Punish a Muslim Day.
Think of the act of punishing a Muslim as a video game. In video games, you get points for performing different actions. Only in this game, the action is finding a Muslim and hurting them. Points are awarded depending on the severity of the punishment. At the lowest level, verbally abuse a Muslim to earn 10 points. Pull off the hijab of a Muslim woman to earn 25 points, or get 50 by throwing acid on a Muslim’s face. The big points are gained from more extensive acts of destruction. Burning down a mosque is worth a massive 1,000 points. The greatest achievement, worth 2,500 points, is nuking Mecca, Islam’s holiest city.
Imagine getting up in the morning to a letter informing you that all Muslims are horrible, and outlining the ways you can punish them on April 3, 2018. This horrific letter greeted citizens in some areas of the U.K., including parts of London and Leicester. While some may be quick to brush off these letters because their impact is limited to Muslims in the U.K., bear in mind that this is the era of the internet and viral content. With all of the hate and religious tension that is being promoted by leaders around the world, including U.S. President Donald Trump, it is easy to see how this could get out of hand.
To compound this problem further, there is a lot of ignorance about Islam. For example, some people don’t even know that the religion Muslims practice is called Islam. A lot of people live and interact with Muslims every day and still have no idea what Islam is all about. Society and popular media tend to portray all Muslims as violent terrorists akin to Osama Bin Laden. Allow me to disabuse people of one misconception about Islam: nowhere does Islam preach violence. In fact, most of the teachings in the Quran are very similar to those in the Bible. Both Christianity and Islam are based on teachings of peace and love. The few bad seeds who misinterpret the Quran do so out of a desire to manipulate people and advance their own selfish, depraved desires. There exist plenty of these bad seeds among Christians as well, but nobody has created ‘Punish a Christian Day.’
Do this Instead.
You are probably wondering what you can do to help to ensure that April 3 does not culminate in violence, loss of life, or the destruction of Mecca. First, spread the word that we need to coexist peacefully with our Muslim brothers and sisters. Just because an ignorant individual decides to spread hateful messages does not mean that they are correct. People, Christians and Muslims alike, all make mistakes. That is why both the Bible and Quran preach forgiveness. What we can do for this person is pray for them and forgive their soul. Secondly, April 3 is now officially ‘Love a Muslim Day.’ You will receive points for loving and showing solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters. If you want the most points, go ahead and buy a Hajj package for a Muslim family’s pilgrimage to Mecca. Alternatively, you can just smile at a Muslim and get yourself an easy ten points.
Lastly, everyone can take a moment to really understand Islam. It is widespread to the extent that most people have at least one Muslim person in their network. Take the opportunity to sit with them and understand their religion. Do not believe everything you see and hear, particularly in this age of ‘fake news.’ Have a lovely time as we all prepare to make Love a Muslim Day a success on April 3, 2018.
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