Masked gunmen stormed the building of a satirical newspaper in Paris, France killing 12 people. The attackers shouted "Allahu Akbar", but also spoke unaccented French. The weekly paper Charlie Hebdo, has published sacrilegious content to most religions. The incendiary caricature of Prophet Mohamed and Islam are thought to provoke this attack. I will not say the obvious cliché "Islam is a religion of peace". But, I want to relay my frustration as a Muslim who woke up to the news of the attack, my frustration with the Paris attack, with ISIS, with Al Qaida and all other imposters.
First, I want to share my qualm about the strong association between Islam and terrorism, which is propagated by the over-use of the term "Muslim Terrorists". They should not be called Muslim terrorists; they should be called 'Muslim' termites. 'Muslim' not because of their relationship to Islam, but rather because they thrive and flourish in specific climates propagating perceived hatred toward Muslims and Islam at large. Termites feed on dead plant and animal materials found in wood and they can cause serious structural damage to human buildings. These terrorists are feeding on our lack of awareness of basic tenants of Islam, and readiness to hate and indiscriminately categorize the 'other' into the 'enemy' never-large-enough bin.
There have been many vacant places in our structures of humanity for these pests to burgeon. These vacancies have been created and encouraged by the media, wars, biased foreign policy and lack of democracy in predominantly Muslim countries They have caused destruction internally (in many of the mostly Muslim countries) and have been left long enough for their destruction to be visible externally. Unfortunately, the pesticide used to terminate them, is suffocating human beings around them. Furthermore, this ineffective pesticide is strengthening the termites' DNA, with every generation evolving to be more immortal. Generally restricting the freedom of Humans at large, and Muslims specifically. Spraying indiscriminately is not the antidote, it has not worked, and it will not magically start to work. More dangerously, it has created a more lethal and aggressive brand of terrorists.
I am frustrated because as a well intentioned Muslim-American citizen with no desire to apologize for these termites or similar strains, at times feel imprisoned by stares at the grocery store, in the parking lot, or any public space. Please, if you have a question, come and ask me. But, I can only address Islam and being a Muslim and will have nothing substantial to offer on ISIS because they are as puzzling to me as they are to you, except that they are directly ruining my family's lives because of our Muslim appearance.
The consequences of such attacks are disturbing to all. But, as a Muslim, this means, more intentional random checks by TSA, when traveling. I got randomly selected twice in a row at the same airport on my last business trip. I expect the number of stares to increase and attempts of making them subtle disappear. I expect less public speaking invitations... I hope I am wrong. Again, I appeal to logic and tolerance these coming days and ask that you please allocate time to ask and search before drawing inflexible conclusion.
Peace be upon all of us.