We Are All Hypocrites


Here we go again. Paris is under a state of emergency due to terrorist attacks, and the world is mourning yet again. My heart should bleed, but I am completely numb by now. I don’t think there is a drop of blood left in my heart to shed for innocent victims of yet another heinous, barbaric attack.
I am a Muslim, so of course I’m expected to apologize for the actions of those who have claimed responsibility for the attacks. Their name includes the word “Islamic” which means peace to all except themselves, and so I am unwillingly lumped with them when the world talks about Islam.
What is most heartbreaking, however, is that my American brothers and sisters also expect me to answer for the acts of these terrorists. I will once again be asked “where are the moderate Muslims?” and “doesn’t the Quran allow violence?” Because you see, we are all hypocrites, because we have a double standard when it comes to Muslims. We don’t ask anyone to quote from the Gospels when a young American kills elementary school children. We don’t ask anyone to quote from the Vedas when an Indian man is killed for eating meat. We don’t even ask Israel to support its position using the Hebrew Bible. Yet here I am, writing another article after yet another horrifying act of terrorism because I need to remind the people I’ve been living with for decades that my religion does not condone acts of violence.
Yes we are all hypocrites.
What saddens me is that I know without being a psychic what kind of backlash not only Muslims but all brown people who look anything like me – Sikhs, Hindus – will face starting today. Refugees fleeing for their lives will now be turned back, Islamophobia will become stronger and more ingrained. If you were on Twitter last night, you would have seen a very ugly side of humanity. Everyone from elected officials to media personalities, even presidential hopefuls, were spouting the most racist tweets, about Muslims, about refugees, about so much that encourages diversity and equality. It is painful that we live in a world that can take advantage of a tragedy to advance political motives.
And that’s exactly what the terrorists do as well. Use tragedy to advance their objectives.
Our hypocrisy doesn’t end here. We are also sadly, unaware of what goes on in the non-white world. For instance, the night before Paris, ISIS also killed and injured hundreds in Beirut, and nobody created memes or gifs or hashtags. In October, ISIS did the same in Turkey and there was no interruption of television programming by our president to express solidarity with the Turkish people. In September our airstrikes killed hundreds of innocent civilians in a Yemenite wedding and we didn’t bat an eyelid. Are not all lives equal in the eyes of God?
Yes we are hypocrites, because we care selectively.
Nothing will change in this world – in fact things will probably get progressively worse in the coming years – if we don’t start caring about everyone, if we don’t see what others are suffering not only in Europe and North America but also in India and Syria and Nigeria and Palestine and so many other nations who are crying out.
I cry not only for the French, but also for them all. I cry for myself and my children.
Saadia Faruqi is an interfaith activist, editor of Interfaith Houston, editor-in-chief of Blue Minaret Literary Journal and author of Brick Walls: Tales of Hope & Courage from Pakistan, available from Amazon. Follow her @saadiafaruqi and on her website at www.saadiafaruqi.com.

33 thoughts on “We Are All Hypocrites

    • Not surprised to see this totally biased article from a person from the most hypocrite country (Pakistan). Aren’t they the ones who sheltered Osama for 6 years? Muslims are creating mess everywhere they go.
      The author doesn’t need to worry about us Hindus, they are one billion in numbers but none of them is a terrorist. India is the country where they had a muslim president, currently a muslim vice president and popular muslim actors/actresses ruling the Bollywood.
      If brown colored Hindus are endangered in the Western World, it is because of brown colored muslims killing innocent people. We don’t need a radicalized Pakistani to tell us how to live, fix your religion lady.

  1. I cry for the cowardice if the Arab world not fighting the extremists in their own neighborhood. The preference is to blame the western world on the mess there.

  2. Much of our world is at war and has been for the past 25 years. It is a different kind of war. Our enemy is one without borders. It is a war of different ideologies. It is a war between three religions… oddly each having the same god.
    After hearing of the terrible attacks in Paris and the death tolls I began to wonder how the death counts compare in this decades long calamity. I did a little research and found that there are many differing claims of deaths of Muslims. This site believes there have been over four million casualties.
    At times like these no one wants to think of our own culpability. No one really wants to think about proportion. No, we want revenge. And in doing so, our enemies will also retaliate. And this friggin’ vicious cycle will continue ad nauseam.
    We need perspective… one groups terrorist is the other side’s hero. We need to imagine that there may be a day in our future when the news reports a dirty bomb taking out an American city. And the escalation will continue to ratchet up.

  3. Thanks for the informed and articulate reminder of our hypocrisy. It’s unfortunate that more don’t see it. We are living in a sick world; a world in which super powers will obliterate social/fiscal/religious and regional hierarchies in order to profit from the mayhem (US/Israel/UK to name the barbaric 3) and then expect others, namely muslims, to behave in a moral/religious manner. But, these people have suffered horrific and savage brutality ever since the end of the second world war. Decades of hell have been unleashed on them in order that some could steal their land and resources whilst arms dealers make trillions of dollars. They have been driven to the point of insanity, a place where their young are willing to murder and even blow themselves to smithereens as they have nothing left – except their dignity, though this is in tatters. No money, no prospects, no future, no hope. Year on year, they see their land being stolen and their families butchered, their culture/religion lambasted. And idiots, some on this forum, blame them for this. This is like blaming the child for allowing itself to be molested by a brutal bully. Sick! And you know the greatest hypocrisy? If we were treated as badly and for as long as these people, we would do the same….and we would call ourselves heroes!

    • Chris, you anti Semitic rat, look around the Middle East. You might want to tae not of the most barbaric states. Saddam Hussein, the Assad Family and brutalized their own people and other doe decades. But you might as well blame the only Jewish state in the world. Perhaps you wish another Holocaust just to end the suffering of the poor Arabs. Give me a damn break. As for the Palestinians, the suffering ins manufactured. They could have had their own state long ago,

  4. This is a Cri du Coeur . It is very heartbreaking,to consider the victims on all sides of this atrocity. It is a beautifully expressed insightful plea for a deeper understanding and respect for every human across the usual barriers erected by societies striving,often unconsciously, to dominate or maintain cultural chauvinism, to rather, value one another.
    It is an existential cry from the heart and I hope it is heeded.
    TY Tikkun for being such a wonderful forum for a variety of views and for creative constructive approaches to build peace. TY Saadia for articulating eloquently what so many of we Muslims have been unable to express.. TY Fred for helping is to remember that honesty is the foundation for building trust, and that stats with people caring to say what they think even when they disagree.

  5. BTW Fred, ISIS is a cult that is NOT Muslim. Its stated intention is to make nations and people HATE Islam. It is a death cult that Muslims call Daesh and it violates every tenant of Islam. So you will find that Muslims, the largest number of victims of Daesh aka ISIS agree with you.

    • Did I write tat this is Islam as a whole? No. But is the Muslim world king anything to stop the speed of this deadly virus in their neighborhood? No. This brave souls would rather condemn Israel for its existence than take on the biggest threat in the region. Thousand sod Muslims with EU passports were recruited by ISIS and are wait ring to be unleashed n a neighborhood near you. Paris has been hit twice this year alone. Wake up.

  6. Great article , profound and I depth about the atrocities in the world today!
    Yes all Muslims are not terrorists and we can not be held responsible for the actions of the few deranged men!

  7. The primary difference is thar when a kid shoots up a school in the US, he doesn’t scream “Praise Jesus” before firing. They aren’t backed by a large organization that is trying to set up a caliphate. Not everyone murder committed by a Muslim is Islamic terrorism, but the ones where they shout Allahu Akbar, are.

  8. The atrocities are selectively reported in the media, that is one cause, but let’s not pretend that for most of us in North America, the association is much closer with Europe. We have travelled there, we have family and friends there, we know the culture and the food. As when something bad happens to a family member, the effects of the terrorist acts have cut close to home, right to our souls.
    I would also expect that the Lebanese living in America will have much more knowledge and mourn more for Beriut than Paris.
    I think it’s disingenuous to think that human beings have the capacity to mourn equally for all. And in fact, how dare you call me a hypocrite?

    • The Beirut bombing was widely reported in the media, therefore not ignored. What you fail to realize that a virus has emerged form the Arab world and is recruiting thousands of young fighters form the west. One of the suicide bombers n Friday was a French citizen. ISIS is a virus, it kills without mercy Not one shod be captured or left standing. viruses are killed..Wake up!

  9. You lose all credibility when you start talking about the poor people of “Palestine”, by which of course you mean the Arabs who are brainwashed by lies and teach their children to hate and murder Jews. Bad enough that your organization co-opts the Jewish tenet of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) while managing to equate Israel’s self-defense with the terrorism and brutality of ISIS.

  10. Right is right and Wrong is wrong. We seem to have a nearly infinite number of excuses that we use to justify our nearly infinite amount of wrongdoing; ideas that we manage to erect as a barrier against our conscience, which would prevent these horrors if we could only listen to it.
    Unless and until each of us becomes primarily concerned with seeing and living rightly in the truest sense of the word, the horrors to which we have so sadly become accustomed will continue. And they will do so with ever-increasing power (expect cyberwarfare to be the next major escalation).
    We face so many desperate threats at this point (climate change alone could shut down life as we know it) that we need to get to the root cause of these crises; to see that they all share one fundamental cause, which is the acceptance of wrong as being somehow right. The terrorist thinks it’s right to kill his brothers and sisters; the corporado thinks it’s right to plunder the planet in whatever way swells his “bottom line”, and on, and on, and on.
    In our hearts we all know the difference between right and wrong; isn’t it about time we put our hearts where they belong; at the very center of our sense of things?
    And isn’t this what the great figures in all our religions have always told us? In which connection we should contemplate the obvious fact that we’re all worshiping the same thing; That Which Created Everything. Isn’t it self-evident that there cannot be one Creator for a Muslim, another for a Christian, another for a Jew, etc? If we start with that realization maybe we can stop arguing about what name we choose to give that Creator and begin instead to appreciate the magnificent gift that we all share; life on this uniquely wonderful ball in space (we might even learn to appreciate each other). And to the extent that we move in this direction, all the forces of Heaven and earth will work with us instead of (appearing to be) working against us.
    Just saying…

      • Fred, I think I understand what you’re saying; peace and love don’t seem historically to have stopped many bullets. We do have to keep our feet on the ground and deal with things as they are, not as we wish they were. But the sky not only comes down to the ground; it also goes all the way up, and I think we would do well to ponder how this analogy relates to the problem of balancing pragmatism and idealism.
        I really believe (after seventy-seven years of living in this world and several decades of activism in various forms) that as I said in my comment, with our affairs in the desperate condition they are now we need to boil things down; to finally understand why we behave the way we do and thus to make the changes that can (and I still believe will) get us out of this mess.
        I feel strongly that these changes must be qualitative; having to do with our sense of what it’s all about (at the root of which in this world is the difference between right and wrong). I know; it’s way idealistic but you can quote me on this (when you stop laughing; I don’t blame you): “Idealism is the highest form of realism.”
        I think we could have quite an interesting conversation over a beer or two. Maybe we’d find that we don’t disagree as much as we might at first seem to. Go well, P.C.

        • Changes have to come within the Arab world so we don’t have to face the threats coming out of their corners. And just so you now, we dod not send the german flowers when they tries to kill us

  11. If it takes a backlash to eradicate IS so be it. You as a muslima living in western society have no right to complain since you are granted all the freedoms your fellow muslims- and especially woman- who are living in countries governed by Islam can only dream of. IS needs to be destroyed. That is something that grew – as we say in Germany- on your pile of shit. The least you can do is saying that you do not belong to “this kind of Islam” if asked. You – and your kids- since you imply them- are safe here. So stop whining.
    I cry for the Thousands of girls and woman enslaved and abused by IS, I cry for the Thousands of boys and men killed. You have nothing to cry about here. On contrary- you live in a great country which allows you all the civil liberties! In a certain sense you are disgusting. IS and the underlying theology has to be
    eradicated, there is no other alternative and you are either with us or against us. And: I am German citizen as well, I love Europe and the USA, I am not willing to let either one be overtaken by radical islamist- as is their stated goal. With us or against us- you decide.

    • So many people sound just like ISIS when they express hatred and bigotry. It’s no different than the extremist philosophy of other demented minds.
      Aldo didn’t see you cried or even felt any remorse for the 1.5 million dead in Iraq with our misguided war on terror or those who suffer daily from drone attacks and so called ‘colatteral damage ‘. Are they not worth anything?

  12. Great Article, we need this type of literature calming the confusions instead of inciting towards misunderstandings like some people are doing here in these comments as just away to vent out their own hate and personal issues.

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