Should Muslims apologise for recent terrorist attacks?

by Leena Sahloul

I am a proud Syrian, born and raised in England. I’m a human rights activist and an aspiring architect. I am a Muslim. One of over 1.8 billion who are blamed whenever a terrorist attack occurs in the West. As a British Muslim, I’m tired of being asked as a follower of a peaceful religion to apologise for acts of terrorism which have no link to Islam. I was brought up in a Muslim household. I was also brought up in a diverse community; I was fortunate enough to be educated about all major religions and beliefs. I chose to follow, love and embrace Islam.

As a result of practicing Islam, I know my religion teaches nothing but peace, love and respect.

I also know mainstream media has become the most powerful entity on earth, turning illusions and radical opinions to reality. Less than 4% of all mass shootings in America are from extremists calling themselves “Muslims.” Pointing at the 4% while ignoring the 96% is mind-blowing. Have you ever thought about why the perpetrator of every terrorist attack is identified as Muslim? The media wants you to hate Muslims.

You stand there and blame 1.8 billion Muslims for the acts of a group of extremists but when U.S. President George W. Bush said “God told” him to invade Iraq: silence. When a Christian is behind the gun, it’s not about religion but their sudden prognosis of mental illness. You then call for gun control but never say anything about your government selling billions in weaponry to Israel & Saudi Arabia which kill innocent people in Palestine and Yemen. How many more examples do you need to realise mainstream media pushes a particular narrative reporting only certain types of terrorism? Have you noticed it seems to be only Muslims are required to apologise and condemn the actions of terrorists which try and associate themselves with religion?

According to the UN and Counter Terrorism Centre, Muslims are the largest victims of Al-Qaeda and ISIS. In-fact, they are the largest victims of terrorism in general. Open your eyes.

As a Muslim, I don’t understand why I should have to reassure you I condemn terrorism every single time an attack occurs. Do you really accept 1.8 billion Muslims to apologise for the acts of misguided people they know nothing about? There is no doubt I condemn terrorism. I have nothing to explain. I have nothing to apologise for. Neither does any other Muslim.

My thoughts and prayers are with everyone in the world suffering from these barbaric attacks.

Leena Sahloul @_Leenaaaa My name is Leena Sahloul. I’m originally from Syria but I was born and raised in England. I just finished studying Art and Design Foundation during my gap year. I will be attending University of Arts London, Central Saint Martins in September to study architecture; I aspire to go back and rebuild Syria. During my free time I am a freelance artist and volunteer to raise money and awareness for ‘Hand in Hand for Syria,’ an NGO. I also use my social media platform as a voice to raise awareness about human rights and equality. I hope to be a voice that will help change bad perceptions on muslims and bring our communities together.