When it comes to identifying terror, there can be no bias
The recent horrible massacre in New Zealand at Christchurch shows the increase of hatred against the Muslim community and Islamophobia around the World.
Islamophobia is being made mainstream in many parts of the world by politicians, community leaders, and even international media figures. The rise of Islamophobia is becoming a norm in the West, it seems.
It is quite obvious when you shelter and inspire hate speech to work against a particular ethnic group or race, that people of the same mentality would be encouraged to come out of their holes to hurt and attack that particular ethnic group.
As is made evident, there have been attacks on Muslims, verbal attacks, and even discussions on TV shows on whether it is a good idea to drive away migrants, especially Muslims, from the West.
Furthermore, many politicians have used the concept of Islamophobia deliberately for political gain. Consequently, there are authors, journalists, TV show hosts, and even comedians who have been using the term Islamophobia for TRP. The hatred and racist remarks coming from them have already been spread.
We can recall an incident where a Quebec mosque was shot by a right-wing terrorist named Alexander Bisonette who used to follow Ben Shapiro’s on Twitter, who stated something along the lines of: “Majority of Muslims are radicalized and terrorist sympathizers.”
US President Donald Trump, in an interview, clearly stated: “I think Islam hates us.” Authors such as Ann Coulter, after the 9/11 attack, stated: “we should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity.”
Moreover, there are atheists and comedians who have also made Islamophobic comments on Fox News and other TV shows, further spreading hatred, people such as Sam Harris, who called Islam “the mother of all the bad ideas,” and Bill Maher, who likened Islam to the mafia.
When I read about the recent New Zealand terrorist’s manifesto, I couldn’t help but remember all these comments and hate speech being disseminated in the name of free speech. It may not be correct to say that all the above figures are directly responsible for such genocidal acts, but their comments have most likely have had some influence.
It’s no big secret that the Christchurch shooter looked up to Donald Trump, identifying him “as the symbol of white identity and common purpose”.
Therefore, it is high time that we all stand together against such communal hatred and racism. Any kind of racism should be eradicated. In a global world, it should be taught that the migrants who have been living in Christchurch for decades are from there, part of the same community regardless of their faith, background, and race when it comes to love for one’s nation.
The media figures in the West or even from the Muslim communities should realize that spreading hatred would only lead to nothing but an absolute disaster.
The media plays a vital role in creating harmony between communities. There should be no partiality and no discrimination, such as not labelling a white non-Muslim as a terrorist, even though that is exactly what they are.
The media needs to make it clear that terrorism has no religion or culture.
The world is already filled with hatred, let’s love each other, live with each other, exchange greetings of peace and love, be tolerant, and respect each other’s differences.
Sher A Naser Khan is a freelance contributor.