SHAFAQNA – Fear, tensions, and xenophobia have reached an all-time high it seems as news have broken in the United States of the execution of three young Muslim men in the state of Indiana.
In February 2015, a man named Craig Stephen Hicks was arrested for the alleged murder of three Muslim students at the University of North Carolina’s Chapel Hill campus. One of the victim’s families later launched an educational campaign to promote equitable treatment of Muslims in the US.
In the months following a terrorist attack in Paris in November 2015, numerous reports of violence and intimidation directed against Muslims sprung up across the US. They ranged from shots fired at the home of Amir Elmasri in Orange County, Florida, to a xenophobic meltdown at a planning meeting in Spotsylvania, Virginia, over a proposed mosque extension.
On Twitter, several people noted the violence was greeted with little coverage by the national media — yet another sign Muslim-Americans in the US often have few allies in their corner when confronted with bigotry.
“Never in my wildest dreams would have thought that something this harsh could have happened to sweet kids,” Valerie Handschu, a worker at the Salvation Army Youth Center, told WANE. “[Mekki] was just full of joy and energy and always had a smile on his face … [Omar] could make anybody laugh. I think he just got along with everybody in that way and could find a connection with any type of person.”
America’s descent into xenophobia has often been linked, and it needs to be said blamed on Islamic radicalism – an attempt observers have warned to deflect blame and maybe rationalize US society’s deep-seated bigotry.
And while one can understand how the hateful, and violent ideology flaunted by Wahhabism can prompt negative feelings, Muslims as a religious group should never have been lumped to this dogma in the first place.
This idea Islam is a grand promoter of bloodshed and senseless violence is by definition fascist and ignorant.
The actions of a minority few – however demented, should never, ever fall on the whole.
In this xenophobic game we have seen play out, it is clear, Muslims, and Islam were set up – the designated scapegoats to an agenda which seeks division to better assert control.
Corporate media and politicians have been complicit in rising Muslims, and Islam a global threat against Western civilization. Yet if both have often commented on the violence carried out by Wahhabi militants, none bothered to point out that the overwhelming majority of Wahhabis’ victims have been in fact Muslims.
Muslims today are caught in between a rock and a hard place, in between Western fascisms and Wahhabism – which of the two evils is worse remains to be seen as they draw from the same source: hate.
America’s ire today is not so much against Islam, but really against those groups and minorities a well thinking white society has learnt to denigrate … again here media and officials have a lot to answer to.
The worth of a nation I believe is measured by its ability to see people for who they are and not what they are : ie: ethnicity, faiths, social standing.
By Catherine Shakdam for Shafaqna