Refusing to use the words ‘Radical Islam’ isn’t being ‘respectful’ or ‘politically correct’, it’s being ignorant in the face of a terrorist force that is truly horrendous, says Sayeh Yousefi
I woke up with the sound of the blaring news station, and my dad uttering the words “50 are dead”.
I thought I was still dreaming, or at the very least misheard. As my brain regained consciousness I remembered the shooting that had happened a few hours prior, but there had been no mention of casualties at the time, so I naively assumed that it had been a false alarm or only light injuries had been suffered.
“50 are dead.”
The words rung in my ears and forced me up in my bed, I was still certain I had misheard. Maybe my dad was talking about injuries. 50 injured is bad but not nearly as bad as 50 dead, I told myself. I scrambled for my phone and quickly went on BBC news, only to find my worst fears validated.
“Shooting in Orlando causes 50 casualties, many more injuries suspected.” I scrolled though my Facebook feed to find out more news. I was met with angry posts accompanying a photo of the alleged killer, an Islam radical, but what really surprised me was seeing the words ‘American Citizen’. A million thoughts swirled through my mind as I began to wonder what would have led this man, born and raised in America, to so mercilessly take the lives of 49 innocent people, in a place known for celebrating life and love and acceptance.
I came across an article that said the attack was provoked because the attacker saw two men kiss a few months prior to the attack. A kiss. An act of affection and love is what sparked the killing of 50 innocents. My mind overcome with thoughts and emotions I couldn’t understand, I mindlessly drifted and soon felt hot and angry tears streaming down my face in confusion and anger over the tragedy that had just occurred.
Conflicting Views of the Same Story
I then turned on the television and flipped between CNN and FOX news. Both, to no surprise, provided their own politically biased solutions to the terrorist problem. CNN, as with most democrats, blamed gun control, but FOX news argued that whether or not guns were legal, people like this would find a way to commit their crimes. I found myself further confused, because neither argument made much sense to me.
Then came the much anticipated appearance of President Obama, I was expecting him to not just provide words of hope in this time of darkness, but to provide some sort of resolution to this problem that has too long plagued our world. To my complete disappointment, I saw that he was simply regurgitating the same rehearsed speech I had heard many times before. He provided no outlet, no reasoning, and would not even acknowledge the source of the problem by name.
When Trump Makes Sense…
Later on in the day, I read Donald Trump’s statement regarding the attacks. Although parts made no sense and reflected the idiocy and ignorance of this so called ‘politician’, there were certain aspects to his statement that made sense. Not only did they make sense, but they felt more valid and logical than the words of President Obama.
I can honestly say I never once expected to say Donald Trump makes a more valid argument than the president, but as much as I dislike Trump, I have to give credit where it’s due, and he hit the nail on the head with this statement:
“In his remarks today, President Obama disgracefully refused to even say the words ‘Radical Islam’. For that reason alone, he should step down. If Hillary Clinton, after this attack, still cannot say the two words ‘Radical Islam’ she should get out of this race for the Presidency.”
These words ring true for several reasons, the first being that the fact that our own president refuses to put the blame on the terrorist organization that certainly motivated this attack reflects on how fearful our society has become. We cannot use the words ‘Radical Islam’? For what reason? Because it may appear offensive to our many peaceful Muslim citizens and residents?
To this I say, any immigrant or minority that truly values the safety and freedom of their nation does not take offence easily, especially from words that don’t refer to them. Although I think asking the president to step down for this is a huge exaggeration on Trump’s behalf, I think it’s very important to criticize our leaders for focusing more on political correctness than addressing the problems our world faces.
We live in a world so prided with being politically correct that the simplest statements or actions can be conceived as racism. We’ve become so prone to finding offence in mundane and unimportant things that we’re like a hoard of fragile glass, too afraid to truly speak our minds.
‘Radical Islam’ and The Curse of ‘Political Correctness’
However, the words ‘Radical Islam’ do not in any means infer that Islam is in itself a radical religion, nor do they imply that all Muslims are terrorists. The majority of Muslims in the world are peaceful and compassionate people, and I am not in any way encouraging painting them all with the same colour. However, not using the words ‘Radical Islam’, means that we are doing our upmost to completely avoid addressing the problem of terrorism. If we can’t even say the names of our enemies, out of fear, how do we expect to defeat them? I’ve written in earlier articles that I believe the only way to defeat terrorists is to remain strong and fearless, to fight a united fight rather than making the problem worse. I completely stand by this statement. Fear is the only power they hold over us, and right now, this fear isn’t just regarding our safety, it’s also the fear we have of appearing ‘politically correct’.
A former co-worker of the Orlando shooter, Daniel Gilroy, recently spoke out about how he was aware of the shooter’s fragile and deeply troubled state of mental health. He said Mateen “talked about killing people all the time”, and that he was always angry and agitated, and also spewed hate towards other sexualities, races, and religions. Gilroy claims he spoke to company officials regarding Mateen’s behaviour, but never to police. This, comparable to the San Bernardino shootings, during which neighbors didn’t report suspicious activities for fear of appearing ‘racist’ or ‘discriminatory’ proves how much influence being politically correct has on our judgment and sense of reason.
The Truth: ‘Radical Islam’ is the root of terrorism
Islam has become the scapegoat religion for terrorists, and unfortunately, the religion and all its peaceful followers have been tainted by the horrors wreaked by Islamic radicals. We can’t continue to deny that terrorism has nothing to do with Islam, because it does. The religion has been twisted to fit the disgusting and inhumane agenda of terrorists, and although this certainly doesn’t reflect the true nature of Islam, this is the reality, and continuing to reject it will only worsen the problem.
Refusing to even use the words ‘Radical Islam’ isn’t being ‘respectful’ or ‘politically correct’, it’s being ignorant in the face of a force that is truly horrendous.
The truth of the matter is, we’ve grown to interpret every name or title as offensive for no reason at all. But remember that names are just names, nothing more. It’s time we face up to what is really happening in the world, put aside our obsession with being politically correct and not hurting anyone’s feelings, because innocent people are dying by the masses. Not just in the US or in Europe, but in the Middle East and Africa, where ISIS terrorists are killing people of the religion they claim to worship. So stop worrying about if a name is going to be perceived as racist, stop trying to paint one instance of terrorism as more severe than another, and stop this preoccupation with appearances and other people’s perception of you, because in reality, none of this matters. All that matters is the safety and unity of our people, and that can only be achieved by defeating the inhumane force of radical Islamist terrorists.