Heraa Hashmi, a 19-year-old American Muslim “somewhat obsessed with biryani”, was astonished when her classmate criticised Muslims for not doing enough to condemn terrorism. She decided to do something about it—and came up with the idea of compiling data showing Muslims all around the world condemning terrorism.
Hashmi used Google spreadsheets to make a “712-page list of Muslims condemning things with sources,” which includes Muslims speaking up against acts of domestic violence to terrorist attacks to 9/11.
She tweeted the list, which got over 3 million retweets and likes.
“I wanted to show people how weak the argument [that Muslims don’t care about terrorism]is,” she told the Guardian.
Her interesting idea became an instant hit among Muslims as well as other well-meaning people, who volunteered to turn the list into a website. After a week of the tweet, which was in 2016, muslimscondemn.com came into existence. The website is updated with messages from Muslims every time a major terrorist attack happens.
“[Muslims] held to a different standard than other minorities: 1.6 billion people are expected to apologise and condemn [terrorism]on behalf of a couple of dozen lunatics. It makes no sense,” laments Hashmi.
The rising terror attacks in the West have seen a parallel spike in the far-right, racist rhetoric, directed mostly at Muslim or brown people. Various incidents of hate crimes against Muslims, attacks on Hijabi women and mosques have caused alarm among Muslim communities residing in the US and Europe. Trump’s travel ban on multiple Muslim countries only served to mainstream the xenophobia in the American society. In such an environment, Heraa Hashmi’s venture comes as a welcome addition to steps by Muslims to disassociate themselves from terrorists.