Condemning the Paris attacks as a Muslim

Fatima Arabzada, Contributing Writer

My name is Fatima Arabzada and I am an Economics and International Relations major in the class of 2016. I am also a Muslim. I would like to start with condemning the Paris attack; killing under any label, including Islam is wrong. However, there are particular issues to this attack that has come to my attention, and I will provide some background as well.


Islam emphasizes the importance of human life; if the attacker practiced Islam and used prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as a role model, he would be patient and encounter peacefully to respond to sexualized and radicalized depictions of the prophet.


One of the biggest questions that has circulated around this issue – and is certainly one I keep thinking about – is whether freedom of speech should have limit.


It is important to realize that many prominent members of the media have been hypocritical while talking about the attackers and the broader Muslim community. People are not allowed to talk about the Jews, Protestants, and Catholics in a hateful manner, but hateful speech about Muslims, and even insulting the role model of 1.7 billion Muslims across the globe, is being normalized. People are condemning the religion based on the actions of a few and they are talking about the community in a way that no other religion is subject to.


It is also important to realize that many freedoms of Muslims were being restricted in France – including the freedom of choice by banning Niqab. The United Kingdom’s former Tory minister, Alan Duncan said Muslims in France are “neglected,” and made feel “unwanted” by political class.


Furthermore, I believe the Paris attack is over-politicized. Boko Haram in Nigeria killed more than 2,000 people. This attack was glossed over by the mainstream media, whereas news about the Paris attack is inescapable. Such action places higher value on the lives of French people more than Nigerians and directs attention away from other issues.


My belief is that we should strive to better understand the action itself as well as the broader Muslim community. It is important to realize that we need to be looking for solutions to terrorism as a geo-political issue and not simply a religious issue. The attack affected both Muslims and non-Muslims and therefore, we all should be solution seekers.


Let’s not forget that Muhammad is the same person that was given “one of the best lawgivers in the world” title by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1935. His teachings are being perverted by a few at the expense of the many.


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