This morning my heart weeps; the world has again been struck by tragedy. Over 150 victims killed in six separate terrorist attacks in and around Paris, France with IS apparently taking responsibility for these attacks.
As you all know I live in a country that is 98% Muslim. Most Muslims are ordinary, peace-loving people with their own set of dreams and problems and should be treated with the same respect we give to any other fellow human being. I live in a real community where love and support is evident wherever you go. These are not people bred with hatred.
What many of you may not have known (due mainly to the fact that news coverage was nearly non-existent in other countries) is that only yesterday there was two suicide bombings attributed to IS killing 43 people in Beirut. Another incident in Baghdad with 18 victims. Türkiye also recently suffered at the hands of IS with an attack that killed nearly 100 people and injured over 400 more at a peace rally in Ankara. I chose not to write about that terrorist attack in an attempt to fill my feed with only positive stories but I guess I can’t keep myself quiet today. These attacks are not solely being directed at you or at me. These attacks by IS are indiscriminate. We are all targets – Muslim, Christian or other.
Today my social media newsfeed is filled with putrid spewings of hatred from people who I have long considered friends. I have been shocked by some of the statements made. Do you feel that way about all Muslims? What about The Turk? Do you feel that way about him as well? Should he be vilified for his religion. Of course not. To one particular person who wrote on their Facebook that “all terrorists are Muslim” I say this to you – hate is born by people exactly like you. You are no better than a terrorist with your rabid hatred.
Throughout history religion has been used as an excuse, or driving force, for some of the worst atrocities imaginable. From pre-history to modern history, religion is, for many people, just an excuse to kill other people. Not post 9/11. We can go throughout history and talk of religious atrocities. I shall name a few although honestly I shouldn’t need to. We all learnt about them at school. Does the Inquisition ring a bell to you? How about those witch hunts in Massachusetts? All about religion. Let’s go further back in history to Roman times with Nero persecuting all Christians. And what about Jesus? He was persecuted for his religion as well. Maybe we should consider the Aztecs who killed tens of thousands a year to appease the Gods. I could continue but I won’t.
Your religion (if you have one) is only one part of who you are. I cannot understand why we have so much hatred and violence. The perception that people of one nationality, political affiliation, religion, or colour of skin are more superior or inferior than another. We are one people. We are all humans trying to get through this thing called LIFE. It is hard, unfair, and trying – but we all deserve a chance to live it. No one’s life should be taken by another for any reason. No one’s life is more valuable than another’s.
To those in Paris, and those affected by this horrible massacre, my thoughts are with you today.
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Thank you for your thoughtful words! My own thoughts on Paris here: http://tinyurl.com/ndoo3ao
Reblogged this on Contrafactual and commented:
My co-worker and office mate is Egyptian and Muslim. Islam is as much a culture and a heritage as a religion. Mohamed, yes his name is Mohamed – a very common Muslim name, is the kindest, gentlest, man I know and I am proud to call him my friend. ISIS is not Islam,, in fact and the majority of its victims have been Muslim.
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Rats I hit Post Coment by accident
ISIS does not represent all of Islam, in fact the majority of its victims have been Muslim.
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America is still asleep at this hour, but I’m bracing myself for the anti-Muslim hate to start spewing in my news feed as well. I never know how to respond, if I respond at all. Will writing a comment change a person’s mind? Probably not. I couldn’t even talk sense into an acquaintance who is still mad about the damn Starbucks cup. I said,”I live in a place where religious minorities are actually marginalized. This cup is not threatening your religious freedom” and she said this is how it starts, and soon the US will be like Turkey and she fears for her unborn children. So does it serve to say something rational when people insist on letting their emotions take over? I don’t know. I will probably try. I may just share the link to this post and leave it at that. My FB associates often share anti-Muslim things without realizing that their Jesus-loving friend has Muslim family members and is hurt by their words (not offended, but hurt because it’s a heart thing, not a pride thing). Maybe that will help put things in perspective, but I doubt it.
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This fecking cup! This behaviour is what’s wrong with the world.
Beautifully put Janie, you have said exactly what I feel. Those who are so quick to condemn a whole religion have probably never set foot in a place of worship in their lives. So sad for all those innocent lives lost and their families trying to make sense of such horror.
The friend that I mentioned in my post usually fills his newsfeed with filthy sexist comments or rants usually associated with his alcohol intake. Never have a seen such garbage from a grown man … And yet his status updated condemning all Muslims gets more likes and comments than I think I’ve ever received.
Sadly the world is filled with people just like the one. A mad filled will soft important nonsense.
Excellent post Janey and echoes my own thoughts completely. Several of my Facebook friends have posted similar updates to the ones you describe – including images/quotes from prominent Turks – and their ignorance saddens me. I look at their vitriol and then I look at my community – a peaceful, friendly, Muslim village. I know which I consider to be the greater evil.
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Good post Janey. Same old story, a minority breeds contempt for the majority. I am not a religious person, but so many fanatics hide behind Religion as an excuse to wreak havoc and terror on humanity. Media coverage is a double edged sword in reporting the atrocities but giving attention to the B******s that have no right to call themselves part of the Human Race. They are pure evil.
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Nicely said. My human Mom does not understand why this is even (still) happening. Why humans still try to overtake the other humans by force. Mom says, “Why can’t everyone just leave everyone else alone?” 😦 We were made different for a reason. Live and let live in peace. I wish everyone in the human world understood that. Woof! Maggie the Pitbull
Very well said. I too lived in the Middle-East for many years, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt Palestine, full of Muslims everywhere and people are just people, going about their daily lives like I did. ISIS is a concept and a dangerous ideology and we are all targets, no matter your religion or ethnic background.
Thank you Janey for this post.! Very well put. ISIS is not a religion – they are terrorist thugs. Let’s not forget about all the poor Yazidis being held in slavery by ISIS also because they are polytheistic worshippers.
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As a secular Aussie I applaud your comments.
Sadly, social media has given ignorant, prejudice-filled numbskulls, many of whom hide behind anonymous pseudonyms, the perfect channel to voice their bile.
Amen to that, Jane.
As an American, I’m thinking about leaving my country because of the willful ignorance I see almost daily here. The callous selfishness, the brutality of their words, and their insane actions make me wonder why my ancestors ever fought for the freedom these people now abuse! To me, America is more than some dirt surrounded by water – it’s an ideology, a way of life, and a way to think … but nowadays, I believe too many Americans have forgotten that less than 75 years ago, we were still without running water and electricity in much of our country! i think younger, modern Americans forget or have not been taught about OUR history. All they’ve heard is “America is Number One” and they think this is true about EVERYTHING! When the facts reveal we are definitely not number one at anything except, maybe, military might. In a world that longs for peace, why on earth would a people think that the ability to kill off every neighbor on the planet is a good thing, well .. it’s beyond me! The movie, Idiocracy, is already alive and well in my country!
I’m 59, my son is 26 and engaged to a lovely girl from South America. We are thinking seriously of leaving the US, even though my family has been here since the late 1600’s. They came here because they lacked representation in government, yet were disproportionately taxed. The inequality then was as bad as it is today! And, it’s growing worse every year. Our middle class is now the working poor class, and the poor … God save them, our government has refused yet it was govt policies that created the niche in the first place, and might I say, it’s a HUGE ‘niche.’ The religions of yesteryear controlled almost every aspect of life through the government and today, the same thing is happening! Moral majority, my patootie! How about good ethics instead?! Morality changes too much! For my family, the ideology that is “America” will live on, just on different dirt!
Thank you for this blog! I think it’s wonderful!