone else in the country– and even the world– over the tragedy at the Boston marathon. Such a heinous act cannot be comprehended. I cannot imagine what it must have been like to have been there; to be one of the victims or family of the victims. By heart goes out to them.
In the midst of my own grief over this tragedy, something else has added to the heartache. Even before the suspects could be identified, people began blaming Islam, blaming Muslims. This act of terror could have been committed by anyone, but many people chose to begin pointing fingers. And then, even worse, it turned out they ARE Muslim, giving people even more reason to yet again blame Islam. As a Muslim, reading such accusations makes me feel that I myself am being blamed for this act of terror. Blaming Islam is like blaming me as a follower of Islam.
I cannot comprehend how anyone could be so malicious as to commit such acts of terror, let alone a Muslim. Yet it seems that in this country, people have learned to accuse Islam as a violent, malicious religion of suffering, oppression, and terror. As a follower of Islam, this hurts my heart deeply– not just because I feel accused myself, but because I know that this isn’t true.
Don’t get me wrong– I am not deaf and blind to the world. I know that there are people out there who call themselves Muslims who do in fact commit such atrocities. I am not doubting that. What I’m saying is that Islam does not support their actions. TRUE Muslims do not support their actions. Anyone who calls themselves Muslim, yet can kill innocent people and commit acts of terror and other violence are NOT Muslims– they are either hypocrites or they are people pretending to be Muslim, using a twisted and corrupted version of Islam to carry out their evil deeds.
I used to be completely baffled as to why anyone would blame Islam for the actions of such individuals. No one blames Christianity when Americans act in violence. Even when someone who calls themself a Christian commits atrocities and says they did it “for Jesus,” no one blames Christianity. But it’s because Americans know Christianity. They know plenty of Christians; many Americans in fact ARE Christian. So they know that Christianity does not support such acts. But Islam is easier to blame. Islam is unknown; and it’s easy to fear the unknown. It is easy to tell people it is something it’s not when they are not familiar with what it really is.
Anyone who has ever known a Muslim should understand that Islam is not what it is often made out to be. Millions of Americans would not be following Islam if it were a violent religion that supported acts of terror. Though I have always felt this to be true, I find that the deeper I get into Islam the more I see the evidence of this; the more I see that Islam truly IS a religion of peace, not war and violence. If you study the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) — the stories of how he lived and what he taught– you will see that there is nothing in Islam that makes it okay to commit such violence. Such violence is condemned.
One of the reasons I started this blog was that I hoped to present people with a different face of Islam. That people might get to know me and get to know Islam for what it really is, and not for what its enemies claim it to be. I know there are some who will never be convinced. But for those who have an open mind and who will listen– I hope you can learn from myself and other true Muslims that we are not your enemy; we are your friends. And we stand with you in times of senseless atrocities that cause tragedy and loss. We are crying with you; our hearts are broken too. Maybe if we stand together as citizens of humanity, we can come through this and attempt to make the world a better place.
Please note: Comments on this blog are moderated; and although I welcome earnest questions, I WILL NOT allow comments that espouse hatred. This is MY blog, and I wish it to be an environment of peace where people can come together in shared ideas, beliefs, and build interfaith and intercultural bridges. So don’t bother sharing your hatred– it will not be read.