I am starting to get exceedingly irritated with a commonly expressed internet opinion with regards to Islam. I’m sure you’ve seen the point of view I’m referring to. It is generally some variation of the following statement:
“If the majority of Muslims are really not terrorists, why do they not speak out against terrorism? They must truly support it. Ban all Muslims!”
Firstly, just let me say, Muslims speak out against terrorism all the bloody time. Every time there is an attack, in fact, and fairly regularly in between as well. It’s hardly their fault that you lot are too busy shouting your hate speech to hear them.
More importantly, however, why should they be expected to do so? Yes, I get all the quotes about good men doing nothing and so on. Yet, we don’t seem to expect this of any other group of people.
When a priest is charged with child abuse, and the church actively protects them, we don’t shout down ordinary Christians for their lack of verbal condemnation. When a woman is killed by her abusive husband, we don’t expect a plethora of letters, articles and social media posts from men condemning domestic violence.
When yet another mass shooting hits America’s shores, we don’t silently accuse every quiet gun owner of secretly wanting to massacre their neighbours. Why, then, do we expect this of our Muslim citizens?
I’m sure the experts will start trotting out excuses relating to fear of the unknown, or some such rot. Maybe that’s true, maybe it isn’t. I don’t know. What I do know is, it is double standards like these that highlight the kind of subtle bigotry that pervades our communities, no matter how tolerant we like to think we have become.
Thomas Jefferson once said that all men are created equal. Well, until we can learn to judge people on their individual behaviour, rather than the actions of someone else who looks like them, or dresses like them, or worships like them, this statement will never hold true.
I live for the day when it does.