We will not tackle extremism by stigmatising Muslim citizens
by Tariq Ramadan (2017)
Image Copyright: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images
Reducing these acts of violence to an ideological battle between Islam and the west stokes the politics of division and ignores the root causes of terrorism
Nothing can justify the killing of civilians, whether in Manchester and London, Kabul or Baghdad. It is important for us to be consistent in our condemnation of these criminal acts, and to maintain our support for all the victims, whoever they are, wherever they live. While the strategy of groups like Islamic State and individuals who commit these horrific attacks is to divide our societies, and to push us towards the perception that it is impossible to live together, it is critical for our leaders to resist sensationalist and divisive rhetoric.
Rather than targeting the so-called “Islamist-inspired terrorists”, we should be bringing people together and I mean all people, those with or without faith, in a united front against all senseless acts of violence against civilians, here or abroad.
To portray such criminal acts as part of an ideological battle between extremist, anti-western Muslims and western people and values risks further alienating Muslim citizens and ignores the fact that Muslims themselves also fall victim to these attacks. This distinction also inadvertently presents the problem as geographic, and restricts our ability to empathise with Muslim-majority societies, where most attacks actually take place.
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