It takes only a web search on Charlie Hebdo or Paris and the violence that took place there last Wednesday to bring up thousands of conspiracy theories claiming the truth about what really happened on that day. You will also find hundreds of pages dedicated to Charlie, or the slandering of Muslims and Islam. The truth is we will never know the real motive behind the attacks; all we have is the information that the media feed us. This blog post however is not to argue for or against any of the multiple theories. It is about the implication of our humanity since the attacks happened.
Over the past couple of decades the words ‘Muslim’ and ‘terrorist’ have been used in conjunction so often, that it’s rare to hear one without the other. We’ve become so used to (brainwashed) the idea that acts of terror correlate to Islam, but the truth is, they don’t. Terrorism is defined as the use of unauthorised violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims. By definition the war on Gaza is terrorism. The acts of the British and US governments in Iraq were terrorism. UKIP and EDL violent riots – terrorism. Yet, if it’s not a man who calls himself a ‘Muslim’ we do not define it as such. Our religious hatred has become so high, that as a nation we refuse to acknowledge any of the positivity that comes from Islam.
Freedom of speech is one of the main issues that was highlighted after the attacks. It has been argued that our right to free speech is being attacked, by disabling us from ridiculing and making a mockery of Islam. I would like to point out that homophobic and racist comments and active discrimination against any minority is considered a crime. We work on a double standard that is not only confusing, but disgusting.
What happened in Paris was no doubt horrific. Any attack, abuse, or murder of another human being is horrendous and I will in no way defend the actions of the men that committed such a heinous crime. However, does that mean that those who carried out the attack represent their religion? If we call all Muslims terrorists for the misguided handful, do we call all Christians paedophiles for the actions of a few catholic priests? Or if all Muslims are to blame for the attacks, are all Christians to blame for the Spanish Inquisition? All white people to blame for slavery? All Germans anti Semitic? All Jews to blame for the actions of Israel? Once upon a time this country blamed all ‘black people’ for the continuing rise in crime. Yet if anyone said that now, it would be considered racist, distasteful, criminal and misinformed.
Mosques have been attacked. Innocent Muslims on the street are being abused. The religion itself is under attack constantly. There are lies all over the news about No Go Zones, and it is further driving humanity apart.
The truth of the matter is that by blaming Muslims, we are shifting the blame from ourselves as humans. It is us, the Human Race, that carried out these attacks; that caused them; that fuelled them. It is easy to say we need to stop terrorism, or as this Fox News person suggests, say that it is a problem of Muslims, that can only be solved by Muslims. But the only way terrorism can be defeated, is by defeating the cause. Acts of terror have increased since the Iraq invasion in 2001, and the so called ‘War on Terror’ began. We have spent the last decade spreading hate and animosity. We alienate those who are different from ourselves, we exclude and we become ignorant. The only way peace will ever come to humanity is through spreading love and educating ourselves and others. We need to stop trying to find someone to blame. Stand up and accept that we all need to make a change.