Another day, another horrible attack causing death, serious injury, and sowing fear into the hearts and mind of all of us peace-loving people. ISIL has claimed responsibility for atrocious crimes such as the Charlie Hebdo massacre in France, and are believed to be behind Monday’s attacks at the Istanbul airport. But the consequence of these kinds of attacks is that Muslims the world over are expected to release statements disassociating their practice of Islam from ISIL. And then, there’s also the expectation that Muslims here in SA apologise to their countrymen for the actions of the nutters from distant ISIL-land. With the help of some crowdsourced suggestions, we’ve put together a list of reasons for why Muslims, especially in South Africa, really don’t need to explain themselves to assure others that they don’t believe mass murder will make the world a better place.
1. Often the majority of victims in these incidents are Muslims themselves.
“Ataturk airport attack: an attack on a predominantly Muslim country in the holiest Muslim month in the holiest 10 days of that month, killing Muslims (and non-Muslims).” (H/T Ahmad A)
2. And while we’re talking numbers:
— Omar Kanjwal (@Wallofkanj) June 29, 2016
It’s actually been proven that an overwhelming majority of terrorist attacks are NOT in fact committed by those claiming to be Muslim. At last count, 90% of such attacks were attributed to non-Muslims.
3. Also, can we please acknowledge that Muslims receive no benefit from terrorism. These crimes are often committed at the behest of other parties. Can we also ask who created these monsters in the first place? The world hasn’t changed much, now has it?
“Why should Muslims apologise for crimes which they’re the main victims of, and are either directly or indirectly harmed by them? It’s like demanding a rape victim apologise to her rapist.” (H/T Dahlia Desire Kholaif)
4. Christians the world over are not expected to condemn far-right extremist organisations like the Ku Klux Klan, and their predecessors in the Jim Crow-era who are responsible for the deaths of more than 3,000 black people. When the pastor at Rivers Church in Sandton was exposed for his bigotry against black people this week, Christian people the world over were not expected to dissociate from the kind of Christianity he preaches.
“Because nobody sought apologies from Christians and non-Muslims for the crimes committed by Richard Poplawski, James Von Brunn, John Patrick Bedell, Andrew Joseph Stack, Jared Loughner, Daniel Cowart, Byron Williams, Ted Kaczynski, Anders Behring Bre and Timothy McVeigh and many more.” (H/T Baba Umar on Facebook)
“No Muslim women stormed up to white men after the public murder of the UK MP Jo Cox and demanded that they account for it.” (H/T Nicky Flake Off)
“Every time a white person apologises for all the wrong they have done, starting from pig and cow cartlidges given to Hindu and Muslim members of the British Army, to someone screaming Paki, or shooting in schools and universities killing innocents, I’ll start thinking about apologizing on behalf of the Muslims.” (H/T Alia Chughtai)
5. There is a particular problem with white people, living their best lives, fattened by colonialism and protected by American hegemony, demanding apologies/explanations/condemnations from others in order to confirm their sentiment of superiority. We need to stop internalising white gazes to such an extent that Muslim people wind up fighting other people’s bigotry for them. MUSLIMS DON’T HAVE TO VALIDATE WHITE FRAGILITY.
6. Religion is not a race – you get white Muslims and brown Christians too. (H/T Soud Hyder and Reem Sh)
When Muslims feel obliged to respond and defend, they’re only feeding into a white supremacist agenda.
7. Also, “If all muslims are terrorists then all white people are AWB.” (H/T Ilham Altreyu)
8. Double standards: why do Muslims not condemn every atrocity ever? Or hold themselves to account, if they’re such champions of justice? Why are there Muslims so concerned with condemning ISIL but refusing to pray beside a black Malawian at the Houghton Mosque?
9. “ISIL’s connection with Islam is as related as Obama’s drones are connected to democracy (as an ideal, an ideology). Both say they are saving something for the sake of itself (ISIL wants to re-create Muslim State etc and drones are saving America’s freedoms and democracy) – so why on earth do Muslim in South Africa feel they need to stand up and say: ‘hey, not in my name.'” (H/T Azad Essa)
10. Also, can we reflect on what exactly is achieved by self-flagellating about ISIL on your Facebook page? When Muslims condemn ISIL, what exactly is being achieved? Are they pressuring ISIL to stop their barbarism? What makes you think that ISIL even cares?
11. Reasons for condemnation are often selfish.
“We do it because it protects us from possible Islamophobic actions in our country. Is it necessary, yes, but only if Muslims in SA will condemn ISIL together with every other organisation/individual that undermines the rights of any other human being, of any faith/race/nationality in SA or elsewhere.” (H/T Azad Essa)
12. But seriously, can people issuing edicts from the height of moral superiority just educate themselves first?
“Google is free and people need to start doing their own (critical) analysis” (H/T Asief Dhansay)
“People have access to decent libraries, internet and good schools – Muslims have too much of our own shit to do to educate them.” (H/T Ilham Altreyu)
[BONUS POINT] 13. This list actually should have been blank – because ain’t nobody got time to cater to bigotry – but we did it, so you have no excuses next time.