I woke up this morning and went on Facebook to find while I slept there were multiple attacks in Paris that seem to have come from ISIS or another extremist group, though the attacks have not yet been claimed by any group. I was both saddened and angered by this.
Saddened by the pointless loss of life in a fight that seems to have no end. Angered that while the people of Paris receive a flood of support from people and governments around the world none of the same support was offered to the people of Beirut, where just one day earlier a suicide bomber killed 44 in a night club. Saddened and angered that the same supports were not offered to the people of Kuwait when a suicide bomber walked into a mosque and killed 27, injuring 227 others.
I am fearful that there seems to be less and less safe places around the world. I am angry at the way people have lashed out at Muslims or Syrian Refugees. The people from Syria did not flee their country and travel thousands of kilometres on boats or trains or foot to spread fear or launch terrorist attacks. They left because that happened in Paris is common for them because they lived in constant fear and could take it no longer. The Syrian Refugees are trying to escape the extremists and find a better, safer place to live.
I am angry that people blame Muslims for the attacks. I live in the Middle East most of the people I know are Muslim. I know they use their breaks at school to use the Mosque and pray. I know they are kind and helpful and just as angry and fearful as everyone else. They are more fearful and have the right to be. They must fear ISIS which attacks much more often in the Middle East than outside of it. They must fear Western retaliation and stigma and they must fear the possibility such an attack will happen near their homes. They must fear non-Muslim people and the reaction they may have.
Kuwait has so far, mostly been sheltered from aggression’s by ISIS. Here we live with strict laws because of the combination of state and religion. In Kuwait you may not drink alcohol and you will find no pork products in the country. For the most part you rarely notice anything is different than anywhere else in the world, until Friday.
I was walking to meet a friend when the afternoon call to prayer sounded. I watched people stop the car and go to the Mosque. I watch a river of people walking to the Mosque. I watched as people lay their prayer mats on the sidewalk to pray because the Mosque was full. It reminded me how strong the devotion is to the teachings of Allah are. It reminded me that people just want to live their lives and be free from judgement and fear.
It reminded me that about 1/4 of the worlds population (an estimated 2.1 billion people) are Muslim. Muslims are not Terrorists. Extremists like ISIS are to Islam what the KKK and Westboro Baptist Church are to Christianity. They are a small amount of people causing problems for the larger population.