Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, October 19th, 2018

Growing Hate Crime


Growing Hate Crime

 “None of us should tolerate these extremists. They have killed in many countries. They have killed people of different faiths – more than any other, they have killed Muslims. Their actions are irreconcilable with the rights of human beings, the progress of nations, and with Islam. The Holy Koran teaches that whoever kills an innocent, it is as if he has killed all mankind; and whoever saves a person, it is as if he has saved all mankind. The enduring faith of over a billion people is so much bigger than the narrow hatred of a few. Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism –  it is an important part of promoting peace,” these words have been spoken by the former US President Barack Obama in his popular speech titled “The New Beginning” in Egypt.
The series of deadly attacks and suicide bombings carried out by terrorist networks reveal this fact that Muslims bear the brunt of terrorism. For instance, a surge of militancy in Afghanistan in the holy month of Ramadan left scores of people, including women and children, dead and wounded. There is also a sense of foreboding in the air and individuals fear falling victim to terrorist acts. Religious extremists kill people indiscriminately and seek to sow the seeds of discord and conflict among the sects and nations. Therefore, they spread hatred and incite hate crime.
A number of individuals fall for the sinister objective of terrorist groups acting violently against Muslims. The death of the 17-year-old Muslim female Nabra in Sterling, Virginia on Monday bespeaks of hate crime. She was abducted after leaving her local mosque and found dead. Last month, Jeremy Christian harassed two Muslim women. The horror unfolded on board a MAX light-rail train as it pulled into the Hollywood Transit Center on the afternoon of May 27. He stabbed three men, who sought to calm him down, before leaving the train – two of which were dead. Christian was known as White Supremacist in the Portland Area. This event was said to be hate crime.
According to a report by the Council on American-Islamic Affairs (CAIR), an Islamic civil rights organization, released in May, there was a “57 percent increase in anti-Muslim bias incidents” from 2015 to 2016. “This was accompanied by a 44 percent increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes in the same period,” the report found.
Stereotyping Muslims on the basis of violent practices of extremists who happened to be Muslims and acting towards them violently will be highly naïve of one. Muslims are the great victims of terrorist groups and sustained heavy casualties as a result of militancy and terrorism. So, one cannot conclude that violence lies in the nature of Muslims.
A number of political pundits believe that terrorism is more a political issue than a religious one and militant fighters carry out a proxy war. Most likely, if trading weapons are restricted and the mysterious hand behind terrorist activities is cut, fundamental groups will not be able to continue the war so strongly.
It should be noted that seeking revenge through murdering an ethnic or religious individual – as Nabra fell victim to it – will stoke sectarian violence and is counterproductive. Such unfair acts will spark off public sentiments and also trigger fundamental groups to intensify their attacks. Creating multi-national tension is of the main objectives of terrorist networks. Pursuing hate crime is tantamount to succumbing to militants’ goal.
The streams of blood spilt by terrorists should not be multiplied by our own. We need to respect and protect the rights and dignity of mankind rather than supporting terrorism through turning against one another.
The world needs to spread the spirit of brotherhood and extend religious tolerance. The bloodshed is a stain on collective conscience. When a Christian is killed in a corner of America, when a Muslim’s blood is shed in Syria and when a Buddhist’s right is violated in Thailand, these are all outrageous to human conscience. Chanting slogans against ethnic groups or treating them harshly will multiply the tension rather than defusing it.
We are all responsible to work for the day when all nations embrace one another with strong sense of tolerance. We have to strengthen cooperation rather than conflict. So, it will be unfair to pigeonhole a nation on the basis of individual’s acts. It is really cruel to see that a person is hold responsible for the action of others. In short, we will never have society void of violence unless we treat one another with the spirit of brotherhood and broaden our horizon so as not to stereotype a group or nation. To mitigate insurgency, the world has to extend cooperation and avoid conflict. 

Hujjatullah Zia is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at zia_hujjat@yahoo.com

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