Today, a guy at work asked me how I felt about the Nice attacks in France. My answer was very simple. I felt disgusted and I totally relate to what’s happening as my homeland has been suffering from similar atrocities for over five years. People die every day from bombings, shootings, and sometimes chemical weapons, it makes me sick.
But this guy wanted a different answer…
You could tell from the sarcastic look on his face that he was not convinced. He kept asking some really odd questions on where I stand when it comes to Islam. Do I agree with what’s happening? Do I believe in “Sharia laws” and killing non-muslims. The best one was “Dima, do you even feel bad when you see something like this happening? Please be honest.”
Basically, he was expecting an answer where I tell him a sad story on how I suffered from Islam myself, or something like “Islam is peaceful, I swear!”, “These people don’t represent Islam!”, or “I’m sorry, we are a terrible group of people”. In other words, an apology.
No, I won’t apologize for something that I didn’t do. I won’t even try to convince you that islam is a religion of peace. I won’t use hashtags such as #notinmyname and write a facebook post apologizing on the behalf of a terrorist who killed 50 to 70 people in France.
Simply, because it’s not my fault. It’s like you’re asking me to apologize to you because the toaster is broken and you can’t eat waffles anymore: it’s quite ridiculous.
I won’t beg you to believe that this has nothing to do with the fact that I pray 5 times a day, live at home with my family, or simply go to Mecca to do islamic rituals.
I don’t have to endure this type of humiliation because I outwardly represent a religion.
It’s time for Muslims to stop defending the beautiful faith we have. We’ve tried to do this so many times before through social media, conferences, and even BuzzFeed videos! But no matter how hard we try to make the world view our faith differently, there are always a certain type of people who no matter how many evidences and strong arguments you give them, they just refuse to believe us.
So today, I am asking all my sisters and brothers in Islam to stop. I don’t know how you still have the patience and the ability to go through these degrading discussions with anti-muslim fanatics. By now, it should be very clear that Muslims condemn terrorism. All it takes is a simple Google search of any terrorist attack to find the plethora of Muslims publicly condemning it. And frankly, if you don’t believe that Muslims condemn terrorism by now, then no apology will help cure your intolerant hatred.
I’m tired of dealing with people who just want to question my morals and humanity. Telling me what I should and shouldn’t believe, without even knowing who I am and what I truly believe in.
Basically, Allah is awesome. And I love Him. A lot. Deal with it.
I also fast in Ramadan and don’t eat or drink water till sunset. Deal with it.
We all have unique life experiences and just because I was born as a Muslim and you weren’t, that doesn’t make you any better than me. Your definition of spirituality may be very different from my definiton. It’s just destiny and circumstances that made me part of a nation of unlovables. It’s our fate to be born in an era of terrorism and hatred. It’s my fate to have to deal with people like this guy at work.
Do you know what the saddest irony is? It’s how Muslims are the largest victims of terrorism yet also receive the most hatred for it. It’s like blaming nature for global warming, or blaming African Americans for slavery!
Honestly, if I have to apologize for terror then everyone else should too. Why aren’t all policemen asked to apologize for the racist cops that are dropping the bodies of unarmed black men? Why aren’t all Buddhists asked to apologize for the radical Buddhist monks in Mynammar that are violently attacking Muslims?
When we spoke out to condemn terrorism, the critics of Islam only grew more because by doing so we have affirmed the right of others to blame us regardless of whether we’re accountable or not.
I, like the rest of humanity, feel terrible about what’s happening around the world when lives are lost. But just like everyone else, I refuse to apologize for actions of another.
I’m not his mother.
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