A few days have passed since the heartbreaking attacks on the people of the city of Paris. And Lebanon. And Baghdad. I have had some time to absorb, to mourn, but there will never be enough time to understand this kind of hate-filled action of destruction.
I want to start by explaining that I am not religious. I do not follow any religion, I do not condem or mock those who do, it’s just not for me. I believe in the universe, I believe in humanity and I believe in kindness – for me, this is enough. I live in a Muslim country – in Saudi Arabia, and following some of the uneducated, cruel, racist and deluded comments I have read on my social media from people from my home country – I am shocked and saddened at the blinkered views of some of the people I have left behind in the UK. It is those comments which have spurred me to write down what really should be immediately obvious to everyone who has half a brain.
The truth is as follows.
1. Refugees claiming asylum in Britain and the rest of Europe are NOT TO BLAME.
I honestly can’t believe I had to write that. It is laughable. Let me spell it out to you – these poor souls are trying to come to our countries to get away from these people. Refugees in crisis are trying to get somewhere safe to protect their families away from the same militant movement that are causing death and destruction in their home countries. Closing our gates to the people who need help only serves to drive them back towards the people who crave hate and disarray. And if they want to attack Paris, Lebanon, Sharm, they will do so whether or not refugees are being welcomed there. duh.
2. Muslim communities or anyone who peacefully follows Islam are not to blame.
I have the authority here okay, just trust me. Afterall I live in what is referred to as the heart of Islam – Saudi Arabia. I have many Muslim friends here and all are sickened and angered by these attacks as much as any non-Muslim. Islam is a beautiful and peaceful religion – unfortunately some people have twisted this religion into something far removed and unrecognisable and THIS is the mask they hide behind. They are not doing what the qu’ran tells them to do, they are not supported by other Muslims who follow their faith correctly – they are on a campaign of hate and destruction which does not follow any kind of path. There was a bomb in Lebanon this weekend, claimed by Isis. Do you think they would be harming fellow Muslims if they were following any kind of Islamic law?! Obviously not.
3. Misguided, frustrated and angry militants with misplaced ideologies and a campaign of indiscriminate hate and violence are to blame .
They have their own agenda of hate and terror that is NOT shared by the overwhelming majority of the world. Yes they claim their actions are in support of Islam – but see my above point, this is not an Islam that is recognised by any true Muslim. These people will commit these acts regardless of the fact that it so evidently flies in the face of what is said in the qu’ran because they are full of hate.
Spreading hatred amongst our communities, outracizing people based on religion, turning those in need away from our countries and back to their destroyed, dangerous homes is what the militants want. Then, they can say ‘see we told you, the west hates us – they are not our friends, they do not care for you, we must make them pay’ and if one person comes round to that way of thinking – after being pushed out of Britain, after being made to feel uncomfortable or in danger because of their religion- if just one person believes them and make the decision to support them, then they have won.
Do not let them win. Do not give them what they want.