A divine double standard

Should Muslims apologize for the actions of a few extremists?

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Contributed Image

It seems after every terrorist attack or extremist related incident it is expected that ordinary Muslims apologize for these crimes.

Like many Muslims around the world, I am as disturbed and profoundly disappointed with these incidents as anyone else. In fact, I am more angered.

Islamophobia has been prevalent in post-9/11 Western democracies. In the years since 9/11 thousands of ordinary Muslims across the United States have been the targets of FBI surveillance and counter intelligence operations.

The major governmental abuses of power doesn’t seem to have totally ended. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, the FBI and NSA have been improperly investigating and collecting information on American Muslims for several years following 9/11.

This systematic thinking that seems to have been entrenched in the FBI and NSA thinking post-9/11 is not only wrong but also destroys the image of the Muslim community within American society.

The institutionalized discrimination of COINTELPRO-like investigations initiated by the FBI and NSA, and the support for these programs by American leaders such as congressman Peter King is hard to justify in America’s pluralistic society.

There continues to be a double standard for Muslims, one that is perpetuated by a mainstream media that continues to feed rising Islamophobia.

It seems that reason has escaped pundits and so called experts such as Steven Emerson, the so-called “terrorism expert,” who this past week boldly claimed during a Fox News interview that Birmingham, England is a Muslim-only city where non-Muslims refuse to go.

It wasn’t until stiff and comical social media backlash via #foxnewsfacts that Emerson offered an apology for his outrageous comments.

Despite repeated denunciations and condemnation from virtually every single Islamic organization and leader, many mainstream media pundits continue to call on the “moderate” Muslims to step up and take responsibility for what happened in Paris.

Reza Aslan — a professor of religious studies at the University of California Riverside said it best.

He basically stated that anyone who keeps on demanding moderate Muslims and leaders to denounce these attacks “don’t own Google.”

It is bigoted to blame nearly a quarter of the world’s population for the barbaric actions of a small minority.

It is also bigoted to claim that Muslims are inherently barbaric, regressive and guilty for all the terrorist attacks that have been committed.

This attitude, without a doubt, does not belong in any liberal democracy.

Ordinary Muslims, such as myself, continue to face the collective guilt for the actions of a small minority.

It’s time that people realize that Muslims bear no collective guilt for the attacks on Paris or any other terrorist attack perpetuated in the name of Islam.

The same way that Christians bear no collective guilt for the actions of Anders Breivik, the Norwegian self-proclaimed soldier of Christianity.

Any attack on innocent life and assault on free speech does not belong in this day or age, nor does the Muslim bashing and vilification of ordinary Muslims.

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