Sameea Jonnud, Aldershot, UK
What is happening to the world these days? Terror attacks murdered people all through Ramadhan and in the last few days there has been so much going on that there is no time to digest things. The political turmoil in Britain would be enough on its own but the change of Prime Minister and Cabinet has been followed in quick succession by the Bastille Day lorry attack in Nice and the attempted coup in Turkey.
I am finding I hardly have time to gather my thoughts on one subject before another overtakes it. However one link between the deaths in terrorist attacks which took place through Ramadhan and Nice has been the link to Islam. Even the Turkish coup is linked due to Turkey being a powerful Muslim nation.
During past atrocities carried out against non-Muslim countries in the name of Islam – Charlie Hebdo, Paris, Brussels and Orlando etc – there was always a sense of sorrow that the name of Islam was being used in this way. Indeed there was even a sense of guilt that the terrorists identified with the religion I follow. While that hasn’t entirely changed there are additional feelings creeping in. Anger towards the terrorists at using Islam has been compounded by just as much anger towards those in the West who persist in equating the actions of the terrorists with Islamic teachings.
Time after time Muslims have patiently explained how true Islamic teachings do not allow for terrorism and murder yet time after time Islam is blamed and calls made for Muslims to speak out. Those supporting an overthrow of President Erdogan in Turkey claimed he is not doing enough to stop Daesh. The Nice murderer was known to neighbours as being violent, depressed and “not religious” yet links to terrorism were made immediately. The fact that Daesh subsequently claimed responsibility means nothing because as it benefits them they would, wouldn’t they?
If all Muslims supported Daesh they might have a point about blaming all Muslims and Islam. However as Muslims have pointed out numerous times Daesh does not represent Islam and ordinary and overwhelming majority of Muslims do not support Daesh.
Who even is Daesh? As the recent Chilcot report highlighted the illegal war in Iraq was the spark that lit terrorism in the area with the establishment of Al Qaeda followed by so called Islamic State. Those that claimed Al Qaeda was already a force as witnessed by the September 11th attacks conveniently forget it was the West who armed and trained Osama bin Laden in the first place. The United States has long interfered in foreign affairs to suit themselves – supporting Iraq while selling arms to Iran was ideal to weaken both countries, arming the Mujahideens, who later morphed into the Taliban against the Soviets in Afghanistan are just two examples from the near past.
Daesh is clearly financed by someone and it is common knowledge that it is countries like Saudi Arabia who just happen to be allies of the West which leads to no action being taken. Before blaming Muslims every time the West needs to stop supporting the quiet allies of Daesh and cut off their part in the supply lines. The West must finally accept until they withdraw support they are complicit in every death caused by Daesh.
This is why while I grieve for innocent lives lost I am angry at every death we are witnessing and ask when will it end?