July 24, 2011

Muslims and Murderers

Two words that go together pretty well it seems.  We know all about Fox News, the Daily Mail, raving ignorant  Islamophobes, and more calculated, erudite warmongers like "Evil" Bob Spencer.  They're all out to get us by convincing the ever-manipulable mob that the beardies are out to blow up their buildings and eat their children.  So begin the unofficial profilings, the back door constitutional amendments and the slick promotional campaigns for bigotry and barbarism in the name of the free...

Then we have it, this week.  Someone makes something blow up in Norway and kills a lot of people.  Everyone assumes it's a brutha.  Murder = Muslim.  Terrorism = Towelhead.  Etc.  Newspaper headlines trumpet the latest infamy of the Al Qaida international franchise of doom and yet again the right-wing editorials ring the patriotism bell, urging the masses to "support our boys" in Afghanistan or Libya or wherever, watch out for Pakis mumbling on the train, and cling on to their "values".  More proof, more evidence, and more "enough is enoughs" over the lunchtime alco-pops: the beardies are coming to ruin our "way of life", ban smiling and burn our grandmothers.

Stand down though.  It wasn't Beardy, it was a white supremacist Christian fundamentalist exercising his voice of protest through the media of lead and explosives.  In fact, in some weird way, he appears to have been killing everyone because he hated Beardy so much.  Perhaps that's the latest spin: if it wasn't for those pesky pig-kickers he would never have gone crazy enough to do it.  Somehow, it's still down to the beardies.  "Crazy" is an interesting word in this context though:  I don't remember Usama bin Laden being described as having any mental disorders despite his public and proud confessions to genocidal murder.  Why?  Because that's what Muslims do.  Then when you find out it was someone else, suddenly the language is of mental illness, not fringe pseudo-religious extremism.  It's not even a terrorist attack any more, not even an "outrage". It's an "unfathomable act" of a "deranged" man.

A lot of these points about the premature conclusions of the Western media, and the sudden change in language, have already been made very eloquently elsewhere.  Quite rightly, the obvious bias and tabloid pitchfork-shaking in the Evil Zionist West is getting called out.  Good.  But there's a problem.  Something isn't being mentioned here.  It's that it wasn't just the massed ranks of the Church of Medium Agnosticism who were looking for Beardy as soon as something went "bang".  It was us.  Team Makka.  We all thought it was one of us wot dunnit too.

One of our esteemed blog sisters "Starry-Eyed" wrote about it here.  Al Jazeera reported "suspected Al Qaida involvement" just as quickly as Fox News had.  Analysts, sensible people, friends and colleagues, and most of all, Muslims, all jumped to the same conclusion, then tried to find an explanation.  Was it because Norway has a small contingent of military personnel in Afghanistan?  Was it because Norwegian companies are involved in the Iraq oil industry? (That one was a real stretch!)  Was it because a Kurdish Al Qaida franchisee was prosecuted in Norway?  Well, actually, no.  It was a white, native, Norwegian-to-the-last-gene neo-Nazi with weird ideas about European Christianity and nationalism.  But just like with the London nail bomber.  Just like back in Oklahoma even, in the pre-September 11 world when we weren't even used to such things, it wasn't just the Evil Zionist West who pointed the finger straight at Beardy, right or wrong.  It was all of us.

Why?  Well here's the uncomfortable part.  We do it because we know it's usually true.  Now we can nit-pick about how this Christian extremist (I do love saying that, sorry) killed a higher percentage of his countrymen then the September 11 attacks killed Americans.  But it's all bullshit and we know it.  Muslims kill a big pile of people all the damn time.  Actually, they usually kill each other most (Afghanistan, Somalia, Pakistan, and now also Libya - as sponsored by Lockheed Martin).  Muslims do a lot of nasty murdering, and it's a really, really bad thing.  So bad we are starting to think it's normal.

Time to get to the point, then.  Islam makes rules for war.  Clear, unambiguous ones, like children and women, priests and monks etc., being non-combatants who must always be protected.  Like never destroying the environment or means of people's living, or messing with the water supply (maybe a bit obscure at first glance that one, but think about it for a second).  It says never fight unless you're attacked.  Make peace, compromise, infinitely and indefinitely because fighting and killing really, really sucks.  For those of you infidels who've done Islam 1.1 either out of educated interest or just so as not to sound such a dick when promoting your atheism to Muslims, you'll know that mainstream Islamic practice has two proper sources: the Qur'An - unchanged and undisputed since it was written down in the first hard copies by the Prophet's (saws) own contemporaries, and the Sunna, which is often a subject of greater debate and special incredulity to the non-Believer.  Well just to be clear, those rules I've just mentioned all come from the Qur'An.  Clear as day and night.

So the nub of the problem is this: we all know that killing folks is a really, really bad thing.  We also know that a lot of Muslims are so way out of line that every time a pall of smoke appears on the horizon we are mentally cooking up the apologies and excuses before we even turn on CNN.  So maybe, instead of feeling smug that this time it was a blue-eyed Bible-basher instead of brown-eyed 'Bu Basheer, we should consider why we are just as likely to be prejudiced as Rupert Murdoch.  We jump to the conclusions because a lot of Muslims are terrorists.  And maybe instead of blindly forwarding hate-filled emails, mumbling empty platitudes about politics we don't know much about, or acting like witless automatons in repeating obvious and vile stupidity just because we heard it from a blind man with a nice voice, we should give that some thought.  Or better still, some voice.  Some action.  Stand up and challenge stupidity and hate from within our own communities.  Shout down the shrill voices and ridicule the ridiculous.

The only reason we keep hearing these alien voices screaming "something must be done about the Muslims", is because too many of us are too timid to do something about ourselves and our neighbours.  So next time something explodes in a messy and expensive way, here's a thought for you: maybe it doesn't matter if it was a Muslim this time or not.  It frequently is, and it's partly your fault.  So what are you going to do about it?

21 comments:

lil-bee said...

Interesting read. While I did not automatically assume the terrorist to be Muslim when I first saw the news, a part of me really was hoping that it wasn't .. which really means that a part of me believed that it could have been.

So I guess yeah, despite being Muslim, and knowing that these actions have no place in Islam, I still have that fear.

Glenn Greenwald recently wrote an article about how we now equate terrorism to Muslims / Islam / Al-Q and its a really good read.

You're right .. its kind of messed up how if we do something inhumane, its because we're Muslim. When someone else does it, its because they have mental problems.

I've linked this post on my blog post about this as well, hope you don't mind.

Modh Baluchi said...

thank u.. thank u.. thank u TLS..
this an amazing post that should b in the Newspaper.. ur right the words terrorist and muslims are slowly becoming synonyms.. n ur right when u said itz our fault too.. although im a muslim, i started to think that behind every explosion there iz a muslim.. but i know now i wuz so wrong n im so glad that i wuz..!!

zeddingtontoast said...

Thank you, TLS. This post is much needed. At first I thought it may be a typical gloat that "it wasn't us this time!", but you came good and made a point that I haven't really seen made elsewhere in the usual Arab/Muslim news sources yet.

Muslims need to take responsibility for the voices emanating out of their 'ummah', that claim to represent them. If they really want to convince the world that they are a religion of peace, they need to act the part, by clamping down on the hateful and violent elements within.

Mimi said...

I'm sorry to say this but the Islam we know is paving the way for all this violence. When I think of how religious I used to be and all the thoughts I had before, I just see how all this violence can be caused by this religion. I mean it's clear and simple!!

♡ αmαℓ said...

About that last part, I completely agree! If only the Muslim community would unanimously speak out :-/

p.s. Thanks for featuring my blog!

zeddingtontoast said...

Further to my last post: without negating anything you said in your post, or that I said in my comment, this article is a must read:

http://www.dangardner.ca/index.php/articles/item/90-remember-that-eurabian-civil-war

It demonstrates that, despite the very serious reality that muslims need to re-examine what's being said and done in their name, the truth is that the stereotype we've all come to accept, of the Islamic terrorist as being the most violent and dangerous of all beasts, is an over-exaggeration.

AmasE°♥ said...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jul/24/norway-tragedy-extremism-europe

Dismayed said...

My thoughts were that it would be a fundamentalist - it doesn't matter what religion they use as an excuse. Fundamentalism, of any kind, is the major problem. Religion is the cloak they hide under.

Blewyn said...

Linoleum Surfer, I don't appreciate the use of 'values' in inverted commas when referring to western culture. Western democratic values of freedom and tolerance are what allow peoples to mix on a free, equal and peaceful basis, and the reason Muslims can live and worship freely without hindrance in western countries.

Additionally, I would like it made clear that drinking alcopops with lunch is something only practised by a very small minority of westerners. Perhaps you have received a skewed impression by spending too much time in the pub of a lunchtime ?

Anonymous said...

Good blog. I wish it could be more balanced. E.g. How many terrorist out of total are Muslims? Again we need definition for terrorism where world keep differing. However large majority is Muslims and hence we keep getting blamed. What are the real reasons? Lack of development, education, political reforms? Or none? Blaming others by siting one incident or raising our voice altogether will not help. We need fundamental changes in our society which is culturally sensitive.

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

I diasagree with Mimi, Islam is not the cause, it is the people using Islam for cultural, national, or political aims, and taking what they want of it and leaving the rest.

Same with this so-called "Christian" extremeist who obviously bible illiterate as Jesus said "turn the other cheek" ect, et all.

But the vein of the post that is true, it that Muslims have to just do what their religion says, instead of letting someone tell them what to think of do, taking something out of context or disregarding the rest.

We need to stop killing eachother is so true. Myself, I could never be shia due to my own historical understanding and beliefs, but I hate when I hear someone trying to drum up hate against them, or thinks killing them is okay. Islam isn't like that. Alot of "Muslim" people are teaching hate, and for me, having read the Quran and about the Prophet, I just don't get it. I am always like, "this is not Islam."

The Linoleum Surfer said...

Ameen Mama OPNO, ameen.

Blewyn (so tempted to say Bladwyn just because saying to to myself in a Welsh accent is funny...I have a soft spot for your lot actually...)...easy now! "Values" are more often talked about (especially in the context of "against our values"), by people who are not very interested in rights and freedoms, more in The Right and fiefdoms, like this Norwegian. That's the point. The people talking about it have a vague notion that their nationalism equates to morality. Those "values" are not valid. Like when a politician talks about "family values" or "common values", there's normally a strong whiff of insincerity or delusion. That's all I'm implying by the inverted commas.

Thanks for reading and commenting by the way - all.

The Linoleum Surfer said...

Bee, I every so slightly love you even though you're clearly insane.

Mimi, listen to 3amma OPNO. You're a Muslim and you're not a murderer. Same with me. And her. And most other people you know, right? Just because there are a lot of lunatics out there, and even more people who listen to them, doesn't mean they are right. They're not. We are. That's why we need to say so ;)

Mimi said...

Blame the people, not Islam. Do you think that I've never believed in this before? It's just time for me to rethink.

Anyway I hope you noticed that I said "the Islam we know" not "Islam."

zeddingtontoast said...

Can a religion be judged by the majority of it's followers?

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

Mimi: I think as converts, as we try to read just form the sources, the Islam you know is not the Islam I know at all. Whenever I hear an Islam like some people use it I get so hurt and offended, like how could they use our Prophet to try and justify their greed, power-tripping, nationalism, or ignorance? It is always like "this is not what I converted to. This is not Islam."


zeddingtontoast: No. It (a religion) must be judged by its sources. What does it say itself that it is? Then you can do a seperate analysis and see how many followers actually follow what they claim to, and judge the true number of religious practictioners despite their stated "religion". Muslims are supposed to be alot in this world, but honestly, I haven't met as many as the numbers say I should. Same with Christians. Their numbers do not hold their practioners.

grasshopper said...

Intersting article but have to say surfer that you sound like someone with something to prove. nobody here that i know thought it was the action of a muslim beardy as you put it. and frankly i find that insulting to the intelligence of those that you are tarring with a minority brush to justtiy your own means. we were just shocked by something horrible that happened. perhaps you are buying into the international paranoia that you so despise.. bought the daily mail lately?? sounds like you subscribe. it was a disgusting act however you look at it. isnt that enough? but i know the answer that already.

The Linoleum Surfer said...

I think you might have missed the point Hoppy, and you certainly didn't read the links. The tabloid press, and even some more serious papers,printed headlines about Al Qaida attacks the day after the event. It's fair to assume that a lot of their readers made the same immediate connection.

But the point, if you didn't get to the second half of this piece, is that many Muslims made the same assumption. So it's time for us to ask ourselves why, whatever the cause this time, it's so often "one of us", and what we're going to do about it.

Next time I will charge for abridged versions.

Anonymous said...

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/jonty-langley/was-norways-killer-a-chri_b_908121.html - I'm an atheist, but I think blogg has a lot to offer – great article by the way Mr Linoleum

Sarah MacDonald said...

Colbert says it best: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLh78qiHl_M

The Linoleum Surfer said...

Thanks for the links...I try to offer something that provokes different communities equally!