By Rachid Moukhabir
I would like to share with you the true story of a five-year-old Muslim boy named Mohamed. One day Mohamed came home from school angry, eager to tell his father what happened in class.
“My friend John told me that he hates Muslims,” Mohamed said.
His father was shocked but initially pretended not to hear his son. Still, Mohamed continued, telling his father, “That means he hates me.”
The following day his father went to see the school principal to bring this story to his attention. However, the damage was done: little Mohamed also told his father that he does not want to be a Muslim anymore.
This story broke my heart. I felt obligated to tell Mohamed’s story because I believe that our society has not been fair to this little boy.
As a Muslim living in the West, I have been discriminated against on multiple occasions. Because I am an adult, I am able to express and defend myself when someone is harassing me.
At least as an adult, I understand the motive behind the dirty games some politicians play and the Islamophobic lies promoted by certain unethical mainstream media. These media companies are in the business of making money and being biased is often what makes them a few easy bucks.
However, now children are the ones suffering. Media attention and lazy political gains should not come at the expense of a five-year-old Muslim boy.
From this moving story, we can clearly see the culture of hate spreading among our kids instead of the culture of love and tolerance that we should be promoting. This is not the future we want for our children. Each one of us should contribute to stopping the spread of hate for a better future for the next generation.
You may ask why I ignore the rampant violence around the world by terrorist groups such as ISIS as well as individual terrorists. Let me be perfectly clear: I do not ignore or condone any of these terrorist acts. On the contrary, I strongly oppose them.
In fact, Muslims around the world have condemned terrorist attacks, including the most recent one in Brussels. Muslims continue to stress that ISIS does not represent neither Muslims nor Islam.
Mohamed’s father is a good friend of mine. His son’s story serves as an example of Islamophobia faced by innocent Muslims around the world. We should not all be blamed for the actions of these terrorists who have hijacked our religion and do not follow its true teachings.
Moukhabir is the former publisher of Zarah Magazine.