It took a few millennia, but people have finally begun to take a proper stance against discrimination. Sexism, homophobia, racism, anti-Semitism… we all know it exists and we all think it’s wrong. Anti-Semitism in particular is a term that is still so well known and so often used, even though, as much as it’s still a relevant issue, it’s not so common anymore. But while the position of Jews is improving rapidly, another religion took its place. A religion that is feared and despised all over the world. A religion whose followers are subjected to stares, comments or even violence on a daily basis, no matter where they live. A religion that finds itself in a situation very similar to what the Jews went through some 70 years ago, except it hardly receives any attention at all, unless it’s an accusatory headline.
That’s a painful comparison, but just think about it. In the developed world, pretty much every country has a law that states that you’re innocent until proven guilty. That you cannot be subjected to torture and that you have the right to a fair trial. Those things are valued highly among the public, and whenever a country other than our own violates those rules, we, as Western countries, look down upon them and tell them that what they do is wrong. Yet those very same countries have things like Guantanamo Bay, in which “suspected terrorists” are subjected to torture, they authorise drone strikes to execute people who are “suspected” of terrorism and they drag “suspects” from their houses, interrogating them, confiscating their belongings, and when eventually they don’t find anything, there’s not even an apology or compensation or even a chance to get those belongings back: the “suspects” are just dropped back at their houses, expected to be fine with it all because it was for the sake of “national security”.
What I don’t get is that nobody makes a fuss about this. Where are the activism groups? Where is the critical news coverage? Where are the UN Human Rights reports? Or… where is Tumblr…? Did I perhaps miss a clause in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that stated that religious freedom goes for everyone except Muslims? That it is okay to judge, torture and murder people because of their religion, and that it isn’t a problem if the public image of that religion is no better than that of German Jews in the 1930s? Because if so, I’d say it’s about time to change that.
Islam has become the victim of a silent genocide. The world has learned by now that genocides are wrong, but the fear and contempt for Muslims runs so deep that we can’t help but condone it. We don’t actively participate because we know it’s wrong, but we also don’t do anything to stop it. We let our governments send out drones to the Middle East to kill people who might just be terrorists, and when those drones accidentally hit a couple of hundred civilians, or even a couple of Afghan soldiers, then that’s too bad. Mistakes happen. We’ll “thoroughly investigate the matter.”
But we cannot let that happen. It is shown again and again and again and again (and again and again and again…) that Muslims are not seen as equals, that they are not seen as deserving of the same human rights as everyone else. That they are second class citizens, and that while the media would gladly pick up on a case of homophobia, sexism or racism, stories that involve Muslims are hardly reported on at all unless the perpetrator happens to be a Muslim.
If you believe that equality is important, if you believe that you should not be discriminated because of your gender, age, race, sexuality, religion or whatever else, then this is something you need to fight for. It doesn’t matter who you are. This is not something that Muslims should be left to fight for on their own, much like all those other equal rights movements receive support from the majorities. People are dying, and if we just condone that, then I’m not sure how we’re any better than the Germans of the 1930s.
Don’t forget to rate/share/like this post, (because sharing the message, even if it’s in your own writing, is the only way to achieve anything!) and if you have any thoughts of your own, please do leave them in the comments! And if you’re new here? Feel free to like the Facebook page for regular updates, or try having a look at the list of most popular posts!
See you next Monday!
More on this topic from Dean Richards: