For the record, the main purpose of a terrorist is not to establish some caliphate or force ideologies on people.
It aims, in fact, to spread fear and destroy peace among people – the two weapons that can kill humanity as fire consumes wood – to achieve ulterior motives such as oil trade or illegal expansion of land.
By carrying out suicide attacks or massacring communities, they might come across as powerful to those who support them but their real success lies in how they affect – or inadvertently control – the actions of those who oppose them.
So, here’s some distressing news for all those “terrorism-haters” shouting, writing, tweeting, texting (or even thinking about) anti-Muslim abuse following the ongoing siege in Australia – you are helping the offender.
Yes, that’s right.
By jumping to drastic conclusions and accusing all Muslims of terrorism you’d do exactly what the crook wants – discord and mayhem in a peaceful society.
After an armed assailant walked into a Lindt chocolate café in Martin Place, downtown Sydney, taking hostages, police locked down the center of the country's biggest city.
Some captives were apparently forced to stand at the shop’s windows holding up a flag bearing what appears to be the Islamic creed.
As soon as reports, though unconfirmed, started purporting the attacker may be an Islamist extremist, a man standing in the crowd outside started shouting anti-Muslim racist abuse in the direction of the café.
Although the man was ushered away by officers, there are many more who share his opinion.
Doesn’t this thread of comments looks like the offender’s job has been done? This only proves not only has he sparked fear in the hearts of people but also has made his “haters” do exactly what he set out to do – destroy peace and tranquility.
However, as vile as these xenophobic reactions may be, voice of reason is fortunately prevailing over hateful vitriol.
Amid fears of anti-Muslim reprisals on the streets of Australia, a heartwarming hashtag is going viral on social media.
It all started when an Australian reporter Michael James tweeted how one of his friends volunteered to walk with a Muslim woman who was became scared of anti-Muslim backlash following the siege in Lindt café.
This was later picked up by Tessa Kum, a TV content editor and writer who lives in Sydney. She turned the story into a hashtag #Illridewithyou.
If you reg take the #373 bus b/w Coogee/MartinPl, wear religious attire, & don’t feel safe alone: I’ll ride with you. @ me for schedule.— Sir Tessa (@sirtessa) December 15, 2014
Maybe start a hashtag? What’s in #illridewithyou?— Sir Tessa (@sirtessa) December 15, 2014
Soon, it became a movement with Australians offering to ride on buses and trains with Muslims, or give them a lift to work tomorrow, in order to keep them safe. The responses are beautiful.
Love you Sydney ❤️Any Muslims worried about discrimination tomorrow or even going through it now, please don't #illridewithyou— Khaylin Spice (@KhaylinSpice) December 15, 2014
Comparing the two polar opposite reactions discussed above, it’s easy to see which reaction will upset terrorists more.
Muslim leaders in Australia have condemned the Lindt siege and are calling for a peaceful resolution to problem.
Meanwhile, it’s really up to us whether we want to let these terrorists thrive or see them rejoicing in the hate we spew.
So, what’s your decision?