Thinking global, living local: Voices in a globalized world

The Media Needs to Discourage Religious Extremism of All Kinds

Written by on . Published in Ten years on future challenges bloggers on a post 9-11 world on .

Why is the call to represent Muslim culture so depreciated? Isn’t this an act of religious extremism in itself in a post 9/11 scenario?

The home improvement chain Lowe’s strong opposition to the ‘All American-Muslim’ reality TV show – which focuses on the everyday lives of Muslim-American families – that cause the company to pull its advertising from the program, appears to me to be the act of an extremist attitude – showing a distinct religious bias. It is just one of a series of events witnessed across the media war against Muslims.

Being a Muslim myself, it seems to me all the more unbearable because I think that everyone should stand a chance to justify his or her position in the court of justice. But it seems Muslim are being denied this chance. The sad fact is that nobody pays attention to what Muslim scholars have to say about such acts of violence. Their comments are never highlighted in the media. Many of them have been saying that these terrorists do not subscribe to any religion as no religion can preach the death of human beings.

The Quran denounces the killing of innocent people  in chapter 5: 32 where it states that “if anyone killed a person … to spread mischief in the land – it would be as if he killed all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind.” This verse of Quran is testimony that the claims made against Islam that it is a bad or dangerous religion are invalid. It is sheer misunderstanding and lack of knowledge of Islam that has caused such widespread hatred and rejection.

It is unfortunate that despite such loud voices nobody seems to pay attention to this fact. What we have instead taking place all over the media is the highlighting of caricatural cartoons and pictures of Muslims carrying out vicious activities. It seems that humanists are working against the rules of humanism by the vocal disrespect they show to Muslim culture. This is exactly what appears to be happening with the ‘All American-Muslim’ TV show through Lowe’s withdrawal of its advertisements.

My life-long reading and research has led me to conclude that such propaganda is only a political game. Whether it is done by a Muslim, Christian, Hindu, or Buddhist. It is man’s lust for power and dominance which provokes him to use religion as a weapon. It is not a matter of belief in any particular religion. I believe that no human being should be allowed to encourage fundamentalism/extremism in any form whatsoever.

Life in this world depends on how much peace we make with one another despite all our differences. I believe we can agree to differ rather than fight or malign. Anger and hatred are very strong forces and their destructive consequences are – and have always been – far-reaching.

The present destabilized form and shape of the earth, especially in the context of post 9/11, is a result of feeling anger and hatred. We need to distil these feelings in order to make peace with ourselves and others to bring harmony to the outside world. So shouldn’t Lowe understand, accept and try to make peace with Muslims? Better late than never!

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Maria Farooq

I am a self-motivated and hard-working researcher and academician. I am English language teacher and also M. Phil scholar. I am interested in world politics, international affairs and cultures and world history.