Egypt.

Friday 24th November 2017 – the deadliest terror attack in Egypt’s modern history. 305 innocent worshippers dead. Over 100 injured. Who’s to blame? Muslims? No. Extremists? Yes.

It is very easy for people to read or hear about this event on the news or from newspapers and point the finger towards the Muslim Community as has been done in the past many times. However, if you look at the facts of this attack: it took place on the holy day of the week in Islam (Friday); it took place at a mosque (a place of worship for Muslims) and all the victims themselves were Muslims (real Muslims). The terrorists who committed this atrocity do not belong to any religion, and whilst they may use the religion of Islam to commit these atrocities, they are not a true representation of the Muslims faith nor the wider Muslim population.

The KKK claimed to be Christian and committed atrocities in the name of Christianity, yet society do not condemn all Christians based on the acts of a few, yet are quick to do so with the Muslim Community. Scapegoating a whole religion based on the acts of a sick and twisted minority is wrong on so many levels. We have seen many politicians or even just individuals try to use the scapegoating of Islam to gain popularity and make a name for themselves. The likes of Tommy Robinson, Katie Hopkins, and Donald Trump are a few names that come to mind.

The fact of the matter is this: if all Muslims were terrorists, no one would be alive. We are roughly looking at 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide (roughly one fifth of the worlds’ population), and yet people can still turn around and tell us that they are all the same? That they are all terrorists? No. The truth is a very small minority are affiliated with terrorist organisations, and many Muslims around the world condemn the abhorrent acts of these extremists and their use of Islam to push their agenda.

Muslims are more likely to be victims of terrorist attacks than non-Muslims and if that does not show you the wider picture then nothing will. In 2014-2016 hate crime rose by almost 550% which just goes to show the sheer level of Islamophobia that has been perpetuated by the media. Tell MAMA, who work on monitoring anti-Muslim attacks have discovered that Muslim women are still more likely to be attacked or abused than men in most settings (56% of offline reports were by Muslim women), particularly if they are visibly Muslim (wearing a veil).

This is no way for anyone to live as no one should be targeted based on their religion (or non-religion); whether physical or verbal, hate crime is not okay. We must stand up for those that are targeted by others based on the colour of their skin, or their religion, or because of the clothing they wear. Hate crime is not acceptable against anyone and we urge you all to fight for those who have been victims of hate crime but also actively seek to engage in conversations with those who have misconceptions of Islam or any other religion and seek to break down the misconceptions.

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