‘Hate crimes’ in West

ONE worshipper was martyred and ten others injured in what has been dubbed as ‘hate crime’ in London. A terrorist drove his van into a crowd of Muslim worshippers near a mosque when they were returning after offering Taraveeh prayers. In a similar incident, a 17-year-old Muslim girl was brutally murdered on her way to a Virginia mosque in the United States in the early hours of Sunday.
There have been a number of such incidents across Europe and the United States but strangely enough these are categorized as ‘hate crime’ whereas these are nothing but clear examples of extremism and terrorism. The man who targeted Muslim worshippers in London shouted “I want to kill all Muslims”, which speaks volumes about the nature of crime but efforts are being made to camouflage it by referring to the attacker as lunatic. London Mayor Sadiq Khan has rightly called it a ‘horrific terrorist attack’ while Muslim leaders linked the incident to a rise in Islamophobic crime. Egypt’s Al-Azhar institution, a leading authority of Islam, called it a ‘racist, sinful act” and urged Western countries to take all precautionary measures to limit the phenomenon of Islamophobia. According to Muslim Council of Britain, over the past weeks and months, Muslims have endured many incidents of Islamophobia and this is the most violent manifestation to date. All this was expected as Muslims are being projected as extremists and terrorists and all incidents of terrorism occurring in the West are linked, in one way or the other, with Muslims. There might be some extremist elements in Muslims but they are just like those who killed worshippers in London and targeted a Muslim girl in Virginia. Muslim leaders and saner elements have been emphasising time and again that the tendency to link terrorism with a particular religion is wrong and fraught with serious consequences and implications for the global society but regrettably their pleadings are falling on deaf ears. Prime Minister Theresa May has wisely committed to tracking down on extremism but the situation is unlikely to change until and unless stereotyping of Muslims is not given up.

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