Apart from the re assuring claims of placing America first- the new president has also vowed to unite the civilized world against “radical Islam”. A phrase that has usually been avoided by the former administration- as it is broad , confusing and fails to explain one’s interpretation of “Islamic radicalism”.
The anti Muslim rhetoric used in the campaign days – based on several reports has increased violent acts against common Muslim citizens of the US , including women. The US holds a Muslim population of approximately 3million; several of whom have contributed to making “America great”.
Such vague statements on Islamic “terror” are bound to create a backlash against those who are peaceful and maintain a life in coherency with Islamic commandments : such as wearing a hijab, keeping a beard etc ; because alongside no effort is being made on educating the masses on what the difference between a practicing Muslim and a so called “terrorist” is.
When the media plasters the world community with horrific acts carried out by bearded men or hijabi women , it is not surprising to see people develop an irrational fear against a community. So, this fight against ‘terror’ produces with it, another form of terror in the name of Islamophobia. The question remains, who is taking responsibility to address this issue, who is educating the masses on where to draw a line in expressing their hatred against terror and hatred against Muslims?
It has been noted, in the case of other victimized groups, that such unfair branding generally creates two scenarios: either people forsake their roots, culture or ways in order to avoid hatred/suspicions or people take a more rigid stance and adapt more orthodox ways as self defence against the extinction of their ways.
Both cases tend to deviate from what is considered “normal”. The US claims to place liberty and diversity on a mighty pedestal, but the result of this vague, irresponsible anti-Muslim rhetoric, not only leads to ‘a forced displacement’ from one’s roots and ways ( in the case of those decide to merge in, instead of standing out) , but also adds an extremely biased view on the concept of liberty, diversity and the most beloved- “freedom of expression”, Just as a nudist is admired for their courageous self expression; why then is a bigoted term of ‘oppression’ used to describe Muslim women choosing to cover themselves. Contrary to this commonly held misconception- generally to most Muslim women a hijab or ‘not showing skin’ is in itself liberating. Opinions and views should be respected.
A thorough centrifuging of terms such as : radical Islam, “terrorism”, “liberty”, diversity needs to be carried out for public awareness, otherwise what we are looking at is persecution of innocent people.
However, the most absurd of all justifications for such rhetoric has been that “minorities and other religious groups” are mistreated in Muslim countries… So, maybe the new president sees it as fair to avenge all those by conducting oppressive actions against the Muslims of US… But, what he fails to notice is , that most people, regardless of race, gender, religion or whatever are prone to mistreatment across the lands he speaks of; and contrary to the tone he sets, this is not solely a religious problem, but primarily a socio-economic one; and perhaps this is why we witness such a large outflow of Muslims into the land of the free. Had they been treated like royalties back home, they most likely would not migrate.
Though one cannot entirely disregard the “extremist” elements that may be present , but – the root causes of this violence have not been addressed; the superpower has been on a constant agenda to rid the world of extremism, clearly the use of force has only worsened conditions , names that have never been heard of before have gained traction, because of the deplorable conditions caused by these irresponsible wars. It needs to be realised that most of these people are not engaging in criminal activities because of religious adherence , but because they are trying to survive. But, who is taking responsibility for improving their living conditions? And how is an amplification in force a guarantee that the world will see an end to these so called forces of terror…
This subjective and narrow minded use of the term ‘ terror’ brings with it another disturbing situation; how would the voices of people demanding their nationhood, civil rights and freedom be dealt with; this convenient definition of forces of terror encapsulates within it several groups, who are Muslims but they cannot be regarded as “Islamic radicals” because they are not waging a holy war and instead yearn for liberation. Yes, several of them have picked up arms , in order to defend themselves .. How would the differentiation be carried out? how would the voices in Kashmir, Palestine, Iraq, Syria and several other places be dealt with. If we are assuming that any Muslim who may have picked up arms or is unarmed, but -loud about a certain demand-, regardless of the reason: is a “terrorist” are we then completely justifying the actions of the oppressors? Unfortunately, it appears that in the near future, just a vague statement like “an xyz militant organisation has carried out an act of ‘terror’ hence force had to be used”, would be enough to justify any oppression. Clarity is needed here, and demands for liberty and right to self determination need to be respected.
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