LETTER TO THE EDITOR: There has been a shoot out in Orlando, where some Islamic radical has targeted a club of homosexuals leading to heavy casualties. Words will never define our grief and our condolences are with families of the victims. Furthermore, this vicious inhuman-act is condemnable and an abhorrent rampage.
On the contrary, this attack coincides with two different occasions: firstly, the heavy tribute of American nation to legendary boxer and athlete of the past century Muhammad Ali, and secondly, hate based presidential campaign of republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
To start with the funeral ceremony of the great Muhammad Ali, he was the one who normalized the face of Islam and Muslims in the US, he gave Muslims identity as well as accustomed Americans with name of Muslims and Islam. In simple words, his name and efforts were for Islam and Muslim and with time, he frequently appeared in media and public to defuse islamophobia in American society. Eminent figures from America and the whole world gathered in his funeral ceremony and paid heavy and historic homage to this American hero. The positive side was the live coverage by media to that historical funeral. Media showed Islamic rituals of a funeral to the whole world as well as broadcasted the speeches of Muslim religious scholars. This made Americans and the whole world more informed about Islam and Islamic society. Moreover, even after his death, his funeral was another act of his gesture to make Islam in America more acceptable and positively change the views of American people. However, as this attack shows, the radicals have tried to tarnish the face as well as the efforts of this great legend. I think it will again divert people’s opinion about Islam and the personality of Muhammad Ali will be omitted for a while.
On the other side, Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is based on hatred against Mexican and Muslims: he calls Mexican rapists, drug traffickers and a burden on American economy, while declares Muslims the source of terrorism in America. Consequently, he argues and plans for a wall on Mexican-American border and ban on Muslims’ immigration in America.
Despite huge criticism on this negative approach, these attacks will give fire to the tepid campaign of Trump. In addition, fear is tool which is used for many centuries to change the public opinion. I think with few more attacks, Trump will swiftly win the presidential elections because he will surely use fear of Islamic fanaticism as a tool for his political gains and this will be all as result of few abhorrent Muslims and their vicious deeds. Furthermore, we lack leaders to give a clear and effective stance against the current wave of extremism due to confusion. Eventually, this scenario provides materials for bigotry and hate.
Finally, America and the whole world should think about the numbers of victims and the detrimental impacts of Extremism on the Muslim world. After that, they should compare it with number of victims in non-Muslim community and countries. I am optimistic that it will provide them a clear picture that not just non-Muslims are targeted by these religious fanatics; the number of deaths as well as social, political and economic catastrophes in Muslim world are beyond calculations.
In conclusion, Muslims are more affected by terrorism and changing views with such pernicious attacks will be a huge injustice. Designating the whole Muslim world terrorist and further fueling the blazes of islamophobia will intensify the fissure between the Muslim world and the west. All America needs is a sane voice and steps for their social construction. Moreover, they should understand the agony and dilemma of Muslims. However, Muslims should also demolish the fences around them which abstract them from rest of Americans as well as avoid them to intermingle in American society.
By Doctor Kalim Ullah Khan, Peshawar
THE PASHTUN TIME