Two weeks have passed since the London bombings. Since then, the aftermath of the tragedy has been felt all over the UK especially towards Muslims.
This Muslim does not condone such atrocious act. This Muslim is so sad to see 57 innocent lives taken away from them at a blink of an eye. This Muslim is furious that some extremists say that's it's alright for these men to commit such act as a way of martyrdom. Islam does not teach us to kill others for the sake of an eye for an eye. Two wrongs do not make one right. When our Holy Prophet went to war, he will always remind his men to spare the lives of civillians; the innocent bystanders, the mothers, children and the elders. Warfare at that time was more honorable unlike now you-attacked-me-so-I'll-attacked-you-back kind of war.
It doesn't help that the media is making a circus out of this horrible incident resulting in backlashes towards Muslims happening all across the UK. An hour after the bombing occurred, the media has the cheek of announcing to the public that these bombings were linked to Al-Qaeda without ever having even a speck of proof. All was done in the name of slander.
And it doesn't help also that a day later the media kept on saying that the bombers were British Muslims stressing the word Muslim over and over again. I mean, do they really have to say the word Muslim in every sentence? Did they call Ian Huntley a British Christian when he murdered Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman? None at all. He was just a psycho who happens to like young girls. How about the Oklahoma City bombing? Did they report Timothy McVeigh as an American-whatever-his religion-is cult extremist? Definitely not. The media just labelled him as an anti-government supremacist whose motive was to avenge the death of the Branch Davidians whom he thought were killed by federal agents at Waco, Texas.
As a result of religion-naming reporting, a hatred towards Muslims in the UK has sprung. Mosques were disfigured. In Nottingham, a Muslim man was killed in a religious feud. A muslim woman's hijab was pulled and later she was dragged to the ground. Last Friday night, here, in this small town that I call home, a fight between Asians and Mat Sallehs ensued by stabbings resulted in a police and helicopter mayhem. A friend in London had her car's windshield smashed with a beer can when she was just about to start the engine.
Isn't this terror as well? Cultivating a feeling of fear in the heart of those who are innocent of doing any kind of terror acts except of guilty for professing the Islamic faith. As far as I know, Islam is a peaceful religion and condemns any act of killings of the innocents irregardless of their religion. Then, why do we have to succumb to a life filled with fear as to what other religions perceive us when we have done nothing?
I will not deny that I fear for the safety of my family. I used to be able to wonder around the town freely with Zareef feeling safe and all. But now, I fear that if I do, some stupid clueless mat salleh would backlash me just because I wear a hijab which to them is a beacon of Islam. Verbal words, that I can handle. Icy glacier glares, that I can look away from. But what if someone would come to me and pull my hijab? Or even worse, do harm to my boy and I? That, I can't handle.
When 9/11 happened, I was in Malaysia. At that time, I didn't feel the effect of it. You know, the religious slander, the backlashes and all. But now that it happens so close to home, I do feel the heat. I hate it when the media kept on hammering in the word Muslim again and again, making us look like the culprits. Because of that, I kept on having to look behind my shoulders to make sure that the coast is clear. Because of that, I can no longer go on my half-an-hour powerwalks to the playground with Zareef. Because of that, I kept on having to be on my toes to avoid any unwanted happenings.
When I went for my Europe road trip last year, I breathed a sigh of relief upon reaching Dover after clearing the immigrations. It felt like coming home. Even when I got back home from Disneyland, I felt so relief when the Eurostar pulled into Waterloo. But now, I'm afraid of home. I'm afraid of any unwanted unforeseen circumstances that I pray to God will not happen to my family while I'm here. I love being a Muslim. Nothing can take that away from me. But my love for my religion has resulted me living in fear for now in this land that I call home. It looks like home now no longer feels like home.