Soon after a French middle-school history teacher was killed in the Conflans Sainte-Honorine suburb of Paris, allegedly by an Islamist bigot, a global Islamophobic outcry began, accompanied by the demand that Muslims apologise for terrorist acts like this. From the mainstream press to the social-media rabble-rousers of the right-wing ecosystem, everyone collectively plunged to bay for the blood of Muslims and accuse the community of being obstinately passionate about their religious text and recalcitrant troublemakers, unsuitable for any western, secular nation.
This behaviour, virulence, and uninhibited gloating over the plight of a community aren’t new. Every time a group of Muslim fanatics will attack people or carry out mayhem, the community, its practices and its purported “exclusionary” way of life will be blamed. While the fascists will demand Muslims are deported en masse to the countries “they came from”, the liberals, who are fascists in disguise––often to their own conscience––would demand that the “open-minded” Muslims apologise for terrorist acts. For them, the Muslims are a homogenous community.
All Muslims, irrespective of their location, consciousness, socio-economic condition, political views, etc, are supposed to apologise to prove that they aren’t promoting terrorism. Anyone who dares to refuse will be tagged as “radical” or an “extremist” by the imperialist system, which has been reaping benefit by demonising the Muslim community since the late 1980s. This runs in a loop; every Muslim must apologise for something they aren’t responsible for, because if they don’t then they will face the wrath.
The 18-year-old alleged killer of the 47-year-old victim, Samuel Patty, was a Moscow-born Chechen Muslim. The very Chechens who were armed to the teeth by the US and its European lackeys to Balkanise and weaken Russia after the disintegration of the Soviet Union. It’s not clear if the alleged killer was radicalised in Chechenia or in France. However, if there is a Chechen angle, then any CIA-sponsored agency like the al-Qaeda or the Islamic State will take credit for the action.
In such a case, the hypocrites who demand that all Muslims apologise for terrorist acts committed anywhere in the world won’t demand that the CIA or the White House apologise for creating and feeding these monsters. No one will accuse the French government’s militant “secularism” for promoting isolation among the Muslim migrants and causing social antagonisms. No one will blame the imperialist wars in the Middle East and Africa as the root cause of displacement of millions, who were forced to seek refuge in Europe. No one will blame the western imperialism for the Bosnian war and nearly 2.2m displacements it caused for the catastrophe. But the Muslims must apologise.
In India, the demand that Muslims apologise for terrorist acts committed anywhere in the world is amplified by the ruling Hindutva fascist dispensation, which survives on Islamophobia by demonising the Muslims as an enemy of the “idea of India”, after identifying the country as a “Hindu country”.
After completely projecting the Muslims as the “other” to portray the largest minority community as an inimical to the “nation”, the Hindutva fascists have normalised not just the community’s marginalisation but also terrorist attacks on its hapless poor members, either through a concerted lynching of individuals or through state-sponsored pogroms. Still, when such acts of violence against the Muslims happen in India, the upper-caste Hindus, especially the elites and urban middle-class, aren’t asked to apologise for such acts.
However, Muslims aren’t lucky. They need to apologise, even if they live in rural Uttar Pradesh or urban Karnataka, for the deeds of Muslims in Paris, London or Berlin. Why should the Indian Muslims apologise for terrorist acts explicitly to prove themselves as opponents of terrorism? It’s because their religion and identity are shown as the promoters of such actions. A blatant lie that’s peddled by multiple agencies and platforms, shaping the public opinion and making Islamophobia a normal affair.
Demanding that the Muslims apologise for terrorist acts that may take place anywhere in the world is injustice as neither the community is homogeneous nor are these actions endorsed by it. Making it a practice to apologise for someone else’s crime is disparaging for the Muslims as it reduces them to their immediate identity. No Muslim is a terrorist and Islam has no links with terrorism. Dividing the masses and fuelling Islamophobia for corporate gains is terrorism. The US imperialism is complicit in such acts of terrorism by supporting its carriers.
Terrorism is an imperialist creation and only imperialists and their lackeys shall apologise and be punished for such acts, not the unapologetic Muslims. The hypocrisy of Islamophobic fascists must be exposed by the Muslims at each instance, whenever they demand that the Muslims apologise for terrorist acts. They must count their crimes and apologise before it’s too late.