THE BLOG

Why Are Muslims Being Asked to Apologise for the Paris Attacks?

15/01/2015 10:09 GMT | Updated 16/03/2015 09:59 GMT

There are over 1.6 billion Muslims around the world who strongly condemn all forms of terrorism, be it the ISIS murders, Sydney sieges and the recent Paris attacks.

However, what is increasingly frustrating is that despite sharing the condemnation of evil in the world, Muslims are constantly being expected to apologise for something that we did not do. Muslims are continually being expected to defend the religion of Islam due to the fact that words such as 'Islamist, Islamic and Muslims' are continually being used in the mainstream media to describe terrorist perpetrators.

I believe these terrorists who carry out attacks using religion to justify themselves cannot even call themselves Muslims because they are not following the tenets of Islam nor are they patterning their conduct according to the principles of Islam.

There have been countless acts of terrorisms around the world but we do not hear the mainstream media or anyone else ask normal Jews, Christians, Hindus or any other religion to take accountability for these acts and quite rightly so.

Following the Paris attacks on Charlie Hebdo, Rupert Murdoch controversially tweeted that all Muslims even those that were peaceful should " destroy their growing jihadist cancer" and went onto say that, "they must be held responsible". What exactly should normal Muslims be 'held responsible' for? Do we ask normal peaceful individuals from other religions to take accountability for the heinous crimes that are done on innocent civilians in the Middle East and around the world?

Murdoch's tweet was retweeted more than 1,500 times, and favourited by more than 767 people following the attack on five more civilians on a kosher supermarket in Paris. However he must have failed to read the news that followed which was hardly highlighted by the mainstream media. A heroic Muslim man had tried his best to save the Jewish hostages at the kosher supermarket by hiding them in the freezer to save their lives. Lassana Bathily, originally from Mali in west Africa had brought the terrified hostages to safety in a chiller as the gunman took hold of the Hyper Cacher supermarket in Porte de Vincennes, Paris.

He told BFMTV: "When they ran down, I opened the door (from the freezer).

"There are several people who came to me. I turned off the light, I turned off the freezer.

"When I turned off the cold, I put them (hostages) in, I closed the door, I told them to stay calm."

There had been several people who had called for Mr Bathily to be recognised for his actions as details of the episode emerged however this news goes underreported in the mainstream media.

One question I have for Murdoch and any other individual who asks peaceful Muslims to be held accountable is how can you hold a religion of billions of peaceful people responsible for the actions of a minority of extremists? Do you think it is right to take accountability for a crime you never committed? Yes, as Muslims we condemn this act but we do not need to apologise because frankly this would be accepting a link between our faith and these acts.

Accountability should be sought from the perpetrators, from the evil wrongdoers who are responsible for carrying out murders, terror attacks, hostages and not normal, everyday Muslims who want to be united with our brothers and sisters from all religions, races and backgrounds.

Many Muslims including myself have spoken out openly condemning the Paris attacks and all other forms of terrorism.

People who say they are acting in the name of religion to justify immoral actions are not truly following their religion and are practicing it wrongly. For this reason, it is a mistake to form any idea of that religion from the activities of these people.

The sad truth is that Islamophobia is real and it is rising I have seen it with my own eyes and there have been several accounts of physical and verbal abuse against Muslims. The mainstream media also needs to take a level of responsibility in reporting and so does high profile individuals whose words have influence over others. We need to realise that terrorism is antithesis to Islam. Terrorism is barbarism.

Sadly, there have been cases of violating the Islamic tenets by zealous and deviant Muslims who refuse to pattern their conducts and behaviours after the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Do not let a minority of people be a reason to tarnish the name of the 1.6 billion Muslims around the world who stand united against terrorism. Firstly the mainstream media need to stop misusing the religion of Islam to describe terror suspects, extremists and terrorists. There have been countless terrorists who belong to other religions but we do not hear their religions being brought up, and the same respect should be given to all religions. Every religion should be respected enough not to be misused as the media's reporting of Muslims can only further increase Islamophobia.