Help Muslims defuse an unfair backlash after San Bernardino

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Originally published in The Roanoke Times

As member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association, my heartfelt condolences go out to the victims and their families. We also condemn such attacks on innocent humanity such as the San Bernardino attack of Dec. 2.

Before any investigative reports surfaced providing evidence of the perpetrators having been radicalized, countless individuals on social media spread the usual hatred toward Muslims.

Compare this to the attack at the Planned Parenthood Clinic in Colorado Springs where Robert Dear, a Christian, took the life of three people and left nine wounded. Strikingly, no Christians were called upon to condemn this as anti-Christian.

Furthermore, Dear was not described as a terrorist, but his actions certainly could be described as “the use of violence for political purposes.”

The hypocrisy of these actions are clearly visible and should be addressed instead of letting some small-minded bigots destroy the good image of society.

The real issue that needs to be addressed here is gun violence, as there are almost 30 homicides per 1 million people in the U.S., which is three times greater than Switzerland, the next highest rate among developed countries, with eight homicides per 1 million people.

On countless occasions, people on social media have suggested as much as a genocide against Muslims. It is really important for us as Americans to stand united against all this bigotry and also to ensure the safety of all Americans from Islamophobic backlash and gun violence, as the numbers are increasing by the day.

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