All around the world, countries are taking a moment of silence for the devastating attacks that took place in Paris on late Friday. Many famous landmarks, such as the Opera House in Sydney, Australia, have illuminated in blue, white, and red, the colors of the French flag, in silent support for the victims of the attacks. 129 were killed, 352 sustained major injuries, and while ISIS has already claimed responsibility for the attacks, many still blamed all Muslims.
Paris is just one of the many cities ISIS has attacked, and thus fear of the murderous organization, and widespread hatred and fear of Muslims has increased. However, one cannot blame Muslims for the terror being brought upon by ISIS. The extremists are hiding behind the Islamic religion in an attempt to justify the crimes they have committed. Muslims cannot be blamed for the actions of ISIS.
Islamophobia has always been justified with insensitive and racist comments about how the majority of Muslims are “not innocent because they kill people for not believing in the Islamic religion”. If that was true, then Christians also would not be innocent because of the Ku Klux Klan’s racially and religiously motivated terrorism. Those who are blinded by their Islamophobia often dismiss American terrorism by saying, “clearly, if someone was doing awful things while claiming to be Christian, they aren’t Christian,” but fail to realize it’s also clear if someone was doing awful things while claiming to be Muslim, they aren’t Muslim. Or does that only apply to terrorists who aren’t Middle Eastern?
Ignorance is worn in shining colors and expressed in the fear, the hatred, the discrimination of Muslims. Ignorance is weaved into aggressive words spoken by all who refuse to learn about Islam; it’s everywhere, and ISIS controls it. With every attack, whether it be in Paris, in Beirut, or in Baghdad, Islamophobia persists. In the U.S., governors of 24 states have already exposed, have already succumbed to their fear, their Islamophobia by demanding Syrian refugees be rejected from entering the country. Some governors have insisted only Christian refugees be allowed to enter.
One must not forget Christianity is not the only religion. One must not forget everyone is tainted in blame, in blood, in lies, and in tears. One must not forget ISIS damages more countries than just the ones we dream of traveling to. France suffered a horrific tragedy, a tragedy that killed and injured hundreds. Yes, pray for Paris, but also pray for Beirut, pray for Baghdad, and pray for Muslims, because they have also fallen victims to ISIS.