An Australian Muslim studying in the University of Melbourne was a few weeks ago confronted by a 50-year-old Islamophobe who hurled insults upon Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) knowing too well this was going to incite Abdul-Latif Halimi. Here is what happened and how he handled the situation:
I’m walking with my wife at a shopping centre a few weeks ago, when a man comes up to me for no apparent reason —
I tell him to go away, so he walks a few steps and then curses the Prophet, peace be upon him, in Arabic.
At that moment, my reflex was to walk up to him and break him. So I moved towards him; but as I’m walking towards him, he starts ranting on about Hezbollah, Beirut and something to do with his mum being killed with an AK-47.
The man is in his 50s, confused and clearly not in the best of shape. So I backed off.
Had I “bashed him”, which would have made me feel ‘good’ about myself, I would have been a coward.
Why? Because pinning down the weak, uninfluential and vulnerable is the mark of a coward. It’s what makes a bully, a false hero trying to find an easy target that allows him to affirm his identity.
And just as that applies to you and I, it applies to humanity at large and nations.
What Islamophobes in the West are doing is not courageous, brave or substantial.
It’s the mark of a coward. It’s pathetic.
Picking on women in headscarves, destitute refugees, confused teenagers, companies that make Halal food, mocking Islam and the Prophet…
That’s not a sign of the powerful or confident; it’s a sign of decline, weakness and insecurity after a prolonged period of being the masters of the world. It says more about them than it does about us or Islam.
From Trump to the disgusting ban on burqinis, these are signs of weakness — the gurgles and screams of a sick animal, not the roar of a powerful beast.
We must fight back against Islamophobia, but as we do, we must recognise that these Islamophobes are cowards struggling with themselves and projecting their problems onto us.
They find their old ‘strength’ of decades ago by picking on the weak today.
Disgusting and pathetic.