(Muslims Down Under, 2018)
A whole does not equal a part, just as a part does not equal a whole. This is an attitude clearly not believed by Australian leaders, who, in the midst of yet another attack on Melbourne streets, seem to be once again taking the actions of one man as gospel when it comes to the Islam religion.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently called out the Muslim community for not doing more to stop those extremist few who are behind the recent attacks, simply blaming the religion and those who follow it as a whole rather than focusing on the issue at hand. Words like ‘radical’ and ‘extremist’ have been thrown around, but I think a lot of people misunderstand the term, including our Prime Minister. ‘Radical’ can be defined as a person who advocates thorough or complete political or social reform. Therefore, by definition, those radicals that Morrison loves to talk about cannot be representative of the entire religion; if anything they’re moving away from it entirely. Why should innocent people have to suffer for the actions of one man taking his beliefs to the extreme?
One Muslim man cannot define an entire religion. As a society, we are moving away from the tendency to stereotype, to only see what’s on the surface. But we’re not moving fast enough. And yes, progress is progress, but if we think there’s nothing left to do, we’re kidding ourselves.
And it’s not just us. It’s the people we get our information from, all over the world. The University of Alabama conducted a study that showed Muslim-related incidents get 357% more coverage than non-Muslim incidents. The media certainly has a responsibility to share the truth with audiences and listeners, that cannot be argued. But I think we need to stop and consider if this over saturation of events is really necessary. And why not make a point of showing the peaceful Muslim population, the 1.6 billion practicers of the religion in its true form, as a contrast to the horrific actions occurring in our world? Would that not lessen the stigma around the religion, and therefore lessen the fear?
Muslims Down Under have hit back against the PM’s comments, taking to Twitter to combat the stereotypical views. The Caliph of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, said in a recent press release, “…the media should use this power responsibly…it should show the world what true Islam represents, rather than focusing on the merciless acts of the tiny minority…”
That just about hits it on the head. This isn’t about the Muslim religion in itself. This is about a few people, a few bad eggs, whom due to the obsessive and often exaggerated news coverage, have somehow become the poster-people for the religion.
In the end, they shouldn’t be considered poster-people for anything. They are radicals, extremists, whichever, trying to change the world by spreading fear and pain.
We need to unite, to see the good in the religion, and to be the good in the human race.