Saturday, 10 October 2015  -  26 Dhul-Hijjah 1436 H
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Anti-Islam rallies in the US threaten world peace

Last updated: Friday, October 09, 2015 4:13 PM
Anti-Islam rallies in the  US threaten world peace


Samar Fatany



Anti-Islam rallies that are reportedly being organized nationwide in the US today are an alarming development that is a real threat to humanity. Hate rallies and violence against innocent Muslims are a painful phenomenon that can only fuel further hate and enhance terrorist designs to escalate tensions and radicalize more Muslims taking us further away from universal peace and global coexistence.

CAIR, America’s largest civil liberties and advocacy organization with a mission to build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding, has issued an official alert stating: “The anti-Islam rallies come at a time of increased hate-motivated crimes and bias incidents nationwide targeting persons and property associated or perceived to be associated with Islam and the American Muslim community”. CAIR members have also alerted local law enforcement authorities and asked for police advice to handle any eventuality. They have informed community members of the danger and wisely advised the Muslim community not to be provoked and to remain cautious. They have also asked public officials to show more support and to issue statements of condemnation especially after the recent endorsement of Islamophobia by some national public figures in the US.

The Muslim community in the US continues to reach out to civil rights advocates and attorneys as well as interfaith groups to address the threatening rise of Islamophobia. CAIR and other American Muslim organizations, interfaith supporters and many honorable peace-loving Americans have been relentless in their mission to build bridges of understanding. They continue to reject the sinister efforts to demonize Islam. However, they have not been able to put a stop to those who incite hatred against Muslims applying the principle of collective guilt to all.

Muslim haters continue to label all Muslims as terrorists. They ignore the fact that Muslim communities are the main victims of terrorists and not the West. It is Muslim women and children who are killed by terrorists. It is Muslim homes that are being destroyed and Muslim families are the ones who have become refugees. Combating terrorism and eliminating the threat of militants and radical extremists cannot succeed with only military force or by inciting more hatred among different cultures and faiths.

Meanwhile, in Europe and elsewhere Islamophobia is also on the rise. Misconceptions between Abrahamic faiths have antagonized many. The continued Israeli campaign to demonize innocent Muslims and to spread hate against Palestinians is a crime against humanity. Israel is an obstacle to peace. Diffusing the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is the need of the hour. The international community should muster the political will to put an end to the root cause of the ongoing conflicts in the region. There should be more serious pressure to stop Israeli atrocities and to force Israel to accept a two-state solution to allow peace-loving Israelis and Palestinians, whether Jews, Christians or Muslims, to live in peace and harmony. Advocates of peace cannot remain idle while decision makers continue to create tensions for selfish gains and political agendas. Peace can only be achieved when human rights are preserved and justice prevails. Art, music, films, television, and multi-ethnic/cultural initiatives can be effective tools to spread love and global peace. Unfortunately, Western media and Hollywood have been instrumental in spreading further hate and widening the divide between the West and the Muslim world. Rarely do we see articles or films that depict Arabs and Muslims in a positive way. It is time we focus on more positive and peaceful collaborations between global communities to defuse escalating tensions and stop racial discrimination.

Ignorance and religious misconceptions are behind many global issues. They are a source of conflict in many societies. Interfaith dialogue should be utilized to teach compassion toward people who hold different religious views. Religious leaders have failed to overcome theological differences and have not been able to provide spiritual grounding to help people to hold on to their own religious truths, without disrespecting the religious truths of others. Young people are easily radicalized because they have not been exposed to the proper teachings of their faith which would protect them from extremists who entice them with deviant ideas. Sound grounding in religious education can help them differentiate between right and wrong, recognize the truth and reject the distorted. Extremists use religion as a political justification for committing terrorist acts. They have grievances and use religion as a tool to publicize their cause.

Building global understanding can contribute to building better and safer communities. The global community can play a bigger role by initiating a more serious and constructive dialogue with community leaders around the world in order to curb the escalating conflicts that exist and continue to be a threat to humanity and global prosperity.

The neocons and neo-Nazis in America should do some soul searching and reject the politics of hate. Anti-Islam rallies serve no purpose but to divide an already divided world. What we need to see are marches to support peacemaking initiatives. It would be more appropriate to encourage anti-war campaigns. Wars can only bring us destruction and ruin. World order will only prevail if we apply diplomacy, universal justice and global coexistence.

— Samar Fatany is a radio broadcaster and writer. She can be reached at

Disclaimer: Writers’ and readers’ opinions do not necessarily reflect Saudi Gazette’s views unless otherwise stated.
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