: Jan 10, 2015

Two days ago, I was interviewed by both the Internation

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Two days ago, I was interviewed by both the International Business Times (http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/paris-massacre-people-who-kill-name-islam-can-only-be-stopped-counter-ideology-1482727) and InterFaith Voices, a radio station that is broadcast on many NPR channels in America (http://interfaithradio.org/Story_Details/Depictions_of_Muhammad_After_Charlie_Hebdo).

In both of those interviews, I said that the massacres in France are not primarily about the derogatory cartoons, but rather as a result of socio-political factors, including the rise of Islamphobia, the ghettoization of the French Muslims, the foreign policies of those lands, etc. The cartoons merely acted as a ‘catalyst’, and underneath was a lot of anger and tension built as a result of many other factors.

Today, I came across an astonishing interview that was done with Cherif Kouachi, the mastermind of the attack, while he was under siege, and just a few hours before he died:

Please read what he himself said: true, the cartoons offended him, but he mentions the Western invasions of Muslim lands and the killing of civilians in those lands as a direct cause of his anger.

I have said this over and over again: this strand of jihadist thought and violence is a direct result of decades of foreign policy decisions of Western lands (or, as the CIA termed it, ‘blowback’). Every single terrorist, from Bin Laden himself, to the shoe-bomber and under-bomber and Boston bomber and every other bomber in between, ALWAYS mentions the deaths of civilians in Muslims lands as a direct cause of his own terrorist operations.

While I continue to oppose these groups who claim to defend Islam (because killing innocent people is not allowed in Islam, and because attacking the superpowers of the West will result in the deaths of even more Muslims around the world), we do need to move the conversation beyond just ‘condemning’ every violent act from a Muslim radical, and realize that what is at stake is the continuing appeal amongst a segment of Muslims to Islamic violence as a response to Western aggression. Unless and until people of Western countries start asking themselves, ‘Is it really worth it to invade other lands on false pretexts, to detain innocents for decades on end, to torture prisoners, to support brutal Apartheid states, to bully minorities by passing draconian laws and demonize their faith, etc.’, there’s only so much we as Muslims can do to prevent the hot-headed radicals in our midst as well.

As a Muslim, I denounce such wanton violence and blood being shed in the name of my faith. The question is, as an American (or British, or French…): do you as well denounce the violence that your country have wrought across the globe?

Paris massacre: People who kill in name of Islam ‘can only be stopped with counter ideology’
Experts provide explanations on reason behind Paris’ terror attacks and freedom of speech.




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