Violence yet again rocks a European city . The perpertrators are said to be members of the ISIS . They were heard to be shouting “Allahu Akbar “ and therein lies a tale, narrated by some, thankfully not all.
According to that story everyone across the world who believe in a God as the source of everything and call that source by the name of Allah become partners or accomplices or at least are silently acquiesing and tacitly approving these deaths.
“Why are the muslims not protesting enough? “
“Why is there no outrage?”
The “terrorism has no religion “ response on the social media has become passé , they declare and is too lame .
After reading very many such posts on the Facebook, the social media I am a member of, I was curious enough to find out if this was indeed true. I just googled using the words “Muslims protest against Paris killings “ and 74,50,000 links showed up at that point of time.
These are a couple of them:
I then googled “Muslims silent on Paris killings” and 36,10,000 links showed up. A cursory glance at some of the initial pages though, were in fact, those that pointed towards muslims speaking up against the current attack and the earlier incident of the Charlie Hebdo attack.
I then remembered reading an article in the New York Times written by Nicholos Christoff titled ,”The daily Me” .
It is a very, very perceptive way of looking at the way we search for information that matches our own line of thoughts, attitudes , beliefs or prejudices and I can often see the truth in that, in the way I choose the key words while googling for something whenever I want to quote something that will affirm what I set out to say.
“we generally don’t truly want good information — but rather information that confirms our prejudices. We may believe intellectually in the clash of opinions, but in practice we like to embed ourselves in the reassuring womb of an echo chamber.”
As far as Indian muslims are concerned, may be they are not as vociferous perhaps as their Hindu counterparts when it comes to denouncing dastardly acts committed in the name of religion, going by the numbers who do so. But then the Hindu population is far more . I wonder how the numbers who raise their voices reflect in terms of percentage and whether at all, the voices raised are heard or registered. Also, Hinduism has hundreds of years of an inherent tradition of allowing dissent in thinking and giving expression to the same. Islam , on the other hand , is a relatively new religion and it’s followers who are ordinary citizens , in a country where they are in a minority are perhaps a little diffident of speaking up and choose to go silently with their lives. It would be very far from the truth, however to conclude that they support such violence.
I’ve always felt that the more distance, both physical and mental , that we keep from those we perceive as the “others” , the more we are prone to falling prey to our prejudices . I don’t know if this is absolutely true, but may be most of us are more comfortable in forging friendships with only those who share our beliefs, whether it be religious, political or something else. I admit that is largely true in my case. But may be that is why the distances grow. May be we need to have sane conversations for a start , which does not resort to name calling and four-lettered abuses with people who don’t share our views and without our egos getting in the way.
May be we need to listen more and not immediately think of ways to counter the other.
Although, perhaps, that is precisely what I am doing now 🙂 🙂