Terror tag on Muslims reveals bias
Vol XXVII NO. 170 Monday 6 September 2004
By Amira Al Hussaini
I happened to be on a business trip to London as 1,500 children, parents and teachers were held hostage by 'Islamic terrorists' in a school in Beslan in the North Ossetia region in Russia, bordering Chechnya.
On the day I left Bahrain, the newspaper headlines showed a photograph with a line up of bloodied bodies, news of a Nepalese worker beheaded in Iraq and another 11 shot dead, again by people labelled 'Islamic barbarians'.
On the day I left London, the 53-hour school siege had ended with a bloodbath, leaving hundreds of innocent people injured and killed, including, of course, women and children.
Among the so-called terrorists were Arab Muslims, announced reporters covering the ordeal, in a tone which made this vital piece of information more important than the human tragedy which was unfolding by the minute.
At the time of writing this, two French hostages are being held, again by 'Arab Islamic terrorists' in Iraq, in a bid to blackmail the French government to back off on the hijab ban in schools in France.
You should have seen the disgust and horror on the faces of normal everyday people in the UK capital as they watched the television screens beaming to the whole world what Muslim terrorists were doing to innocent beings, who also have the right to live and work and go to school.
Even 'foreigners' who have lived in the Arab world and interacted with the 'Muslim terrorists' day in day out joined the circus, voicing their disgust with the inhumanity and lack of compassion of 'Islamic terrorists'.
At the same time the world's attention was grabbed by how the Muslims were terrorising the rest of the world, Palestinian children were overcoming another type of terror, in their bid to go back to school, but never mind, this will not be reported as people are now immune to the suffering of the Palestinians.
After all, it has been going on for half a decade and the Palestinians should have become used to it too. Parents should have become used to burying their children just as babies should have become used to living without their fathers. Wives should have become used to living without the support of a terrorist husband, whose only dream was to have a home for his wife, parents and children and to put food on the table for them.
The terror the Iraqis are being subjected to daily, is also something they should accept with a pinch of salt because the cluster-bombs which had maimed their children, the desecration of their holy shrines and the civil war situation their whole country has been thrown in, are only a natural price to pay for getting rid of the monstrous Saddam Hussein and the introduction of a free democracy, civil rights and liberties to a people who have been governed by an iron fist for decades.
I am not defending the hostage takers of Iraq or the gunmen who held the Russians at the school. All I am saying is that atrocities are being committed by everyone - Muslims and non-Muslims - and it is the poor unprotected civilians who are caught in the middle.
Double standards also hurt. They hurt more when they are distorted.
Why is the whole world adamant on coining Islam to any terrorist act involving Muslims? Why is Islam blamed for what individuals do?
Why can't we say Catholic Americans are terrorising Muslim Iraqis and Jewish Israelis are butchering Muslim Palestinians?