Rita Panahi, a pop-up journalist that magically appeared in the news scene recently made an article titled “Islam, you have a very serious problem“. Her facebook name is “Miss Judgement” and indeed she is an opinionated woman and proud. Yet as the famous saying goes and pardon my French here- “Opinions are like arse holes- everybody has one“.
Our Friend “Miss Judgement” claims herself to be a writer for the Daily Telegraph. Yes, the Rupert Murdoch run newspaper who’s CEO recently claimed that all Muslims should be responsible for the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, whether they were peaceful or not. That’d be as ridiculous as me claiming Rita Panahi is responsible and must apologize for her CEO’s ridiculous tweets including the fact that during the Sydney Siege Attack, instead of praying for the victims and wishing them safety and security he boasted about how “The Daily Telegraph caught the bloody outcome at 2:00am. Congrats!” Mind you the moment he tweeted that, people had died.
As ridiculous as it is for me to expect Rita Panahi to apologize for her CEO’s racism, ignorance and bigotry somehow the Murdoch trail of ignorance has trickled down even to his columnists who seem to lack intellectual integrity, how would i know? Well i didn’t have to read far, the first issue i had with Rita Panahi’s article was the title itself, so spotting a flaw was childs play for me.
“Islam, you have a very serious problem” Really? Islam you have a very serious problem? Not even “radical Islam” or “Extremist Islam”? No? Just Islam? Alrighty then. The title in itself shows the confusing paradox that Rita seems to be stuck in. Throughout her entire article she claims that “radical Islam” is the problem, yet suddenly a pinpoint accusation turns into a generalization. “Radical” disappears but Islam still stands- and that is a problem. If you cannot differentiate Islam from radical Islam even from a literary standpoint clearly your journalistic skill will be rightfully judged.
Ritas Article seems erroneous way beyond her title. In fact her first sentence is a flawed statement. She claims:
“EVERY attack perpetrated by Islamic extremists is an attack against freedom of speech — whether they’re terrorizing journalists and cartoonists at a magazine in Paris or bystanders having a quiet coffee in Sydney.”
Well Rita, no that is not really the case. As much as it sounds like a “powerful statement” it is factually incorrect and misleading. Many Muslim terror attacks have nothing to do with freedom of speech, in fact most terror attacks have been strongly linked to foreign politics. Very rarely have i heard a terrorist claim that the reason he is terrorizing society is because he or she is against “freedom of speech”- even if you are being allegorical, your statement is unequivocally false and yet again sounds like another paintbrush claim that involves “generalizing”.
Rita then goes on to state that radical Islam and Western Values cannot coexist peacefully. Yet any radical or extreme ideology is against basic human principals and it doesn’t necessarily mean they are “Western Values”. Any extremists are an affront to our safety and security, this is something i wholeheartedly agree with. Rita is also right in stating that as Muslims we need to try our utmost and strive hard to ensure that our family members and friends are free from this radicalism. As i said, it’s not a Muslim problem, it’s a human one. Human beings can be influenced by a wide range of things and each person is susceptible to this “weak spot”, hence we should all guard against all forms of extremism- not only that of the Islamic kind but also the “stop the immigration” right wing kind.
Rita, in her article then yet again makes another slip up by co-mingling the general term “Islam” with the exclusive term “extremist”. She states “We must stop pretending these incidents have nothing to do with Islam. They quite clearly have everything to do with extremist Islam and the sooner we admit this truth the better...”
So i must reflect the question back to “Miss Judgement” herself. So are these actions the problem of Islam, or Radical Islam? Even world leaders condemned these acts as “Un-Islamic”, you also might want to check out my last article titled “15 Important Facts On Ridiculing Islam“. Not to mention, the Wests “Arch Nemesis” individuals like Hezbollah leader Hassan Nesrallah stated the Paris bombings were “The behavior of the takfiri groups that claim to follow Islam that have distorted Islam, the Koran and the Muslim nation more than Islam’s enemies …”
Even the supposed “terror group” Hamas condemned the actions of the extremists who murdered in Paris. There is no “justification for killing innocents,” Hamas reportedly said in a statement, according to Reuters and Agence France-Presse. So forgive me Rita, for being critical of your oversimplification on the matter. If this had everything to do with Islam, why is it being condemned world over by the majority of Muslim groups both “moderate” and supposedly “extreme”?
Rita then takes a step back and sympathizes with the Policeman that was shot in the Paris attacks, the first victim of the day. His name was Ahmed Marabet and he was a Muslim. Keeping this observation in mind Rita states that “It mattered not that Ahmed Marabet was a Muslim“. Actually it matters, a lot. Ahmed Marabet became a martyr in the sense that his untimely death was a chilling wakeup call to the world. He was a Muslim, being killed by extremists and he is the perfect example of that separation between Muslims and Extremists- a fine line that Rita Panahi cannot seem to find, even if it stares her right in the face. Ahmed Marabets brother said in a public statement that the men that killed his brother in cold blood were “Pretend Muslims“.
Rita goes on the make another risque blanket statement,by claiming “This reveals the lie that all religions are equally bloodthirsty; in the 21st century only one religion is at the centre of terror attacks around the world.“
The fact of the matter is, extremist actions happen day in and day out by people from all walks of life and they should all be despised and people come up with all sorts of “roots” to justify their atrocious actions. For example, beheading is quiet common in “Catholic” Mexico. I think i should throw some statistics Ritas way, just so she can truly grasp the staggering figures. In 2013 alone, drug cartels murdered more than 16,000 people in Mexico alone. 16,000 people! In Mexico ALONE! If that is not sheer terror then i don’t know what is.
What about bombings? Santaigo, the Capital of “Catholic” Chile has been host to 200 attacks and attempted bombings in the past decade, or to narrow it down 30 bombs, or attempted bombs have gone off in the Chilean capital in 2014 alone. That is 30 (THIRTY!) bombings- attacking police stations, public buildings and banks. The culprits? Not Muslims. Not “ISIS” but in fact “local anarchist groups“. Again, this is terror activity at a grand scale. Are you with me yet?
Where is the worldwide condemnation? Where are the demands that Christians “apologize” for these gross statistics? Oh that’s right, when we see statistics like these religion is irrelevant, no matter how shocking the number. Yet somehow Muslims are responsible for the statistics of Muslims, whilst people of other faiths do not carry the brunt in regards to the behaviour of their followers. I have many more official statistics available that will shock you, yet that is just a taste of the hypocrisy and double standards that blatantly stare us in the face by these so called “critical thinkers and activists”.
Yet if you think Rita Panahi is clumbsy when it comes to her journalistic integrity wait until you see her here on Australian TV. She appeared on the Morning show Sunrise to express herself and this is where she loses even more buoyancy. In the show, television host Andrew O’keefe emotionally confronts Rita on a few forms, albeit he fumbles a few times, so let me respond to her claims whilst on the TV show.
Rita opens up her segment by claiming that “All terror attacks around the world have everything to do with Islam“. For the third time she mixes and mashes the terminology of Islam and Terror leaving out key words like “extremist” or “radical”. This language as misconstrued as it is- at least is consistent with Rita. She makes the claim that all terror attacks around the world have EVERYTHING to do with Islam, yet fails even once – to explain how or why.!?
She mentions that Muslims need to be “In the mainstream community, even more.” There’s one fact you’re missing- Muslims ARE part of the mainstream community. They send their kids to school, they have jobs, they enjoy their Sunday barbecues and have weddings that make your typical wedding look like a quiet picnic in the park. Muslims are about as mainstream as everybody else and this is evident if you own the faculty of thinking and the blessing of sight.
When Television host Andrew O’keefe mentions the point that Christians are not asked to apologize for Abortion clinic attacks, Rita scoffs at the host claiming “Oh Andrew, please, that is such a nonsensical Argument” . She later fires up to claim “When was the last time an abortion clinic got bombed?” A simple Google search gives us statistics that prove Abortion clinics are still being attacked in all forms and the statement that these attacks are isolated is quiet mute when we see abortion clinic attacks are relatively consistent in the United States, for example in the last 10 years in the United States alone- abortion clinics have been attacked 10 times. Which is at a rate of one attack per year through either direct murder, bombings or attempted bombings, firearms attacks or extreme vandalism. In fact the Anti Defamation League states that Abortion Clinic attacks “has actually remained a consistent, if secondary, source of domestic terrorism and violence, manifesting itself most often in assaults and vandalism, with occasional arsons, bombings, drive-by shootings, and assassination attempts.”
Rita Panahi consistently claims that “Moderate Muslims” need to be more vocal in expressing their distaste for terror. Yet Muslims have been condemning and apologizing for such actions for many many years and the fact that this point goes amiss proves something to me. Our condemning doesn’t actually work! It doesn’t quench the thirst for right wingers, it doesn’t satisfy the hunger of the Islamophobes, it never has and it obviously never will.
Did Rita miss the Muslim Protests in Paris only 4 months ago denouncing ISIS and terror? Muslims scattered the streets in their thousands chanting against such groups and their atrocities. What about the fact that after the London bombings 500 British Muslim Scholars and religious leaders signed a Fatwa stating “Islam condemns violence and destruction of innocent lives and that suicide bombings are “vehemently prohibited.” Or the 6,000 scholars in Pakistan that issued a Fatwa against terror in 2008? What about the 12,000 strong rally in London that Muslims created to condemn terror and promote co-existence in 2011? What about the Canadian Anti-Terror rally in October 2014? How about the #Notinmyname campaign joined by Muslim Youths worldwide where they openly condemned terror related activity in Islams name?
You get my point, Muslim condemnation to terror has been constant, consistent and persistent, yet who is listening? Rita Panahi obviously isn’t listening.! The 1.6 billion Muslims around the world cannot condemn in one voice at the same time because just like everybody else, Muslims are trying to live their lives. Each person is responsible for their deeds and at the end of the day we do what we can to disassociate terrorism to Islam, yet if that is not good enough for you then pardon me because my mask and cape are of no use!
I support freedom of speech and freedom of expression. The cartoons are not my issue, yet my issue was that the Charlie Hedbo publishers actually had an agenda behind their mockery of Islam, they did it not only to exercise their right for free speech yet the Editor Stephane Charbonnier claimed they would continue their Mockery of Islam and its Prophet “Until Islam is made as ho-hum as Catholicism”.
This is a statement which proves they don’t only want to exercise their freedom of speech and expression they actively want to change the mindsets of people and pressure them to desensitize to their religion and ideology. With that in mind, i support peaceful and reasonable Muslims to have the right to be offended by the Prophet Cartoons because as much as its their right to offend you, it is your right to be offended and it is your right to peacefully rally against it and intellectually fight such agendas of which people are trying to literally stifle your beliefs, just because other faiths allow their religion to be dragged into the dirt, we as Muslims do not have to submit to that “culture”.