Shelina discusses our modern obsession with “rights.”
As Muslims we have a responsibility – other people have rights over us – to dispel the fear and work towards building a human connection. Muslims need to look to their own heritage within the Islamic tradition and learn about honouring the rights of others. In this case our neighbours have the right to feel safe. We can’t say that the fact they are fearful is their problem, not ours. It is our problem. Most importantly, for our neighbours and for ourselves, they have the right to know Muslims for truly who we are. Not hidden, not alien, not violent, not backwards, not blinded by faith. Muslims have to see the irony and futility in the act of burning flags to prove we’re not violent. Surely conversation with your neighbour over the fence about last night’s football match is a better way to create a human connection and to get your message across?
Muslims must be accepted as part of “our country” and “our way” and this can only be done if everyone involved stops digging their heels in and myopically demanding only their own rights, instead of learning to honour the rights of others. We all choose to live in Britain, and we all wish to be part of building a better British community.
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