In the days following the Barcelona terror attack, thousands of Spanish Muslims took to the streets to protest, “Not in our name,” “Islam is peace,” and “Terrorism has no religion.”
It’s a scene that has played out over and over again. Muslims taking to the streets to condemn those who carry out attacks in the name of their faith have occurred everywhere from Paris to London; Manchester to Berlin, and beyond.
Predictably, however, television media outlets all too often ignore these Muslim orchestrated protests against so-called “Islamic” terrorism, which, in turn, creates the space for Islamophobic political opportunists to ask, “Why don’t Muslims speak out and condemn radical Islamic terrorism?”
The fact of the matter is they do, loudly, unambiguously and often, but you’re just not paying attention.
Nevertheless, it’s utterly absurd that 1.6 billion Muslims should be required or expected to apologize for the mindless attacks carried out by a couple dozen nihilist psychopaths who either experienced a sudden conversion to the Islamic faith at the hands of ISIS generated propaganda, or those who have perverted the religion to justify their own twisted political agenda.
Since 9/11, there have been a total of 119 individuals killed by “Islamic” extremists in the United States, and approximately triple that number in Europe and the United Kingdom, combined. For 16 years, the West has held the world’s Muslim population and Islam itself somewhat accountable for the deaths of these victims.
But what of our own accountability? Shouldn’t those who ignorantly demand Muslims to speak out against terrorism also themselves speak out against the terrorism carried out in our name?
Since 9/11, more than 1.3 million lives have been lost to US led wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan alone — a number that’s deemed to be a “conservative” estimate, and one that could very well be 1 million shy of reality, according to a joint report published by Physicians for Social Responsibility, Physicians for Global Survival, and the Nobel Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War.
Moreover, this estimate of 1.3 to 2.3 million predominantly Muslim victims does not include those killed under the guise of the US “war on terror” in Somalia, Yemen, Libya, Syria, and beyond.
The authors of the report note that their body count estimate is more than “10 times greater than that of which the public, experts and decision makers are aware of and propagated by the media and major NGOs,” and that the public is purposefully “kept in the dark” about the actual devastating toll the “war on terror” has inflicted on non-Western lives.
“A politically useful option for U.S. political elites has been to attribute the on-going violence to internecine conflicts of various types, including historical religious animosities, as if the resurgence and brutality of such conflicts is unrelated to the destabilization cause by decades of outside military intervention,” note the authors of the report. “As such, under-reporting of the human toll attributed to ongoing Western interventions, whether deliberate of through self-censorship, has been key to removing the ‘fingerprints’ of responsibility.”
To trace our responsibility back further, it is estimated that Western led wars have killed more than 4 million Muslims since 1990, and our killing shows no sign of relenting given US President Trump killed more civilians in his first 6 months in office than Obama killed in his 8-year term, at a staggering rate of 12 civilians per day.
“Remarkably, when I interview families at camps who have just fled the fighting, the first thing they complain about is not the three horrific years they spent under ISIS or the last months of no food or clean water, but the American airstrikes,” Belkis Wille, an Iraq researcher for Human Rights Watch, told the Daily Beast. “Many told me that they survived such hardship, and almost made it out with the families, only to lose all their loved ones in a strike before they had time to flee.”
So, when will Americans, Europeans, and Brits take to the streets, chanting, “Not in our name”? When will Christian and Jewish leaders decry in unison the terrorism carried out in the name of Western states?
This double-standard is made even more transparent in the aftermath of a homegrown, domestic right wing terrorist attack — of which have claimed the lives of 110 individuals in the United States since 9/11, which is the same number killed by Islamic extremists during that same period. When a Trump supporter walked into a mosque in Quebec City, armed with an AK-47, killing 6 Muslims, not one Trump supporter took the streets or airwaves to condemn this terrorist attack. When a Trump supporting white supremacist rammed his car into anti-racist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, Trump supporters did not take to the streets to chant, “Not in our name.”
Nor should anyone expect a single one of Trump’s 60 million supporters to denounce the actions of a handful of lunatics who just so happen to share the same political ideology.
And nor should anyone expect or demand Muslims to condemn the actions of those few who carry out acts of politically motivated violence supposedly in their name. But, we citizens of Western democratic states should and must hold our governments responsible and accountable for the carnage our foreign policies unleash on the Muslim world. That accountability just might help end this seemingly never-ending cycle of violence.
Please support CJ Werleman’s fight against anti-Muslim discrimination:
Monthly Support: https://www.patreon.com/cjwerleman
One-Time Contribution: www.paypal.me/cjwerleman