The fact that the world fears Muslims speaks volumes about the image of my co-religionists. These developments are clearly not a positive sign. People do not fear GOOD. They fear EVIL. The majority of Muslims have somehow have failed to convey to the world that they are good. And I am not surprised.
Muslims need to pause and think about why world does not respect them. Why are they feared rather than being loved? Why it is that more and more people in the world have an image of them as being fanatical as a rule, compared to the adherents of other religions where fanaticism is an exception. Muslims will have to contemplate why the communities that welcomed the Muslim immigrants with open arms are now afraid to have them living amongst them. According to Carl Berglund, Muslims have polarized the Swedish society. “Their religion is so stifling and unaccommodating. They expect us to accommodate their religion when they don’t respect our beliefs.” Carl Berglund doesn’t want to live with the Muslims any more and wants them to be expelled from Sweden. He states: “We should stop being afraid of Muslims. This is our country, our world, and those who can’t accommodate us, should get out of Sweden.”
I am deeply concerned that fear of Muslims will result in a serious revulsion of Islam in western society. Contrary to the claims by the political Islamist establishment that Islam is a peaceful faith, their deeds convey just the opposite – there is nothing peaceful in what is happening in the Muslim communities today or what Islamists are doing in the world. The faith that the radical Islamists promotes is one of “perpetual outrage.” In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “I have judged other’s religions by their lives, for it is from our lives and not our words that our religions must be read.”
(Tashbih Sayyed is the Editor in Chief of Pakistan Today and The Muslim World Today, President of Council for Democracy and Tolerance, an adjunct fellow of Hudson Institute, and a regular columnist for newspapers across the world.)