A Muslim's Response to the 25,000 Anti-Islam Protesters in Germany
Dear 25,000 Anti-Islam Dresden Protesters and Pegida,
I hear you marched in your
thousands against my religion. Last week, and last month. You marched against
immigrants, foreigners, and anyone a shade darker. I will not draw comparisons
to Nazi Germany. I will not call you bigots, I will not insult you, and I will
not label you. But we do have a problem.
You march "against the
Islamization of the West". Yet within a century containing two World Wars,
the decolonisation process, countless civil conflicts, foreign intervention,
globalisation, and further displacement, Muslims remain a fringe minority in
Europe. Less than 6%. A pretty
lousy colonisation process, no?
You marched against
refugees and asylum seekers, claiming Germany is their target for welfare and
social security. Yet according to UNHCR, there are 51.2million refugees worldwide.
Germany caters for less than 0.01% of them. Is
that too much to ask? Is such a humanitarian obligation too large for the
Refugee Convention 1951 your government ratified? Or is it actually punitive,
for example, in comparison to Lebanon where every fourth person is a
Protesters, you are not
alone. In my country, Britain, we have our own anti-immigration party. Ukip won
their first seat in Clacton with nothing but anti-migrant rhetoric. Yet only 4.3% of Clacton are
foreign-born. In a Parliamentary-based system, where each
constituency elects a representative to voice their views, there is nothing
Ukip can do for the people of Clacton.
Do you see a pattern?
Perhaps I should explain. Your kind tend to establish themselves where their
"problem" does not actually exist. Is this therefore an issue of
negative perception? Fear of the unfamiliar? Intolerance in ignorance?
Scapegoating an underclass? Media misinformation?
I will elaborate. London
has a 36.2% foreign-born
population. Relatively, that is fifteen times the population of
foreigners in Dresden. A far greater diversity. Ukip poll the lowest in London compared
to the rest of the country- in every demographic, foreign or not.
London is a metropolis of brown, black, and white working side by side. We
thrive. I saw an atheist today. Guess what? I did not try to convert him nor
behead him for blasphemy; I helped him off the bus. He was 74 years old.
Does that make sense?
Your only insight into
Islam is a box in your living room. Confirmation bias andcognitive dissonance infest
the information you expose yourself to. Information which dehumanises and
polarises anyone unlike you.
You enjoy the far-right
media portrayal of Islam. It makes you feel good. Superior. Better. The
barbaric Muslims, we are. We disrespect women, and we impose our beliefs on to
Yet did you know that Turkey, Indonesia, and
Bangladesh, all Muslim majority stateshave had more elected female
heads of state than almost every other Western country? Did you know that the
Quran explicitly says "there is no compulsion in religion" (2:256),
and our Prophet clarified "whomever hurts a non-Muslim will not smell a
whiff of paradise"?
Did you know that your
twisted misrepresentation of my religion helps the terrorists? Did you know
that you and the terrorists agree on what seems to form an integral part of
your identity: that Islam is violent? Did you know that you even use the same
methodology to proclaim this; taking a verse out of context and evading any
What are Muslims to you,
anyway? Arabs? Less than 20% of
us are Arab. Indian or Pakistani? Again, less than 20%. Turkish? Less than 5%.
Nothing else? That is more than half of us you cannot identify.
You assume our identity by
our race. Is it not disheartening to you that such a narrow world view is
legitimately held by so many? Does it not display a perspective so constrained
to the contents of immediate life and prejudice? Is that not likely to lead to
ignorant assumptions and offence in face of what is unbeknownst?
What becomes of the German
Muslim, I wonder? Is he spared because he is white? Or is he declared a traitor
and shunned? Is it difficult to choose between racism and neglecting a fellow
countryman? Choose neither. Choose education. Tolerance. Kindness.
Detach from the vicious
cycle of far-right media (who are unfamiliar with foreigners) feeding the
far-right populace (who are unfamiliar with foreigners) what they should think