Many Muslims and mosques victims of attacks in the West

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 July, 2017, 4:38pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 18 July, 2017, 10:12pm

In her letter (“Why Muslims must speak out against attacks”, July 11) Marian Schneps says, “Muslims bear the brunt of terror in Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East, not in France, Britain or America”, but conveniently leaves out important facts.

The terror visited upon Muslims in the Middle East is a result of the mismanaged and illegal invasion of Iraq, jointly led by Britain and America, a war that spawned Islamic State (IS). Also, all three countries cited above have for decades sold weapons to dictators in the Middle East, including Bashar al-Assad, who will probably have a stronger grip on power with the impending collapse of IS.

What citizens in the West (including Muslims citizens there) are currently dealing with are sparks from the bonfire the West is no doubt responsible for igniting. Meanwhile, in France, Britain and America ,where Ms Schneps claims Muslim citizens “do not bear the brunt of terror”, Muslims have to live with a different kind of terrifying fear.

The Muslim headscarf acts as a lightning rod for attacking Muslim women, and well over 1,000 mosques across the West have experienced at least one incident of vandalism. These have included – Molotov cocktails and small explosive devices being thrown within the mosque’s compound; arson attacks resulting in mosques being burned to the ground; and armed demonstrators picketing mosques as well as threatening letters and phone calls. There have also been threats of violence against Muslims in the West, who are loyal citizens of the countries where they live. These attacks have happened – according to statistics compiled by Tell MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks) and other civil rights groups – due to unabated one-sided rhetoric exacerbating Islamophobia.

Your correspondent points out there is a “distinct trend of terror committed in the name of Islam in countries that are majority Christian”. However, she overlooks how the key proponents in the invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and in the war on terror are the US, Britain and France. They are also the primary supply source of weapons for the conflicts in Syria and Yemen. The US, Britain and France are predominantly Christian countries.

Therefore, it would be dishonest to claim this is a war between Islam and Christianity. Instead, it is very much about dirty politics and power, with religion used as a front.

Adeel Malik, chairman, Muslim Council of Hong Kong