One Tweet Explains Why You Should Never Blame All Muslims For Terrorism

by John Haltiwanger

On Friday, the world looked on in horror as a series of attacks in Paris left over 100 people dead. It was an absolutely devastating day.

We don't yet have all of the information surrounding Friday's tragic events and it's still not entirely clear who is responsible.

No one has claimed responsibility yet for #ParisAttacks. Experts debating between Al-Qaeda and ISIS — Mariana_Atencio (@marianaatencio) November 14, 2015

But this hasn't stopped people from spreading unfounded and offensive narratives.

It didn't take long for people to begin collectively blaming all of the world's 1.6 billion Muslims for the Paris attacks.

Muslims terrorize the world even more today, senseless murders in Paris. Islam is disgusting. — dom (@IIllIllllI) November 13, 2015

It's true ISIS supporters celebrated the attacks on Twitter, and a witness from the hostage situation reportedly claimed one of the attackers shouted "Allahu akbar."

But even if ISIS, or another organization linked to Islamic extremism, ends up claiming responsibility for the attacks it doesn't mean the rest of the world's Muslims are complicit.

This one tweet sums up exactly why you should never blame all Muslims for terrorism.

Most of those killed by ISIS and most of those fighting ISIS are Muslims. Remember that when you collectively blame Muslims for ISIS' terror — Daniel Wickham (@DanielWickham93) November 14, 2015

Indeed, Islamic extremism kills more Muslims than any other group. The terror attack orchestrated by ISIS in Beirut, Lebanon on Thursday is emblematic of that fact.

Yet this attack received barely any attention in the US and that speaks volumes about how we perceive terrorism and Islam.

It is strange this sort of thing never got said by US politicians yesterday re Beirut bombings. — Ishaan Tharoor (@ishaantharoor) November 13, 2015
After #parisattacks, it's rather jarring to read today's NYT story about the 43 killed by ISIS in Beirut on page A6. Keep them in mind, too. — Alec MacGillis (@AlecMacGillis) November 14, 2015

The fact Muslims are most negatively impacted by Islamic extremism also invalidates the argument refugees from predominately Muslim countries are to blame for the Paris attacks.

Unfortunately, many spread this idea across social media almost as soon as the attacks began.

But refugees aren't terrorists; they're running away from terrorists.

To people blaming refugees for attacks in Paris tonight. Do you not realise these are the people the refugees are trying to run away from..? — Dan Holloway (@RFCdan) November 13, 2015

In the post 9/11-era, many in the West have a tendency to associate terrorism exclusively with Islam, but there are so many reasons why people shouldn't be doing this.

As noted above, there are well over a billion Muslims across the world and the vast majority are not violent.

There's also the fact far more Americans have been killed by homegrown right-wing extremism than by jihadists since 9/11.

Americans are far better at killing themselves than any group like ISIS or Al Qaeda will ever be.

Simply put, Islamophobia is counterintuitive and counterproductive.

We can't blame an entire group for the isolated actions of extremists. And we can't move forward from tragic events like the Paris attacks by perpetuating intolerance.

Now is the time for solidarity and contemplation, not bigotry.


Citations: Paris Attacks Kill More Than 100 Police Say Border Controls Tightened (NYT), Whos Killing Muslims (CNN)