Student Voices: One Brighton student gives her opinion on the recent attacks in Ankara, Istanbul and Brussels, and asks why there seems to be a disparity between media representation of muslim and non-muslim deaths…
Whatever has been happening in the world and what we see on the news, or rather what has been given more importance on the news, I tend to see a pattern that I am not really liking. Of course, there are good and bad in all people but why am I seeing a certain group of people being penalised, ignored and forgotten?
I am talking about Muslims. Not ISIS, Taliban or Rebels, but normal and peaceful human beings that are Muslim and following Islam as it should be.
There are many examples on news channels, social media sites and newspapers that are targeting negativity on Muslims and it’s coming to a point now where there seems to be no respect or humanity when it comes to people that follow Islam. To name a few, there was the time that the American Teenager Ahmed Mohamed made a clock in school and his teacher thought it was a bomb (like, seriously?) then the time of the tragic Chapel Hill Shooting where the middle aged White American Craig Hicks murders 3 Muslim youngsters that were amazing, charitable people – yet he is not called a terrorist?
Then there’s the Palestine vs Israel conflict, the burning bodies in Burma, the killing of a Muslim man in India for eating Beef and the list goes on. Are these killers not called terrorists because they are not Muslim?
Why there is such a high level of hypocrisy? Not just on these few stories, but globally there is too much hypocrisy for me to handle. Let’s take another example to clarify. The Charlie Hebdo attack; everyone on Facebook puts the status and picture ‘Je Suis Charlie’. Then the Paris attacks; everyone puts the French flag over their profiles. Now onto the recent tragic attack in Ankara, Turkey where 37 people were killed and 125 injured. Social media is silent. No ‘I am Ankara’ and no Turkish profile pictures. Even more worrying is that everyone seemed to ignore the second attack in Istanbul! Unlike when the Paris attacks happened, there is no way to mark yourself as ‘safe’. Most recently, the terrible attack in Brussels has got everyone’s attention, in fact the whole of Europe is in solidarity with Brussels, but not Turkey or any other Muslim or Eastern country. Because no one cares.
Is Muslim blood really that cheap?
This is not just about ‘why aren’t people putting a Turkish flag up?’ This is more about ‘why are the Muslims of no importance?’ Muslim women and children are being burned alive daily in Burma by the Buddhist terrorists; in 2014 in Pakistan the Peshawar school massacre happened where 141 people were killed, 132 of them being children; in Palestine, it seems like the Israeli Zionists have almost annihilated the country and not a word has been said to them. Kids make clocks and do spelling mistakes in school and they get investigated. Why? For power? Money? Greed? Or simply to ‘scare’ the public with their fake ‘Muslims are bad’ agenda, in order to get people like Donald Trump in power?
I understand the topic I am touching on is never ending and there is so much more I can say and question; but it will not stop. There are too many atrocities happening at the moment and we just can’t keep up. All I want is for the world to have humanity. Whoever dies, Muslim, Christian, Jewish or Atheist, they deserve to be respected, they deserve that two minute silence, they deserve dignity and they deserve to be recognised as a human.
Change your Facebook picture, your mind and your thoughts to not just what’s happening at that time or just in Europe because it’s ‘close to home’, but what’s happening 24/7 in the world. Let us respect each another, be one strong force and not let the ignorant and intolerant people rule us, or force us, to forget the others. We are one humanity; we are one world.
As-Salam-Alaiykum (May peace be upon you).
Words and artwork by Zahra Rahman
Header photo: Blue Mosque, Istanbul