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05 August 2011

Is a Muslim alone terrorist? Can’t a Christian be a terrorist?

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By Mohd Mustafa Ali Sarwari


It was Friday, 22nd July. Apparently it was the land of a peaceful country, Norway in Europe. In Oslo, the capital city of Norway, outside the office of the Prime Minister a bomb is exploded. After sometime, in an island, a man opens fire indiscriminately and kills more than 90 persons.


On Saturday, newspapers throughout the world and the TV channels published the news of the bomb blast and firing later. In the next captions of the news, they made Al-Qaida and the Islamic extremists responsible for these acts. It was very easy to link the terrorist activity to the Muslims and the Islamic terrorists. First of all, it was Friday, secondly it was a well developed European country. According to the Universal fashion, there was every material available to link such an act of violence with the Muslims. After the preliminary analysis, it was revealed that Mr. Will Mc Cants Security Advisor of the State Dept. of USA was responsible for the efforts made by the international news agencies to link Muslims with the bomb blast of Norway. He was the man associated earlier with the state Dept. for dealing with terrorism. He made Muslims responsible without testifying or without waiting for further details. America, depending upon such advisors has initiated war against terrorism in many countries for the past ten years.


This is the section of people which looks at the Muslims with suspicion and only their reviews are broadcast which pollute the minds of the people all over the world.


On Sunday, the 24th July 2011, Urdu media clarified that for these terrorist activities, “Muslim terrorists” are not responsible but it is the activity of a “Christian Terrorist”. I had used the term “Christian terrorism” in the caption of one of my article published in the year 2007, entitled to “can the Muslim be a terrorist and not a Christian?”


On 17th April 2007 a gunner killed in the firing at Virginia Technological University in which 32 persons were killed. This news was also published by international news agencies with great importance. The point at which I would like to draw the attention of the readers is that the gunner who opened fire at Virginia University was an orthodox Christian. At the time of reporting this news, nowhere the religion of this man was mentioned. Had he been a Muslim, his religion would have been mentioned especially that a Muslim terrorist has killed 32 person. I am convinced that the forces hostile to Islam have become so handicapped that they are not able to identify the danger which is going to cause damage to them.


In America and Europe the hoax of Muslim terrorism was propagated vehemently such that all those in whose names “Mohammed” was found and those who had grown beards on their faces and the ladies who had covered their bodies with the veils were presumed to be bosing a great danger to their security. Separate ques were arranged for the Muslims at the immigration counters at the airports. Laws were enacted to detain the Muslims at any time and to arrest them immediately on some pretext or the other. Today, the world has witnessed that the gunner who killed more than 90 innocent persons was not a Muslim but a Christian.


The extremist Christian terrorist whom the Norway police was forced to arrest did not hide his aims. The terrorist Anders Behring Breivik prepared a detailed manifesto of his anti-Muslim activities spreading over nearly 1,500 pages which he displayed on the internet. But the security agencies have concentrated all their resources only on the Muslims. Whatever the Non-Muslims write or do, it was deemed to be harmless. This is what the news agencies of Norway have done. The state of affairs of our security agencies is almost the same. Whether it is Sadhavi Pragya Singh Thakur or Swamy Aseemanand they were not exposed on the radars of our security agencies until they finished their workds.


It is an incident of the third week of July 2011. Hyderabad city police found out the shifting of the explosive material weighting two quintals. Incidentally, both the persons who transported the explosive material were the Non-Muslims, otherwise our media persons and the security agencies would have put the captions like “two Muslims are arrested while transporting two quintals of explosive material”. Since the person who were caught were the Non-Muslims, the news caption was simply “two persons were arrested while transporting explosive material”. If Muslims are involved in any unpleasant incident, it is deemed obligatory to mention their religion but if the same thing is done by the Non-Muslims, it becomes unnecessary to mention their religion. Why is it so?


Even if the Muslims are arrested under the charges of terrorism, the world media and the American newspapers would create a panic about terrorism. When the terrorist act of Norway was exposed, the reaction of the American newspapers was very interesting. Ms. Yasmeen Jameel, transmitted the editorial of the “Daily News” from Washington on the Urdu website of the “Voice of America”. While dealing with the terrorist incident of Norway, the editorial raised a natural question that why have such incidents taken place in a peaceful country like Norway which is the seat of Nobel prize for peace.


The editorial further writes that the police has arrested a 32 year old man whose terrorist activity is suspected to be linked with the rightist extremism. What kind of journalism is this? A Christian youth is openly declaring that he wants to eradicate Muslims from Europe. He has presented his manifesto containing 1,500 pages. Even after this, the man does not seem to be a terrorist and the newspaper writes that his terrorism resembles the violent activities of the rightist extremists. It means that the American newspaper avoids writing “terrorist” to Anders and says that he is performing activities like a terrorist.


This was the attitude of the hostile Islamicists abroad. If we review the position in our country can we call our attitude correct? Till very recently, we used to protest to link terrorism with religion and we never used to tired of saying that the terrorism has no religion. How can then we mention the religion of the Non-Muslim who is involved in terrorist activities.


It is a fact that the terrorist is neither a Muslim nor a Hindu or a Christian. The religion of the Terrorist is terrorism. It is, therefore, obligatory for the media to get rid of its so-called journalist bias (Journalistic terrorism) and decide that form today onwards, whosoever is involved in terrorist actitivites, he will be called only the follower of terrorism. Even if his religious identity is to be mentioned, it will be mentioned only terrorism. Since a person who resorts to terrorism, gives up the teachings of his religion and adopts terrorism. He will be identified would be as a terrorist alone and his religion will be terrorism.


Mr. Sadanand Patwardhan in one of his articles wrote that out of the 29 incidents of terrorism in 2009 only one was attributed to the Muslims. In the year 2008, there were 525 incidences of terrorism and not a single incident was attributed to the Muslims. But it is seen that not only investigating agencies but even the media agencies also resort to a biased and narrow-minded view towards the Muslims.


There is only one solution to the problem of journalistic terrorism. It is that the Muslims should come forward in the filed of journalism and work in it. If a Christian youth indulges in a terrorist act, we can satisfy ourselves by writing him a Christian terrorist, but this is not the solution to the problem. In the same way for a Hindu who resorts to terrorism, if we write Hindu terrorism, that is not going to solve our problem.


We must congratulate the Norway police that they have arrested Anders alive. Had he become the target of the Police bullets, we don’t know the media would have tried its level best to prove him a Muslim terrorist. It is a fact that the savour is greater than the killer. Are we able to comprehend the message given by the greatest entity called Allah – The Almighty who gives this message in the present circumstances? If not, we will also be turned down like a monthly page of a certain calendar which has passed.


[Mohammad Mustafa Ali Sarwari is Head & Associate Professor, Department of Mass Communication & Journalism, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Gachi Bowli, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. He can be contacted at sarwari829@yahoo.com]

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