Recently I was watching a talk show and someone was saying,
'During Charlie Hebdo, thousands of people marched to defend their right to offend Muslims but no one raised their voice when their children were killed in Pakistan.'
Who killed these children in Pakistan? How people in that region are reacting to this? How they would have reacted if the same attack was carried out by a different religious group- for example, Hindus or Christians or Jews?
Muslims often make this argument, Daesh, Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, Al Shabab and Taliban killed more Muslims than non-Muslims. But do they demonize these terrorist groups just like they do Israel and America? Or they somehow try to defend these terrorists and deny their responsibility by saying things like ' it has nothing to do with Islam', 'they are not real Muslim', 'This is America and Israels creation', and ' These terrorists are victims too'.
Now who are Daesh, ISIL, Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, Al Shabab and Taliban? Do they intend to establish Worldwide Caliphate based on Islam? What is the motivator of these terrorist attacks?
What happens when we talk about the Motive?
Firstly, we hear one common answer- which is ' It has nothing to do with Islam.' !!
Instead of doing that, Muslims might consider getting out of the suprematistic view that they have a perfect religion. Islam is neither a religion of peace nor a religion which promotes only violence. If it was so perfect, then how come it is interpreted and used by 100 different Muslims in 100 different ways and 2-3 out of those 100 end up killing innocent people including 10-15 from their own religion who choose to interpret it differently? How come 30-40 people out of those 100 people dream to have a worldwide Caliphate and support those terrorists by defending them, sympathizing with them? Instead of daydreaming about Caliphate how many Muslims appreciate religion as a part of human diversity and keep it personal? How many Muslims accept that Islam can be subject to modification? So it turns out that 50- 60 of those 100 Muslims are the ones whose only intention is to have a personal religion and just live a life. These Muslims are the people who are kind and open, whom we can relate, communicate and socialize as a normal person- and they are not part of the problem, they are part of the solution. But as unfortunate as it gets, often these 50-60 people face harassment and blames for that 2/3 who kills and terrorize and those 30-40 people who sympathize and defend the terrorists. An attack can be motivated by Islam,but it is no way acceptable to blame a peaceful Muslim about it. Similarly, it is not a solution to say 'it has nothing to do with Islam'. Instead of defending Islam, Muslims should defend 'Muslims' who are peaceful, care about lives past their religion.
And this is exactly why the 'right' to criticize, question or mockery is important. Saying 'There is no problem with our religion, it is perfect'- is not a valid solution. Some try to put these two facts (marching for Charlie Hebdo and raising voice against Taliban terror attack in Pakistan) as rivals whereas they are complementary to each other. When you have the ability to take criticism, questions past your supremacist view; you will automatically have greater tolerance. Which means to not to hurt anyone because they carry a different belief system.
Secondly, another common argument is 'blame game'. After each attack when you are done with praying and showing compassion and complaining about who cries for whom- What happens when you talk about a solution?
One side says ' Muslims are terrorist- they should be banned from our country'.The other side says, 'It has nothing to do with Islam or Muslim. Did you know, these terrorists were actually created by America???... Now why to blame them?!', ...... Thus, the ultimate going round and round begins. When you have deadly cancer spreading throughout your body do you discuss the cause first or think about the treatment first?
Does the act of bashing, blaming and defending take the actual problem any closer to a solution? No, it doesn't. So, how do we actually prescribe a solution which does not involve building giant walls or air strikes in middle East neither involves a Worldwide sharia law or Caliphate?
Denial is not a solution because it means you are denying your responsibility to do something about it. Daesh, ISIL, Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, Al Shabab and Taliban- each of them is based on Islam. But at the same time, it doesn't automatically blame all Muslims. Some people do this horrible thing by defending Islam before Muslims. Suppose, a scientist invents a mass murder weapon to kill people. Do we jump in and say 'oh it has nothing to do with science, science is sacred.' Neither we say ' let's get rid of science- this is so horrible'. With the knowledge of science - some decide to create a bomb with it and some decide to take humanity one step forward. So you have to accept this dangerous side of science as well! And take every step you can to stop it from being used in a negative way. Similarly, Muslims should be open to accepting that Islamism (politicized Islam) is a dangerous concept, it should be watched and kept under control, not cover it up and deny its' existence.
A comparatively peaceful yet strong solution could be to demand justice so that nobody in future dare to make this kind of deadly decision and play with the lives of thousands. What happens to the merciless attacks and killings done by CIA aka America? CIA committed horrible crimes, it was completely illegal to put their nose in middle-east and kill so many innocent people. Instead of justifying terror attacks in the West or elsewhere, can't Muslims, especially who are the citizens of America or Europe demand justice? Can't they raise their voice against war crimes conducted by Bush administration and others?
If it sounds impossible we could look at Bangladesh in this regard. Bangladesh is a good example of what can be done about it. Pakistanis committed one of the worst genocide in Bangladesh in 1971. After the liberation, Bangladesh went through so many ups and downs. But at last, we did what was the right thing to do. Despite being overwhelmingly powerful, economically strong we have brought those butchers into Justice.
Similarly, Muslims should write more about the war crimes than defending Islam and Islamic terrorists. They could use their wealth to hire World class lawyers to fight this issue instead of spending it on defending criminals. I am sure they won't have a problem with money if they could demand a fair share from their Saudi daddy who earns billions of dollars from hajj but still can't make sure the security of the lives of hajis.
And when comes to the matter of getting a fair justice, people all over the world including people from middle east know that here, in North America, they have a bit more chance to get a fair trial than their own countries. So why not give it a try and fight for justice!