When confronted with Islamophobia head on, I chose to react calmly

After a few seconds of awkward stares, he mustered up the courage to utter a few words: ‘What do you think of Osama Bin Laden?

1/17/2021 11:30:00 PM

'After a few seconds of awkward stares, he mustered up the courage to utter a few words: ‘What do you think of Osama Bin Laden?'

After a few seconds of awkward stares, he mustered up the courage to utter a few words: ‘What do you think of Osama Bin Laden?

‘I guess I thought he was a bad man?’ I responded. He shot back that someone else told him they believed the late terrorist group leader was their ‘brother in Islam’.AdvertisementAdvertisementHe got progressively angrier as he spoke. He ended abruptly, almost on cue, like a comedian awaiting a roar of laughter after delivering the punchline.

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Religious ignorance is all too common nowadays, so while I was taken aback by his brashness, I was far from surprised that his first instinct was to associate Islam with a world-renowned terrorist.The man then began a bold inquisition. He asked a lot – about the call to prayer, rights of non-Muslims in Islam, halal meat and women’s rights.

It was clear that he harboured a vehement dislike towards Islamic values. Yet, from his incessant questioning it was evident that he was also hungry to learn.There were countless occasions where his perceptions of Islamic values were wholly inaccurate. headtopics.com

For example, he believed Muslims held a deeply entrenched opposition towards non-Muslims, so my fellow Islamic Society members and I spoke of fundamental verses in the Quran that encourage coexistence.We also cleared up his misconceptions on the concept of Halal meat – a practice that he believed was cruel and undignified. We told him that the process embodies not only the method of killing animals but also the guarantee of humane treatment while they are alive.

On correcting his misbeliefs, he expressed no annoyance or animosity – he appeared almost relieved. I wasn’t insulted by his queries. None of us were. The six of us introduced ourselves in turn, offering a friendly handshake and a smile.This was probably the first and only time someone had approached us that day to ask such candid questions about our faith.

But the man’s line of thinking is a symptom of a wider problem. When people rarely interact with individuals from different faiths, their views remain unchallenged.Speak to someone well versed in the faith, contact a mosque, an Imam, a Muslim friend – then form your opinions

Throughout this entire ordeal, I felt proud. A group of Muslims were conversing with a potentially hostile non-Muslim peacefully. A conversation that easily could have taken a sinister turn remained pleasant with unwavering curiosity and will to understand each other. headtopics.com

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It was this incident that made me realise that unwinding years’ worth of fear and unease can begin with something as simple as a conversation.Talking may not be the ultimate fix to a world plagued with bigotry and anti-Islamic sentiments, but it’s a step in the right direction.

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Yeah..... didn't happen. The trouble with all religious books especially the bible and the Quran is it’s easy to pull out verses to prove a point and ignore those that contradict it.. Made up Clickbait lies