Dear Islam, I’m sorry

Dear Islam, Im sorry

By James Meaney

In 1983 hundreds of civilians were Christmas shopping at the world famous Harrods store in London. 9 innocent lives were lost and 90 people, including children were severely injured when a car bomb went off near one of the busy side entrances of the store. The murderous and incendiary attacks were motivated by political and religious demands of the Irish Republican Army. The IRA was a Catholic terrorist organization, hailing from one of the most Catholic places on earth, Northern Ireland. However, no one considered these Catholic radicals to be Christian terrorists.

So why do people believe that ISIS are Muslim terrorists?

After hearing about the tragic news about the Paris terror attacks, I went into a state of confusion, fear and then disillusionment. Confused at first, as I couldn’t fathom how people could be so chemically imbalanced that they could slaughter that many innocent lives. I then feared for my family and friends who live in London (which has now been put on its highest terror threat level). After a few days I started to become discouraged at what I was seeing on the news and social media.

Even through my grey-tinted lenses and my pessimistic ideology, I solemnly believed that the world knew better than to fight fire with ignorance. I was seeing videos of people attacking innocent Muslims, I was hearing of threats made on mosques around the world and it sickened me. ISIS did a lot more in Paris than just massacre innocent people; it struck fear into the world as we know it, and ISIS want us to correlate that fear with all Islam, and from what I’m seeing, they’re winning.

Our understanding of the war against terror is portrayed through decisions made by the Rupert Murdochs of the world. Our information is filtered, screened and carefully picked for us. While a worrying amount of people are still worrying about their stance on racism, a new form of hate is branching out across the world, “Religion”.

ISIS is as Muslim as the IRA is Christian. They are both a group of extreme radicals making their own rules and abiding by them. They want to spread fear and hate. They want us paranoid, and by threatening Muslims and harassing refugees, we are allowing them to win.

Changing our pictures to the French flag isn’t going to improve anything, neither is writing a politically ill-educated status and uploading a picture of yourself under the Eiffel Tower in 2003. We, the people, are not the ones fighting ISIS; we the people need to fight for ourselves. All races, all religions, all ethnicities, all refugees must show ISIS that we are not scared, but that we are unified, together.

It makes little sense to me why I actually have to say this, but after seeing terrorism of a different kind on social media, I feel the need to say it: Muslims are not terrorists; terrorists are terrorists.

No one was after the pope when the IRA was killing children, so no one should be scared of the Quran now that ISIS is expanding. Lets leave the military to fight fire with fire and continue living our lives how we should have been anyway, by fighting hate through spreading love.

I’m sorry to all Muslims that radicals are tainting your beliefs. I’m sorry for the small number ignorant people who affiliate you with terror. Please know that minorities of every religion can do wrong. We must stop spreading hate through bombs and keyboards in the name of religion; we must forget our faith in war and have faith in ourselves.