I recently read about the Muslim woman who was forced to remove her “burkina” at a beach in France and I was disgusted at the evident discrimination due to religious beliefs and/or race (the woman is of  Arab descent.)

I read about it again on BellaNaija and I was unfortunately not surprised by the reactions on the comment section. Ranging from the mild “She should respect their laws or leave” to “All muslims are terrorists”. I wondered when a choice to cover your body (not face, body) with a wet-suit like attire translated into terrorism.

When did we decide to leave our humanity outside the door when oppression concerns people we consider not to be like us? When did this same humanity become negotiable depending on whether or not the victim is considered a Muslim?

The blatant disregard for their choices of belief, habits and outfits is really unbelievable. The funny part of this is that the people who exhibit such behaviour are amongst the first to scream “black lives matter” but do not see the irony when the lives of black Muslims do not matter. Chanting “Gender Equality” and “Women’s liberation” but the irony of not respecting a Muslim woman’s choices.

The irony goes completely over their heads when they say “All Nigerians are not fraudsters” but “All Muslims are terrorists.”

When you bring this to their attention, they say “Well, only Muslims are blowing themselves up and killing other people. Their beliefs encourage this and they support those blowing themselves up”. When you ask, but how did you come to this conclusion they say “I have never heard a Muslim condemning these acts”, “Muslim leaders do not denounce these actions”.

When you give them clear examples of Muslims condemning these actions, they say “Those are Shi’a Muslims and not Sunni Muslims” without having the slightest idea what those distinctions mean and the ideological differences between the two.

When you give them examples of their friendly and unassuming Muslim next door who wears a hijab, they say “he/she has not shown you their true colours, wait until you insult their Prophet”

When you give them the example of that Muslim girl (who doesn’t wear a hijab) or boy who likes the same things and activities as they like and is tolerant of every view, they say “he/she is not a real and/or practising Muslim”.

When you show them examples of articles written by Muslims trying to explain the ideology and basis of their faith, trying to show the world that Islam in it’s pure state does not breed monsters, they sneer and say “but all these abominations are committed in the name of Islam, so why are you lying that this is not Islam”.

The lack of knowledge and willingness to learn, to be open minded is overwhelming and scary.

In today’s world, as a Muslim, you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t because the world has judged and condemned you already. No defence is possible as you have been pronounced guilty just by virtue of your faith.

My advice to Muslims all over the world is to continue empathising with victims of terror all over the world (including the victims of our friendly neighbouring Boko Haram), condemn barbaric actions, not for the world to see and in all evidence doubt your sincerity, but because that is what is human (and the humane thing) to do. After all the world always needs its monsters and since the death of Communism a little over 50 years ago, Islam has become the new world monster.

Photo Credit: Rui Vale De Sousa | Dreamstime.com

By Lawrence Micheals

An incurable optimist, a writer, poet, a technopreneur in the making, a resource personnel, an event planner who is technically gifted and clinical when it matters.

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