Is it true that Islam has taken a hit from all four corners in the last 20 years? Yes, but one has to look from a different perspective and then judge Muslims who are facing some of the most visceral hatred in many parts of the world.
This hatred has now got compounded with the advent of ISIS and this group has taken the interpretation of Islam to such levels, even Al Qaeda thinks they are too violent. Now this has to be the height of Irony where a terror group responsible for many an acts of terror and violence cannot stand the atrocity of its scion in the Middle East.
Many Muslims all over the world have already publicly condemned the actions of ISIS without being afraid of backlash and I do not know what more they should do. Should they take up arms and go to Iraq and Syria to fight ISIS?
But to paint and portray an entire religion of Islam as vile and repugnant and equate them to Mafia is uncalled for. Yes there are problems in certain quarters of Islam, but if we check, problems exist in all religions. It seems America does not have any problem when Saudi Arabia the home to the harshest form of Islam beheads people. Why, they are allies and as long as the oil flows, all is well.
The response given by Hollywood Star Ben Affleck to what Bill Maher and author Sam Harris was totally justified and must be applauded. The comments made by the host where racist although Muslims belong to several races all over the world but the term Racist fits right.
Bill Maher is a very good standup comedian and an atheist and I enjoy his brand of comedy very much. Especially when he takes dig into many rightwing American politicians who are known for their hypocrisy and bigotry towards black, immigrants and women.
He often rips apart the American foreign policy and former President George Bush who has been the butt of his jokes and political satire many times and I do not mind. He also comments about leaders and heads of state of other countries and gives valuable insights with his humorous commentary. But his all out offensive against Muslims and using profanity was beneath him.
Now he may disagree with me, but if I am not an expert in American politics and the American society in general, then he is not an expert in judging more than 1.6 billion people who belong to the religion of Islam. I am a better expert because I live in India which is home to nearly 200 million Muslims of different denomination.
Does Bill know how many denominations in Islam exist and the different school of thoughts which people all over the world follow? I am finding it very difficult to give him the benefit of doubt.
But the ranting which he gave on his show proves he may lack some crucial information. I say this because I am Indian, a Hindu who works with Muslims and have friends who are Muslims.
How many Muslim friends Bill Maher have?
We in India are home to perhaps all the Muslim denomination and the different school of thoughts which guide our Muslim brothers and sisters.
Yes there have been problems in our country but somehow we have always managed to work out a balance and live in harmony because all humans are inherently kind and full of compassion be it any religion. We understand this in India and this is something America is fast losing.
I am not saying Mr. Maher cannot criticize the actions of some Muslims just as he has the right to criticize and poke fun at the Christen right in America. But does it give him the right to accuse all Muslims just as it is not ok to hold every Catholic priest responsible for molesting children.
By many accounts Islam was and still is one of the fastest growing religions in the world and most who convert do not prescribe to violence. On the other hand more people have died under tyrants who were allowed to rule because it suited American Interest. How many people have died because of American interest? The current problem is the direct manifestation of American actions in the Middle East.
The reason which might have prompted Bill Maher to get so extreme is because ISIS has taken terror to whole new level and it is simply not easy to digest anymore. Bill Maher is a good man I am sure he has never hurt anyone in his life but I think he has taken this whole Islam bashing to a level which is only expected from the Rightwing.
In many ways Islam is going through a change, call it a Renaissance. Muslims living in Islamic countries or anywhere want the same thing as Americans or Indians. They want jobs, security and a peaceful life to see their children grow. There will always be a fraction in every religion which only expresses its wants and need through hatred and violence.
Just as all Italians are not Mafia, all Muslims are not ISIS who only believes in killing and pillaging. This outpouring of blind ignorance is not going to do any good for anyone.
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