Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) announced a “Muslim Mapping” program that the LAPD said was meant to identify enclaves in the region which might be susceptible to “violent, ideologically based extremism”. When pressured, the department said that their plan was to “deepen ties” with Muslim communities.
The plan would have had data assembled by the
The good news is that within days after the announcement, LAPD, after being pressured by Muslim organizations and ACLU scrapped the program, stating that it was “dead on arrival”.
The bad news is that this shows that Muslims in general are constantly being stereotyped as being the “troublemakers”.
Another piece of good news is that Muslims in southern
The bad news on the other hand is that this type of an idea, which according to the perception built in the media, was meant to be very invasive in nature in the type of data that was to be collected about Muslims living in the region.
Muslims do wonder whether they will keep paying the price for the heinous actions of a few. Muslims living in western countries wonder more of this simply because the “greener pastures” that they saw on the western side supposedly offered more justice, equality and human respect than being offered by some of the countries where they migrated from –
Muslims also wonder with amazement about such programs not only because most of them have lived peacefully in such countries for decades but also have raised children to be useful citizens of western societies by raising them as doctors, engineers, teachers, lawyers and more.
So, what is the root cause of this?
Is it really because of the actions of a few Muslims or is it because a few natives and non-Muslims of western countries simply do not want Muslims in their homelands and rather than seeing them citizens of their countries see them as trespassing their sovereignty and their cultures?
As they say, the truth may very well be either both or in between. But the fact is that if this has to change, Muslims MUST take a proactive step to start educating the non-Muslim public about Islam. Educating about Islam is not about being defensive but to teach others about Islam what they do not know.
So, whether it’s LAPD or others, the problem really is lack of knowledge about the message of Islam or more appropriately it’s the spreading of false message about Islam by a small minority of non-Muslims.
And may be – may be one day the non-Muslims of western societies will be able to distinguish between the few Muslims who claim to be the right torch bearers of their religion, the few non-Muslims who spew hatred about Islam, and the vast majority of Muslims who believe in a peaceful way of life as they understand their religion to promote.
What are your thoughts?