In past few years, we have witnessed a rise in intolerance mainly aimed at the Muslim community.
We need to understand what are the causes, as well as how to combat this intolerance.
Most people get their information about Islam and Muslims from the Media. However most media organisations have their own agenda, which include sensationalism to bring in the numbers/revenue.
Add to this a tiny minority who claim to represent Islam and/or the 1.6 Billion Muslims worldwide, who are peace loving and law abiding citizens. The media have been more than accommodating when it comes to giving these minority groups the air time they need. These groups are often far from the true teachings of Islam as well as the character of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
This has resulted in many far right/racist groups gaining popularity, they voice their hatred and attack the innocent. They pretend to be standing for something, when in fact they stand for nothing other than ignorance, hate and intolerance.
Across so called civilised nations, old men have been attacked and even killed,children are spat on or insulted by adults and women have had their hijabs ripped off, beaten and told to "GO HOME".
We must all learn from history in order not to repeat some of the horrors of the past. If we look at the 1930's campaign to mock & humiliate the Jews of Europe and what this ultimately lead to with the rise of far right groups.
So what can we do?
Despite many who dispute the fact, Islam is truly a religion of peace, and have so much beauty within. We as Muslims must share this beauty to help remove some of the misconceptions so many have about our faith.
When those who choose to insult our faith or our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) we need to respond in the way of our Beloved Prophet (SAW) and reply through patience and displaying the truth and beauty of Islam.
We must all get involved in Dawah, as the Prophet (SAW) said "Convey from me even if one Ayah (Sentence)". And Allah (SWT) told us to "enjoin the good and forbid the evil".
Allah (SWT) "There is no compulsion in religion" (Surat AlBaqarah), and if any group says otherwise we should speak out and tell the truth.
Finally, be actively involved either by social media and establishing other media outlets (Websites, TV,Newspapers, etc..) to share the truth of Islam and combat some of the misinformation that is offered via the mainstream media.
The Islamic Ummah