Why Linking Muslims To Terrorism Is Hurting Our Culture

July 27, 2016

You’re about to get schooled, in a major way.

It’s honestly embarrassing that we still have to explain these really basic points about humanity.

For the folks in the back, let’s tackle this in a few really simple bullet points:

1. The Muslim faith is no more inherently violent than Christianity is.

2. Being a Muslim and being a terrorist is not even close to the same thing.

3. The majority of terrorist attacks come from right-wing zealots rather than Muslim extremists.

A New York Times article did research to prove it, too. While attacks in the name of Islam “accounted for 50 fatalities over the past 13 and a half years”, right-wing extremists managed to carry out 337 attacks and commit 254 murders in the decade after September 11.

And you know the faces of many of the white domestic terrorists that came before the attacks on the twin towers: Charles Manson, Ted Bundy, Timothy McVeigh – they’re domestic terrorists who have committed mass murder and, in many instances, planned on an even higher body count.

But it’s easier to think otherwise, isn’t it? Especially with shit like this making the rounds…

For one, we like to think the personality flaws and inherently evil traits that would bring a person to relentlessly murder so many people is something we could easily spot. We want them to be foreign invaders because that somehow absolves us of guilt. If someone comes in and robs our homes, we’re not at fault – but if we find out it was the uncle we have sleeping on the couch who lifted our jewels, we have to acknowledge we have an issue in-house.

There’s also the fact that despite how much Americans love to claim diversity as one of the country’s selling points, they still think of themselves as a white country.

When most of us imagine foreigners, we imagine people who aren’t white. It’s so much easier to vilify someone with brown skin and a religion those nice people with big hair on TV told us is scary than to acknowledge the admittedly terrifying fact that anyone can be a terrorist.

It’s a little bit like how some people like to blame rape victims for being raped. “They shouldn’t have been wearing those clothes” or “They shouldn’t have been walking down that dark alley alone at night”. We like to think there are rules we can follow to stay safe, but we know that rape can happen anywhere at any time. You can avoid short skirts and dark alleys your whole life and still become a victim to it.

So we make Muslims our terrorism scapegoats, which is silly no matter which argument you look at. Muslim countries are at war with each other? First of all, I dare you to write me a list of the number of countries you’d label as Muslim. Odds are that your list will be both wrong and incomplete. Beyond that, is that really a door you want to open? If so, let’s go back a few decades and add up the number of Christian nations that have been at war. Let’s go back and compare body counts. How many people were murdered during the Crusades, give or take?

Muslims are to terrorist cells as Christians are to Ku Klux Klan meetings. Sure, they’re out there, but given the ratio it’d be ridiculous to assume every Christian you ran into was a member of the KKK. Or, in a similar vein, that all Christians condone the child sex abuse their churches are continuing to allow in its ranks. And that’s exactly how you sound when you claim every Muslim is a terrorist.

Yet we have politicians making serious claims about Muslims being a danger to us, more of a danger than anyone we have domestically.

Brexit passed largely out of people’s fear of immigrants, fueled in no small part by growing anti-Muslim sentiment.

Recently in Australia, television personality Sonia Kruger actually said out loud, with her mouth, on purpose, that Australia should close its borders to Muslims to help minimize terrorist attacks.

And then there’s Donald Trump, who famously declared – and continues to declare – that he would require all Muslims to wear badges identifying them as Muslims, in a move that’s so obviously Hitleresque that you can’t possibly avoid the comparison.

Some of these people actually have the power to create policy based on these erroneous and bigoted falsified fears, and some of them are doing just that.

I don’t know if it’s straight-up racism or the fact we’d rather stick our heads in the ground than learn something about a religion that isn’t Christianity, but whatever the reason, we’ve got to get over this mindset that terrorists are people we can pick out based on what holy book they have in their pockets.

Muslims are not terrorists. Sit down, read a book and educate yourself.

GIFs via giphy.com and tumblr.com.

Comment: Do you agree with those in the public eye who would like to ban Muslims from Western countries? 

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