11/12/2015. ISIS attacks kill 60+ in Beirut, Lebanon. News media is in a frenzy, social media hashtags are trending to show that “We Are Beirut”. An outpouring of anger over these deaths is ringing out, and Muslims across the Western world are on their knees begging for forgiveness and not to be held responsible for these attacks.
Oh, wait, I’m sorry. Let me get back to reality.
11/13/2015. ISIS attacks kill 150+ in Paris, France. News media is in a frenzy, social media hashtags are trending to show that “We Are Paris”. An outpouring of anger over these deaths is ringing out, and Muslims across the Western world are on their knees begging for forgiveness and not to be held responsible for these attacks.
And when I asked, “did you hear about Lebanon?”, all I hear is a resounding, “no”. I have two major points in this post:
- Be cautious with the media narrative.
- Apologizing doesn’t do us any favors.
First off, I’m going down the beaten path of questioning why some attacks make the news and others don’t. I’m not going to say it’s because Lebanon is brown and Paris is white. I’m not going to say it’s because Lebanon had Muslim victims and Paris didn’t. I’m going to say that Paris is where the media wants you to hear.
It makes you scared.
ISIS is in the West! Stop the refugees! Stop the Muslims! Stop this, stop that, ban them, deport them…fear. Fear is what sells, and we all fall into it. Hate crimes against Muslims in the United States are higher than they were immediately after 9/11. Hijab is banned in some Western countries. Westerners hate Muslims at increasingly high levels – and that’s exactly what the media wants.
Secondly, why are we begging people not to attribute these attacks to Islam? We know that Islam doesn’t condone these attacks. What are we doing to show that to people? Actions speak louder than words.
Get out in your community. Smile, speak words of beauty and truth, do small acts of kindness. Hold open the door for that person coming right behind you. Do big acts of kindness – feed and clothe those in need. Host a fundraiser for humanitarian efforts. Heck, get out and participate in the democracy that you live in. Election season is here – become an educated voter. Apologizing for these attacks only legitimizes the connection between the horrendous, horrifying, and inhuman attacks and Islam.
Show people what Islam is, and stop apologizing for what it’s not.