By Kacem El Ghazzali
Immediately after the November Paris attacks, my mother who lives in a small village in Morocco called me. She called to tell how sad she was for what happened in Paris, and asked me to pass on her condolences to my French friends. My mother is a Muslimah who prays five times a day. She did not call to justify what happened, or claim that the terror attacks had nothing to do with Islam. She just wanted to declare her solidarity with the victims.
At the end of our call, she told me about an imam in the village who incited young people to go fight with IS in Syria. I asked her what she thought of him. She answered, “I have called the police to investigate. This is how I fight terrorism.”
My mother’s call illustrates a key point for me. What I notice here in the west is a paradox: after each attack waged by militant Islamists, Muslims are asked to distance themselves from terrorism, and Muslim organizations do exactly that by sheer reflex. The mantra is repeated everywhere that Islam has nothing to do with terrorism.
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