I don’t follow the news but while I was visiting my boyfriend in Offenburg (Germany), two Fridays ago, we were already planning to visit Strasbourg (France) the following Saturday, which is just a few minutes away from Offenburg. However that Saturday morning, while browsing my Facebook feed, I noticed lots of posts about some terrorist attacks in Paris. I wasn’t sure whether they were old posts about the Charlie Hebdo attacks or new ones that happened that weekend. So I browsed further and discovered that they were recent attacks. Therefore our Strasbourg visit had to be cancelled.
It was nice to see concerned celebrities and my concerned friends asking people to #PrayForParis. However I wasn’t happy with some of my friends’ anti-Islam posts. That’s when I thought of this quote from My Name is Khan (2010), a movie I watched about two years ago.
The movie is about Rizwan Khan, a Muslim Indian boy, who suffered from Asperger’s syndrome. In his village it was common that Muslim people fought against Hindi people. However his mother taught him that its not religion that makes people different from each other but it’s how they live their life, whether by doing good deeds or bad ones.
Rizwan, later on in life moved to the United States, married a Mandira, a Hindi women with whom he had a happy life together with her son Sameer. However his happiness ended with the 11/9 attacks, which caused Sameer’s murder at his school by some students. Grieved Mandira blames Rizwan for Sameer’s death, she tells him that Sameer was killed because he took Rizwan’s surname and was mistook for a Muslim.
Fear of losing Mandira, Rizwan, takes on the challenge to go and meet the president of the United States to tell him that his name is Khan and that he’s not a terrorists. The movie takes you to many obstacles that Rizwan encountered before he was allowed to meet the president.
This story made me realise how much damage a terrorist who claims to be from a particular religion, makes to his own people. Just because a terrorist is of a particular race or religion, we humans are ready to label the whole race or religion as terrorists. How would you feel if the story was the other way round? If a group of mad, lets say, Christians went to Muslim countries and started shooting at people including tourists, in the name of God, wouldn’t that be terrorism too? Should in this case all Christians be considered as terrorists?