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Prayers for Peace (and a bit of a rant)

After the horrific attacks in Paris last week, it seems like most of the world has reacted with compassion towards the victims and their families, as well as towards those involved in the emergency response to the incidents.

However, some things that I have seen have been quite frankly disturbing. Someone that I previously considered an ‘okay guy’ with whom I was friends on Facebook, shared the following image:

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I tried to report this image to Facebook, but apparently it doesn’t violate their ‘community standards’ and isn’t classed as hate speech. Baffling, right? I can’t help but wonder what the response would have been if someone of another religion had posted the same photo with Christians instead of Muslims.

But worse than the image itself was the comments section underneath. I know you can say ‘never read the comments on the internet’, but some of the comments below this image would have had people arrested if they’d been said in public. I was horrified. If I was a Muslim and I knew that people making these comments were people I could walk past on the street, that would make me quite fearful.

People who don’t understand Islam have decided that they can condemn all Muslims due to the actions of a minority of people who call themselves Muslim but in fact are fundamental nut-jobs. We would never dream of saying that every Christian must be adhering to the same values as a so-called ‘Christian’ extremist group like the KKK, so why would we apply the same logic to Isis?

My heart goes out to those people who are now being persecuted due to the views of those with extremist views not representative of the religion that they follow. If we start to alienate people based solely on their religion, the terrorists have won, and we can’t allow that to happen. Hitler tried to convince the world that all Jews must be eradicated, we shouldn’t make the mistake of thinking it’s okay to start doing something similar.

I’d like to pray (and for you to pray) for protection for those people of other religions who are being unfairly persecuted and for the peace and understanding that we need to come together as a community and show these terrorists that they can’t win.

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