Ideas / Society

Manchester bombing-why as a British Muslim I feel let down

The world is becoming a more radicalized place. This is the case with religious groups as well as secular right wing groups. This I understand. But what I don’t understand is the selective stupidity of certain world powers- unfortunately this includes Great Britain. The Manchester bomber was no criminal mastermind, yet British security has failed us once again. Now I know things can get a bit sensitive when a Muslim (of all people right?) starts to make criticisms in the context of an attack by a Muslim. But let me clarify something. No one fears radical Muslims like other Muslims. Ask an Iraqi or Afghan. Hundreds of Muslims have been slaughtered by Islamists and are still being murdered in the most gruesome ways. This has been the case long before this threat reached the Western world. Radicalism is the reason behind why many of our parents and grandparents fled their home countries to begin with.  We don’t want to see these people in the very country that adopted them.

Now ‘these people’ doesn’t refer to immigrants. Salman Abedi was born in the UK. I use the term to refer broadly to a certain group of radical Muslims following a particular ideology.  We all know who they are, the British Government knows who they are. We know what their ideology is and we know which countries support and spread that ideology. These countries are not in opposition to the West, no, they’re some of its closest allies. You might be wondering why any democratic country would willingly shake hands with the devil. But the answer is disgustingly simple-money. A great exemplar of this selective stupidity, is Donald Trump.  He banned most Muslims from entering the USA  for security reasons, but likes to make love to the Saudis-who have been spreading radical Wahhabi ideology for years. Seriously, has Trump never heard of google or Wikipedia? That’s all it would have taken for him to figure out that Isis are Salafi/Wahhabi Muslims and Saudi Arabia spreads and teaches Salafi/Wahhabi versions of Islam.  Let’s be serious though, Trump knows what he’s doing. He’s a good business man and this is another case where, you guessed it, money trumps ethics and security.

As long as this support is given to theses countries, more innocent people will die, and ironically more Muslims than non-Muslims. The Manchester bombing broke my heart, not just because of the senseless murder, but because it was another reminder that despite everything, our government cares more about money, oil and international relations than our lives. What a bloody let down.  And by the way, many Muslims like Arianna Grande too and plenty go to concerts.

If you cut a traffic light, they’re bound to find you. Pay up, they’ll say. But when it  comes to weeding out radicalism, it’s like chasing ghosts. No one knows what they’re doing. How does it make sense that when I was still in Sixth Form, I could tell from a couple of conversations who was prone to radical thoughts? Yet British intelligence can never get it right. Many other Muslims will tell you the same, the signs of radicalism are very clear, and it’s not always what you imagine. So why are we always a step too late? Where is all the money and man power set aside for security? Why is not enough pressure being put on countries that spread radical Islam? Why are we not boycotting them? (oh yes, money, that’s why) As a British Muslim, I’m scared. Why? Because I’m a target too.  Somehow, this point is always forgotten, so I’ll repeat it. We’re targets too. We’ve always been their primary target. Read the news, do a google check, more Muslims have been killed by groups like Isis and al-Qaeda.

But I’m also let down by certain Islamic institutions. Young Muslims have no immunity against radical ideologies, because Islam isn’t taught correctly. We’re producing  a generation that has very superficial understandings of religion and its function. We’re losing touch with the spirit of Islam. Islam should make us better human beings, merciful and sympathetic to others.  If that’s not the case, what the hell is the point then? Who is producing these monsters? They need to know that they have no place in our religion. Something has to change. More needs to be done and as always,  education is key- outside and inside the home.  Young Muslims need to understand the dangers of monopolizing the truth and learn to recognize propaganda. It’s tragic to see young Muslims who have been brainwashed to such a degree that they would take their own life and the lives of so many innocent people. We all need to step up, not because a crime committed by a mindless criminal is every Muslim’s fault, but because we need to protect our families from this toxic ideology.

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