Religion always has and always will be one of the most divisive topics a person can discuss.
One religion in particular has received the brunt of negative media attention over the last two decades.
Islam has been burdened with the blame of just about any terror attack that happens across the globe, often before we learn of any official circumstances surrounding that particular event.
Due to this, those who practice this religion have often been the target of increasing levels of Islamophobia. This culminated in two attacks on mosques across New Zealand earlier this year, carried out by a 28-year-old man described as a white supremacist and part of the alt-right.
These extremist views pose a very real threat to modern society – and the rise in far-right groups like the EDL threaten the multi-culturism that makes places like the UK thrive.
These kinds of groups play on the fear of the public. We live in a terrifying time, an ever-present threat of war and a worrying increase in terror attacks, there is no denying that we face huge issues. Those issues seem much easier to deal with if we have someone to blame for them, a face to attach, regardless of the actual facts.
Ajmal Masroor, a recognised broadcaster and politician discussed the rise in Islamophobia and the impact it has had while appearing on the Blinded Faith podcast.
“The main reason why a lot of people don’t like Islam or hate Islam is because they’re being spoon-fed by the media on a regular basis.
“I stand by my words, I have challenged many people – senior politicians to prolific commentators and journalists, to say ‘prove me your assertion, that Islam has any notion of terrorism of violence'”
However Masroor has found time and time again that a lazy response has been thrown back at his comments.
“What they do is throw in my face ‘ISIS’ – but the question is, who created ISIS? Muslims didn’t. Who created Syria? Muslims didn’t. Who invaded Iraq? Muslims didn’t. Who created Palestine? Muslims didn’t. The world wants to create problems in Muslim countries and when the Muslims react, they blame Islam.
“It’s about greed, it’s about politics, it’s about wanting control, it’s about power. It’s not the religion. What is it that people have against Islam? No one can tell me.”
I talked to one person the other day, he said ‘Islam is talking about violence.’ I said if you can find one word of violence in the Quran I will denounce my faith.”
Masroor goes on to discuss the three rules that Islam is based on, which seemingly completely contradicts the attitudes put forward in huge portions of the mainstream media.
“There is a verse of the Quran, which simply summarises it – three dos and three don’ts.
“Three dos are that you should deal with one another with justice. Be excellent in everything that you do. Always be kind and compassionate with your fellow human beings.
“Three don’ts, don’t get involved in shamelessness. Don’t get involved with evil activities. Don’t be transgressive, or rebellious from your natural way.”
These pillars couldn’t be further away from jaded views that have been built around the religion. It’s worth noting at this point that the Klu Klux Klan focused many of its arguments on Christianity. Yet this isn’t the first thing we associate with such a vile organisation, is it?
Things take an even more sinister turn when the broadcaster discusses the two death threats he’s living with right now, one from ISIS and one from Al Shabaab.
“Because I have spoken against them. I’ve said they’re not Muslims. I’ve said they don’t represent Islam at all. I’ve said what they’re representing is an evil ideology.”Masroor explains
The conversation covers a range of fascinating and eye-opening topics, from the UK’s arms deals with Saudi Arabia to the true motivations behind extremist attacks. To hear more, check out the latest episode of the Blinded Fatih podcast here.