The shootings at Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris, France on January 7, 2015 and two days later at the kosher market, added to the list of outrageous and insane killings done in Islam’s name. These thoughtless attacks against free speech opened up the Pandora’s Box of hate against Islam. Although, two Muslims came out of this massacre as heroes, the Islamophobes maintain that attackers are true Muslims. As French president Francois Hollande said, “The first victims of fanaticism and intolerance are Muslims”.
Thousands of such Islamophobes protested at a Muslim Conference held in Garland, Texas last night. Carrying hateful slogans and ignorant posters about Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), they showed total lack of knowledge regarding the founder of second largest and fastest growing religion of the world. It is not a hidden fact that Muslims mourned the innocent deaths, which occurred in Paris shooting along with everyone else. They condemned the killings and the attack against free speech. Constant clarifications from Muslim scholars and Imams reminded that such acts do not represent the majority of peace loving Muslims and have nothing to do with Islam. But apparently their efforts are deemed insufficient. There is still demand for more condemnation and seems like no one was listening to begin with.
One would expect some support and encouragement if Muslims did exactly what they were asked. On the contrary, what happened when Muslims gathered in Garland to condemn terrorism and show support for free speech? The Islamophobes stood against them causing a security threat.
Ignorance begets hate. This hate may represent two extremes on both sides. Islamophobia and Muslim extremists both feed off of each other’s fears and lack of knowledge furthermore disregard for other’s faith. The current world circumstances call for interfaith dialogue in a respectful and peaceful environment. In order to further efforts of peace, it is imperative that people of different faiths come together to learn about each other with the aim to focus on the commonalities. We owe it to our future generations to grant the peaceful Muslims a chance to educate the public about a faith that they hold so dear.
This article originally published on examiner.com. Find it at: http://www.examiner.com/article/interfaith-harmony-an-imperative-need-for-the-time