Yesterday afternoon, London was struck with a horrific attack which left 4 dead and 20 injured and today the perpetrator was reported to have been a Muslim man called Khalid Masood who was born and bred in Britain.
Rather than respecting and mourning those affected by these attacks, people took it upon themselves to use this attack as a scapegoat to amplify their ignorant and islamophobic views by almost immediately – even before the attacker was known- pointing fingers at Muslims. It seems as if it has become this perpetual cycle of blame-and-hate every single time an attack in a big city occurs; it’s reached the point where we Muslims feel unsafe after each tragic incident and have become accustomed to taking the responsibility for all attacks committed under the name of Islam, despite having no involvement at all. We’ve become desensitised to people not only wishing death on us over social media but also spitting at us and calling us “dirty terrorists” while simply walking past us not knowing anything about our character or personality. This ‘Muslim equals terrorist’ narrative has only escalated more with the media’s habitual use of amplification of deviance to report each terrorist attack perpetrated by someone who uses Islam as a scapegoat for their violent tendencies.
However, when an attack of a similar nature is committed by someone Chrisitan and White, it’s as if the label terrorist ceased to exist and was replaced with the terms “mentally ill” and “bad upbringing”. These blatant double standards allow this narrative to thrive; either all Christians and Muslims are terrorists or neither of us is, stop using blanket statements to describe whole groups of individual people.
Dylann Roof, Eric Harris, Timothy McVeigh, Richard Poplawski, the KKK deserve the term terrorist just as much as Khalid Masood and ISIS do. Yet not a single white Christian person is ever forced to carry the burden and repercussions of the actions of those who claim to be of their religion, so stop using the term terrorist selectively and stop blaming Muslims for the actions of those who use Islam as a scapegoat.
In conclusion, radical terrorism is happening mostly in predominantly Muslim countries like Syria, Libya and Iraq, where copious amounts of people are dying every day but the media covers none of it and only ever reports on Muslims when the words “radical terrorist” are associated with them rather than “victim”. So it’s our job not to selectively grieve; Western lives matter just as much as those in a big city; don’t put anyone else’s live over anyones ever and stop associating Islam with radical terrorism. I don’t know about you, but I’m more in favour of the “terrorism is epitomised in those who murder innocent people and spread resentment” narrative.