As we wake up to yet another atrocity on the streets of London, it is easy as a British Muslim to slip into a state of anger and frustration at the initial portrayal of this attack by the mainstream media, seemingly double standards on the reporting of this attack, marking this a 'potential terror attack' and the unconfirmed response times of our emergency services, which considering the heroic jobs that they have done recently, on top of their 'typical' day to day roles and the potential for the crime potentially just being miss-reported by a member of public, shouldn't initially be looked upon as anything more than a standard response.
Whilst I slipped in to a state of anger and frustration initially, it is important for us to remember to refrain from these emotions, particularly so during the month of Ramadan. After all, as many of us have rightly preached after the recent attacks at Borough market, Westminster and Manchester, 'Muslims' are not terrorists and are not violent people. We are as British as the rest of the brilliant people of this nation.
That's why it is important to follow the example set by Imam Muhammad. Whilst I can imagine that his emotions were as heightened as his fellow worshipers, his actions to prevent the perpetrator from being attacked in retaliation for his heinous crime, is one that should be looked upon as some of the prime examples of behaviours Islam preaches; restraint, self-control and the requirement for fair justice.
If we slip into the mindset of demanding retribution and revenge, than not only does it feed into the hands of these extremists by flirting with the idea that we can not all co-exist peacefully, but it can quickly and dangerously fall into a downwards spiral of behaviour and actions that is favourable by no one. The colossal failure that was the war in Iraq, led by George Bush and Tony Blair, stemmed from the mindset of believing that the so called 'Opposition' were a threat to our way of life so the way to amend this was by 'The War on Terror'. Look where that has left us. Arguably a factor in the backwards rationale that is used by extremists to substantiate their actions.
The way to help change perceptions amongst others is not solely by preaching, but by setting an example of our behaviours, conducting ourselves in a way that breaks down barriers in our day to day activities.
Regardless of how we as Muslims may believe that we are portrayed in the media and the increase in hate crimes against us, we must continue to follow the example of Imam Muhammad, the countless volunteers helping at Grenfell Tower and the teachings of our religion during Ramadan especially, to continue in our normal day to day activities in the same way in which we have all done over the last few months and not believe that we are in any way more so the victims of terrorism than the rest of the UK.