I find it incredible that Islam and Muslims are interrogated and harassed on a daily basis over social media. It just doesn't happen to people of other faiths. There are people who have Twitter accounts for the main purpose of vilifying and insulting Islam. There are hundreds whose profiles reflect this. Hiding behind the lines 'British and proud' or 'English and proud', people are happy to espouse muslim hatred.
If one person makes an anti-Semitic statement they will be punished for it, if not by authorities then by other Twitter users, and rightly so. But Islam bashing is completely legitimate and acceptable. If a non-Muslim defends Islam they are labelled as a liberal or a Lefty. Baroness Warsi made this point a few years ago, and she was spot on.
The Jewish people were the targets of extreme hate and animosity, before and during the 20th century which ultimately led to the holocaust. Muslims are now the target and I experience this on a daily basis online, and I am now fearful of a Muslim holocaust. It's cowardice of people to make nasty comments whilst hiding behind an anonymous avatar. I think people who insult Islam are buried in deep misconceptions about Islam. They probably don't know many Muslims and only see the ghettos that are in towns like Luton, Bradford etc. They believe what they read online, anti-Islamic sites aren't hard to find. I don't think its their fault, but explaining true Islam is hard in 140 characters, which is the tweet limit on Twitter. Many claim to be UKIP supporters, some BNP or EDL, some from extreme xenophobic parties that were on the ballot paper standing in the European elections.
I have put myself on the firing line by defending Islam online whilst having my avatar and profile there for everyone to see. Whilst people attack my faith I am happy to stand up for my faith and I will do so for the rest of my existence. My main aim in life is not to sit on Twitter and single out a community or faith and rant on about it, like many others.
People talk about blind faith. It's not blind faith. Let me explain. If you believe that the Quran is authentic, and not man made then you have to pretty much accept everything in there. This is really what makes Islam different to other faiths. The Quran hasn't changed since it was revealed so how can a Muslim condemn parts of the Quran? Yes there are parts that are hard to swallow and understand but everything is in context. Seriously it is. The parts I don't understand I research it. Then it makes more sense. At face value many things look extreme. People have spent their lifetimes studying the complexities of Islam, reading a few things on the internet does not make anyone an expert. Also interpretations is key. If you are not an Arabic speaker, the Quran is hard to understand because of its poetic nature and doesn't translate that well therefore opening it up to different interpretations.
During the life of Prophet Muhammad there were many battles as Muhammad tried to convey the message of Islam which was the belief in one God. Within these battles many verses were revealed advising how to act IN THE STATE OF WAR. Lots of these verses are thrown at Muslims to try and demonstrate the violent side of Islam.
Another common thing I hear all the time is 'Go to Saudi or another Muslim country if you want Sharia Law or Islamic rule'. Firstly let me verify I do not endorse Islamic rule in Britain. And those nut jobs who hold placards with these slogans in demonstrations are doing a great disservice to Muslims. The truth is that there is no true Islamic state in existence today and Britain is not the place to have one. So all those people who fear Islam need to get a grip. There is no hidden agenda or secret -- nobody is trying to overthrow the David Cameron and replace him with a Caliph. Hysteria stirred up by I'm not sure who, is explained brilliantly here. Some lady even quoted something about the Muslim Brotherhood and whether I agree! The Muslim Brotherhood are a political organisation based thousands of miles away, they don't represent me. We don't have a spokesman for us sadly, so if one Muslim says one thing it really doesn't mean another agrees. Muslims come in many flavours, you just can't attack one based on the actions of another -- this is just ignorance
My favourite line is 'You should condemn Muslim extremists'. So before I write anything about Islam, whether in a blog or on Twitter I need to say that? It's so ridiculous it makes me laugh. I'm passionate about my faith, and I absolutely condemn extremist and terrorist behaviour. There it is in writing, and I've said it before, but I'll say it again if it makes people feel better. Another is 'Muslims threaten our British values and freedoms.' How exactly? Many faiths have exclusions and allowances because of their faiths. For example Sikhs are allowed to carry a dagger. How does carrying a dagger threaten the British way of life? It doesn't, just like a woman wearing a headscarf, why do people care? Why do people care that they can pay a solicitor to write an Islamic will? Everything is supply and demand, it's got nothing to do with British values.
All in all it's a miserable state of affairs. Whether it's halal meat or sharia compliant wills, there will be a new topic to stir up hatred towards Islam. After all we need to blame somebody for all the problems in the world, let's blame Muslims. It's not enough that they're being persecuted all over the world, in Syria, Palestine, Burma, Iraq let's do it here too. Attacking a minority is not the British way of life, so please if you like to partake in the occasional Muslim-bashing 'banter' take a minute to think, is this what being British is about?