Almost every time I walk past the Daily Mail or the Sun, lurking in the shadows of supermarkets, there is a new front-page article preaching extreme prejudice and Islamophobia. As we know, these kinds of publications are not likely to be written by the most *ahem* level-headed people (I am trying to be diplomatic) and seem to constantly sway the public into thinking that one religion of people are to blame for the crimes committed by individuals. Despite most people being aware that the Islamic faith is one that preaches peace and harmony among fellow humans, a few unconvinced specimens still seem to leap onto the bandwagon that says that it is the religion that is the problem. When did it become acceptable to blame an entire majority for the crimes of a few people that are using religion as a screen for just being evil? It has suddenly become the norm to say things like ‘why are other Muslims not realising that people in their community are going to commit crimes’- sorry, but why is that their job? If the police, people that are TRAINED and PAID to do these things cannot do this, why should ordinary people? If somebody had said ‘why didn’t all other Catholics realise that Myra Hindley was a criminal before she committed her crimes?!’ there would be public outrage as, when poised within a different context, those kinds of questions just do not make sense. So why are they now seen as perfectly acceptable to ask about Muslims?
On the 21st June 2017, Jameel Muhktar and his cousin Resham Khan had acid thrown into their faces as they sat in their car. Muhktar stated that he believed ‘it was something to do with Islamophobia’ in an interview with Channel 4 News. His injuries can be seen immediately, meaning that the attack was intended to cause very serious harm. Muhktar goes on to say that ‘we are innocent people’, and that it was his cousin’s 21st birthday. The burns were so horrific that Muhktar had to be put into an induced coma, while his cousin Khan had to endure a skin graft. Muhktar continued to say that ‘I honestly feel that if this was a white person, that got attacked by an Asian person, he’d be caught within 24 hours and it would be all over the news.’
The interview is extremely hard to watch, reducing myself and several other people to tears as this innocent man sits and tries to make sense of why someone would try to hurt him for no reason at all. This is the danger of these hurtful yet fleeting comments that can be seen all over the Internet, every single day. If people are willing to read these prejudiced and racist opinions, there is a chance that they will begin to believe these things as well. What does not help is that there is no coverage, no national man-hunt attempting to find the person that could have easily killed Muhktar and his cousin Khan. It is not speculation and it is not just my opinion when I say that he has been brushed under the carpet as the rest of the country tries to continue to portray Asian people as the villains. People attacking other people due to their faith has been on the rise recently, with Darren Osborne driving a van into innocent worshippers outside of Finsbury Park Mosque following the London Bridge attack. Osborne had apparently ‘turned against Muslims after the London attack’. As he was dragged from his car, he stated that he ‘wanted to kill Muslims’ and that ‘they deserved it.’
It is sad to see that, in times of tragedy, people seem to want to spread more hate instead of sending love to the people that have been injured. Religion of any kind of not the enemy here, there are simply evil people and other evil people. Despite Darren Osborne and potentially the acid-attacker thinking that they have got their revenge, what they have actually done is murdered/injured totally innocent people. Making them evil as well.
Photo Credit:// Steph Barahona