"Not In My Name" | Muhammed Hussain

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Speechless and engulfed in sadness. That’s how everyone feels.

As a citizen of the world and as a practicing Muslim, I utterly and unequivocally condemn the recent atrocities committed by ISIS both in Britain and elsewhere. Additionally, my thoughts and prayers are with the people affected by these heinous and barbaric acts of terror.

Messages of love and support have been pouring in from leaders all around the world. At vigils people have been expressing grieve. However, on social media people have been posting disheartening and hateful writing.

Hate and anger are not the answer. In particular, they are not the answer in the long term. People must come together to rid terror from planet earth. At times like these, petty differences must be set aside.

We have to take a step back. We must adhere to our values – values of evidence based and rational actions. We must respond with policies based on empiricism rather than emotionally motivated proposals. Western society is marked by its enlightenment era and research driven approach to issues. That is what sets us apart from other societies around the world. That is who we are.

Justifying our response with emotions will not only be inadequate, it will also be counterproductive.

Extremists and terrorists must not be allowed to divide us. Their strategy is to divide and conquer. Our response has to be solidarity and unity. Together we can defeat these evil forces. We have to celebrate our similarity and commonality. In the words of Jo Cox, ‘we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us’. We must always remember that.

As claimed in The Economist recently, ISIS intends to ‘trigger an anti-Muslim backlash that it can exploit to drive sympathisers into its arms’. We must not allow that to happen. 

In the midst of community relations breaking down, we must counter this strain by emphasising our closeness with each other. Connections have to be established, walls have to be brought down. Conversations have to take place. The boundaries of ‘us’ and ‘them’ have to be diminished, we have to become one and the same in the name of harmony.

Whenever I am speechless and engulfed by sadness, I like to read Invictus, a poem by William Ernest Henley. A poem which I would highly recommend to everyone.  

Brendon Cox stated that, ‘it would be easy to be consumed by fury and hatred and bile’. Therefore, we should take a step back and counter extremism with a research based strategy. Let’s ask experts for advice.

Muhammed Hussain is a writer for Student Voices and a student at University of Roehampton. 

"Not In My Name" | Muhammed Hussain "Not In My Name" | Muhammed Hussain Reviewed by Unknown on 22:37 Rating: 5

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