Sunday, 11 September 2011

An entire faith blamed

The news today has obviously been focussed on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Mostly this has been well presented, remembering those who died, those who saved so many and the memorials in New York and Washington.

But there has also been a lot of discussion on terrorism, the ongoing threat to the western world and on fundamental Muslims. I have been reminded of the way that the entire Islamic faith was blamed for the 9/11 attacks; they were demonised and feared and life became very hard for muslims in the US, UK and elsewhere.

What was that about?
Why was an entire faith blamed for the plan involving possibly 20 people?
I don't remember the entire Christian faith or Roman Catholic church being blamed for the IRA terrorist attacks across London.

I sadly conclude that the world needed a demon to blame, and Islam was an easy target. Perhaps there was discrimination, misunderstanding and hate in the US towards Islam; I don't know, but I doubt that if the attacks had been by the IRA that a hate campaign would have been waged on the Irish or Christians or the Church. Yes the attackers deserve condemnation and those who support them need to be monitored; but an entire faith should not have been blamed.

Ten years ago my Muslim neighbours could barely look me in the eye, yet I in no way held them to blame. Today I know they felt collective guilt and worldwide grief, but had no idea how to show it. If I could go back ten years, I would speak to them and talk and tell them how disgusted I felt with a whole faith being blamed by the acts of a few.

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