Being Muslim in the West is no easy task … In between the name-calling, terror-shaming and allegations that Islam is pretty much the incarnation of evil … only foreign-looking, our modern, well-thinking Judeo-Christian Society is decidedly, and most certainly not tolerant of Muslims … never mind those poor souls who happen to look Islamic but are actually not.
Here’s the thing with Islam, and faith in general – it is not determined by your skin colour, nationality, ethnicity, social status, or even political affiliation. When it comes to God, colour is irrelevant … which is kind of the point in the first place.
This of course has not prevented Islamophobes to run a schizophrenic narrative of hatemongering, and chauvinism to palliate to their otherwise lack of intellectual substance. To the risk of sounding condescending, hate is a rather crude sentiment which flies in the face of reason, logic … AND if not morality, at least ethic.
Hate is easy … it is finding a way out of it which requires courage, fortitude of the soul, and real wisdom. In other words, being a Donald Trump is easy … vomiting insanities because they echo a depravity rooted in popular lunacy does not require much thinking at all.
A point worth considering when dealing with xenophobia and sectarianism, is that God is unlikely to pass judgement on our levels of melanin – or lack of for that matter, provisioning that he had a hand in our making. Assuming that the very architect of humanity, the Creator of all Worlds would let silly little things like a person skin tone weigh in the balance is bordering insanity. By the way, Muslims come in all shapes, sizes, and colours … as do Christians, Jews, Buddhists and even atheists.
Another point worth considering, and I know this one will send FoxNews into a furious frenzy, is that White Christendom is a figment of Western’s imagination. There is no such thing. Christianity, like Judaism and Islam cannot be classified as “white”. The very ethnicities of God’s prophets actually imply some level of … how shall I put it: non-whiteness.
Abraham hailed from what we know today as modern Iraq, Jesus was a Palestinian and Moses wandered in the desert of the Sinai for some 40 years. Even if all were fair-skinned to begin with, the Middle Eastern Sun most likely bronzed their complexion. Any debate on their whiteness would be therefore doomed to utter failure.
Whiteness is not a religious attribute, and it most certainly does not imply exceptionalism … so enough of that already!
Now, back to Islam and the rabid Islamophobia Muslims have had to weather courtesy of Wahhabi clerics, and ill-intentioned Western politicians.
Let me say this one more time in the hope it will sink in: Islam is not Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia does not have the monopoly on the Islamic faith, and NO Saudi Arabia’s state religion: Wahhabism is not a reflection of what the vast majority of Muslims believe their faith to stand for. If anything, Wahhabism is the very antithesis of Islam.
But who cares right?! Who cares that Wahhabism has instilled hate and a penchant for bloodletting into generations of young impressionable Muslims for Western officials have remained bedazzled by the promises of lucrative contracts and titillating geopolitical alliances. Who cares that Wahhabism has single-handedly manufactured terror on a global scale while an ill-advised corporate media vomits its well-orchestrated shunning of mainstream Islam?
Are we still under the impression that so-called Islamic radicals are not all in fact Wahhabis?
Why bother facing reality when sensational hatemongering makes for salivating bottom lines?
What was it that French Minister Laurence Rossignol told the press this April? Muslim women who choose to wear the hijab are like “Negroes who accept slavery.” She also said: “Of course there are women who choose it (the veil) … There were American Negroes who were in favour of slavery.”
Thank you Minister Rossignol for the lesson in chauvinism. We would not expect any less from la Republique. I expect that should Muslim women suddenly chose to abide by secularism’ rules and laws, radicalism would simply seize to exist, eradicated by the sheer realization that secular nihilism is the only faith anyone will ever need. Is that not radicalism in itself?
Can we please stop defining people’s humanity through their clothing! Can officials actually engage their brains before opening their mouth, and de facto institutionalize hate? Or is it actually the plan? Have Western officials become echo-chambers for neo-imperialism? Don’t answer that question, I’m being rhetorical here. We all know the answer anyway …
Headscarf, no headscarf, kneeling, standing, sitting, prostrating, fasting, feasting … people express their piety, their beliefs and traditions in many different ways. Who are we to judge, and who are we to label?
But here is where Muslim bashing is becoming more than just a sinister trend. When state officials and media’s venom actually translate into actions, I believe we are heading towards global catastrophe.
A Muslim woman was purposely run over by a car in Brussels last weekend. A news report in Shafaqna News Association read: “A Muslim woman was run over by a car which appears to drive at speed towards her during a right-wing rally in Brussels. This attack comes after a flare up in xenophobic attacks against Muslims and ethnic minorities in Belgium.”
Before that, in February a British Muslim man was murdered by wannabe far-right militants in a hate crime attack.
Islamophobic attacks have sky-rocketed over the past weeks – a mirror to the narrative Western politicians, officials, and media have fronted for the past decade or so.
Who’s the radical now?
The Charlie Hebdo wrote in its latest editorial: “The first task of the guilty [Muslims] is to blame the innocent [Western world]. It’s an almost perfect inversion of culpability. From the bakery that forbids you to eat what you like, to the woman who forbids you to admit that you are troubled by her veil, we are submerged in guilt for permitting ourselves such thoughts. And that is where and when fear has started its sapping, undermining work. And the way is marked for all that will follow.”
I will say this: I don’t think there is any doubt as to who we should blame for the blood and hate spilled.
This article was written by Catherine Shakdam for American Herald Tribune on Apr. 5, 2016. Catherine Shakdam is a political analyst, writer and commentator for the Middle East with a special focus on radical movements and Yemen. The Director of Programs at the Shafaqna Institute for Middle Eastern Studies, Catherine is also the co-founder of Veritas Consulting.