A Welsh convert to Islam, Merryl Wyn Davies, wrings her hands in the Sunday Herald, with thanks to Anthony:
ON Thursday, a well-rehearsed rescue operation swung into
action. In the face of terror, the emergency services knew how to cope. Now the question is: are we as well rehearsed to cope with securing community harmony? Have we actually got a rescue plan to eradicate terror and its perpetrators?
That’s just what I wonder, Merryl.
After each atrocity, the Muslim community holds it breath and waits for the backlash. I am a British Muslim who is Welsh. Like all Muslims, I’m practised at the condemnation of outrages. But it still disturbs me that the reassurance of our condemnation is so eagerly sought, as if over condemnation might be in doubt rather than being the most natural human response to incomprehensible acts by people I don’t know.
The monsters who planned and executed the attacks so callously are
supposedly Muslims. Faith is between each individual and God. What is in the hearts of these terrorists, God alone knows – I certainly don’t. But by their deeds I know they are nothing of me, the faith that is my secure handhold on life, the unequivocal morality it teaches.
These evil-doers violate every principle and precept I cherish. To condemn such fanatics is no test. To ask how such horrors make me feel is more telling. Where do I begin? And more importantly, will you hear what I mean? What stands between us is a function of terror. It creates awful facts and great challenges to mutual understanding.
It is also a function of history. European history has been written through the lens of a clash of civilisations in stereotypes, negatives and black propaganda. It creates a glib assurance that you know Islam and Muslims better than Muslims know themselves or Islam. It is a false per ception that forecloses communication, prevents understanding. You can never be reassured until you overcome this legacy…
“You?” I suppose becoming a Muslim made Ms. Davies non-Welsh. But anyway, there is a simple solution to her problem. Charles at LGF headlined a story about British Muslims fearing a backlash this way: “Hundreds of Thousands of Muslims March in London to Denounce Terrorist Attacks.” Underneath, he wrote, “Just kidding,” with a link to the backlash story. With this little bit of irony he injected a much-needed dose of common sense into an area in which people seem to lose their heads all too easily. If hundreds of thousands of Muslims did march, and acted against terrorists in their midst, we might be convinced that it’s a religion of peace.
We are told again and again that Islam is a religion of peace, tolerance and pluralism. Yet where is the evidence for this? Why must we accept this in denial of what is before our face every day? Why can’t the peaceful and tolerant ones show some peace and tolerance, instead of violence abroad and intimidation at home?
Ms. Davies, it is not because of centuries of European prejudice that I am not convinced. My ancestors aren’t even from Europe. They are from the Islamic world. And I am not convinced because of what they experienced, and because of what I see today.