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Timeline of Terror in Last 2 Years: Why Islamic Terrorism is on the Rise and What is leading to Islamophobia?

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Family members and friends of victims of suicide bombing at a wedding celebration attend their funeral ceremony in the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep, Turkey, August 21, 2016. VOA
  • Due to recent terror attacks, questioning Islam as the religion of peace has become a trend
  • Islamophobia has emerged where people supposedly “fear Islam” at large
  • Terror attacks in Europe are becoming increasingly common especially in the past couple of years

June 05, 2017: A recent security threat that has developed over the years, having affected and killed many, is terrorism. This post becomes necessary as part of the growing acts of violence that we read and hear about so often.

Terrorism is an act executed in pursuit of causing terror/ fear in the minds of the civilian population. It usually aims at bringing a change in the status quo. It is, however, unlawful.

What has led to Islamophobia?

Needless to say that these series of attacks, the majority of the attackers were believers of Islam and therefore this led to Islamophobia in people belonging to other communities.

The term ‘Islamophobia’ was coined first in the UK. It was quickly popularized all over Europe and the West in general. The term means fear of Islam and was aimed at popularizing the fights against Islamic nations. The western society now strongly questions if Islam actually promoted peace.

Nationalists and Conservatives at large claim that Islam is a religion of hate, violence and absolute barbaric nature. It sponsors war in the name of God and seeks to force its religion upon others. They rightly state that European and Western culture is very different, and signing up to be a part of their country or seeking asylum there demands you surrendering part of your identity in the name of acculturation.

Leftists and liberals promote tolerance. They make a valid point that generalizations are to be avoided at all costs. But what we see is a pattern that must be accepted in order to counter terrorism. The terror attacks are taking place in a broader sense by followers of Islam.

In the name of religion, adherents of Islam are radicalized. They are given a wrong notion of God, religion, and heavens. It is brainwashing in the most remarkable of senses. But it is a duty on the part of the adherent to interpret the scriptures and teachings in a right and ethical problem and to question any ideas that are worth contesting.

ISIS has been a major player in the growing Islamophobia. It has radicalized hundred of youth and has tried to spread its strict religious ideologies. It spreads the wrong ideology based entirely upon violence and brutality.

Timeline of Terror

September 11, 2001, attacks on the twin towers marked the beginning of the ongoing war we see… Click To Tweet

  • September 11, 2001- Attacks on the Twin Towers: The attacks on the twin towers in New York marked the beginning of the ongoing war we see today. The US was quick to respond by declaring a “war on terror”. Osama bin Laden was the mastermind behind the worst attack that the country has seen.

In the past recent years, we have seen numerous terror acts in Europe. France, Germany and the UK have particularly felt the impacts of terrorism. This combined with the growing power of ISIS in the middle east is seen as a threat to global security.

  • January  07, 2015- Charlie Hebdo Attack: This was a horrific act by the Islamic extremists who sought to suppress the very idea of freedom of speech. Two gunmen carried out shootings against the French weekly newspaper ‘Charlie Hebdo’. The two gunmen were the Kouachi brothers (Said and Cherif Kouachi) killed 12 people. The next day on January 08 a policewoman was killed. On 09 January 4 people were taken as hostages and killed.

Charlie Hebdo is a weekly satirical magazine. VOA.

  • November 18, 2015- Paris Attacks: A series of attacks took place in Paris and were considered the deadliest assault on French soil since world war II. The Stade de France stadium was targetted by a suicide bomber. More shootings and explosions followed in restaurants and other places. 

France marks one year anniversary of the November 2016 Paris Attacks. VOA.

  • March 22, 2016- Brussels Bombings: The capital of Belgium, the city of Brussels, felt the brunt of two suicide bombings. 32 people were killed and 300 others injured. The Brussels airport and Metro station were the targetted areas.

Belgium mourns the Brussels Bombings. VOA.

  • July 14, 2016- Nice Terror Attacks: France was celebrating the Bastille day on July 14, 2016. Nice became the target to spoil the day. Civilians had just watched the grand fireworks display when a terrorist lorry over speed and mowed them down. The attack claimed 84 lives. The terrorist was identified as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a Tunisian-born French citizen. The 41-year-old attacker was shot dead by the police. 

A memorial to honor the victims of the Nice attack. VOA.

  • July 2016- Germany Attacks: Germany witnessed a series of terror attacks in the week of July. On July 18, a terrorist with an ax hacked passengers on a train. On July 26, a doctor was killed in the Berlin Hospital. On July 22, an Iranian gunman went on a deadly rampage. On July 24, a pregnant woman was killed by a machete attacker and another man blew himself up in Ansbach. 

 

  • July 26, 2016- Normandy Church Attack: Two men carried out an attack on a Church in Normandy, France. The Priest was murdered and people were taken, hostage. ISIS claimed responsibility. The terrorists were shot dead.

 

  • December 19, 2016- Berlin Christmas Market Attack: In December 2016, Europe was gearing up for Christmas celebrations. A Jihadi by the name Anis Amri capitalized on this situation and ran down a lorry in Berlin Christmas market killing 12 people and injuring another 60.

Flowers and candles in the form of tribute to the Berlin Christmas Market. VOA.

  • February 03, 2017- Louvre Knife Attack: A Knifeman tried to attack a group of soldiers who were on duty guarding the Louvre in Paris. The attacker shouted “Allah Akbar” and took out his machete but was shot before any damage could be inflicted. It was an attack of “clearly terrorist nature” according to the then Prime Minister Cazeneuve.

Men guarding Louvre, France. VOA.

  • March 22, 2017- Westminster Terror Attack:  2 women and 2 men were killed and many people were injured by London Attacker Khalid Masood as he mowed down the pedestrians on Westminster Bridge. He also stabbed a police officer when he crashed his car outside the Parliament and ran into New Palace Yard. Later, he was shot dead by armed police.

Woman injured in the Westminster attack. VOA.

  • April 7, 2017- Stockholm Terror Attack:  4 people died and at least 15 people were injured when a man drove a truck in the busy shopping street of a Stockholm market in Sweden. Rakhmat Akilov who was responsible for the attack was a failed asylum seeker from Uzbekistan. The 39-year-old admitted being a member of ISIS terrorist group. On being arrested, he said told police investigators that he had “achieved what he set out to do”.

Stockholm, Sweden stands in solidarity against terrorism. VOA.

  • April 20, 2017Champs Elysees Terror Attack, Paris: ISIS claims the responsibility of this attack that killed a policeman and injured 2 others just days before the French Presidential election. The gunman was identified to be 39-year-old Karim Cheurfi who served 15 years in prison for 3 attempted murders.
  • May 22, 2017- Manchester Terror Attack: The city of Manchester was attacked by a lone suicide bomber at an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena on Monday, May 22. The explosive went off when people were leaving the concert. 22 People were killed and 59 people were injured in this terror attack. The attack took place around 10:33 pm.

Manchester Sikh Community condemns the terror attack. VOA.

  • June 2, 2017- London Bridge Attack: Just one week after Manchester terrorist attack, two attacks took place in London and where terrorists went on stabbing innocent civilians. The London terror attack injured 58 people and killed 7 people on the London Bridge and in a nearby Borough Market. 3 Knifemen were on a killing Spree at restaurants and pubs at 10 pm and also mowed pedestrians at the bridge, but were shot dead by the Police. There have been numerous other attacks on the European soil by Islamic fundamentalists. On most occasions, ISIS has claimed responsibility.

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, speaks to media on the terror attack. VOA.

NewsGram brings to you top news around the world today.

Negative impact of Islamophobia

Due to rise in terrorism and with the belief that majority of attackers are from the Islamic community; the majority of the population in the world has become skeptic to the religion and as a result, the other half of the Islamic community has become the victim of hate crime.

Conversion (both religious and culture) has resulted in the emergence of insecurity on the part of both the distinct groups. While native European population is going down, the Muslim population in Europe is at an all-time high.

Another reason for this is the refugee problem. People choose European land to take refuge or seek asylum due to the instability in their lands. Some migrants have known to be associated directly or indirectly with ISIS. Migration must, therefore, be done on strict background checks.

Immigration is seen as one of the most important aspects of political campaigns (Thank you POTUS). The debate of wearing hijab or anything remotely of religious value has emerged in European parliaments.

Questioning Islam and its teachings is a process where the justification of which lies in subjective thought. But from a broader perspective, it must be questioned in the right manner and solved through dialogue. If Islam really is peaceful, then the majority of the adherents need to come out more openly and say that, so that brainwashing of young minds by terrorist groups become tough.

– by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394

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Is Islamic inequality a conspiracy against the God?

Islam was conducted in a sense it was never meant to be

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Muslims
An eternal religion like Islam is always targeted for its preachings. Wikimedia Commons

Religion was the purest creation by humans to guide them to a better life, but it is clear that religion is being misused by many to create chaos and misery.

Islam, which is the World’s second largest religion, has become to symolize as the largest religion of devastation. A religion that believes that there is only ‘One God’ and that is their God, has now come to stand for turbulence and violence.

Historically too, Islam has always been linked with ‘terrorism’, but what gave rise to this scenario? The synopsis of this situation is not the right interpretation of ‘Quran’. The term ‘Jihad’ which literally means ‘to strive for the betterment of society’ has been deceitfully presented which leads to production of terrorists like Kasab (he quoted it in his letter to his family). The greed for 72 virgin women, which is just a story, makes them a ‘person of mass destruction. ‘ In the name of God, some ‘juvenile’ people choose the path which they are not familiar with.’

Islamic Terrorism
It is often stated that most of the ‘Terrorists’ are Muslims.Wikimedia Commons

A religion should always teach and preach about equality but Islam surely fails when it comes to their women. They are not so privileged as men are in an Islamic society. Why is it so? Does religion discriminate between two on the basis of gender? Why a Muslim man is taught to think about 72 virgin women but a Muslim woman is told to consider one man as her god? Why a man has a right to marry thrice but a woman is allowed to marry just once?

Islamic scholar Imam Tawhidi’s tweet raised a question on the fairness of the Islamic religion.

The disparity is not limited here. A woman who leaves her home, her parents, her career and even her surname; a woman who makes a home a home; a woman who sacrifices her everything for a man; is the one who is out thrown from her own home just by saying ‘Talaq, Talaq, Talaq’. Is a relation between a husband and wife established on these three words? Why only Muslim men favoured with such power?

Culture of Hijab
Women are meant to cover their full body in Islam. Wikimedia Commons

The word ḥijāb in the Quran refers not to women’s clothing, but rather a spatial partition or curtain. However, the preachers of Islam say that women should get all her parts covered by confidently stating that it is mandated in the Holy Quran. Yet another example of inequality on the basis of gender but the compelling truth is that these customs and thesis are created by the human itself and not Islam. This is how Islam is misused to spread fallacious beliefs among the people and making their life miserable.

Does Islam need to reform? Or do preachers of Islam need to introspect and reform?

– Sumit Buchasia of NewsGram. Twitter @sumit_buchasia

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New York terror attack: 8 dead, suspect in custody (Third Lead)

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New York, 1st November’2017: At least eight persons have been killed and 12 seriously injured in New York after a driver of a truck mowed down people on a cycle path in Lower Manhattan in US.

The attack happened on Tuesday, when the city was celebrating Halloween, one of the most festive days in the New York calendar.

The pavements were crowded with kids in costumes and there were still children trick-or-treating just yards away, the BBC reported.

The spot is also just yards away from Ground Zero, a site which reminds all New Yorkers of the 9/11 attack in 2001. It did not take police long to confirm that the city had once again been the target of terror.

Five of these victims were Argentine nationals, Efe news quoted a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Buenos Aires as saying.

The 29-year-old man who emerged from the white pick-up truck was shot by a police officer and arrested.

The media named him as Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, an Uzbek immigrant who came to the US in 2010 and settled in Florida, a CNN report said.

A note was found in the truck that referred to the Islamic State (IS), a law enforcement source told CBS News.

Around 3.05 p.m., Saipov drove a truck onto the West Side Highway bike path.

The truck entered near Houston Street. It was a rental from Home Depot, the home improvement chain said.

The driver continued down the path, hitting bicyclists and pedestrians.

Further down the path, the truck collided with a school bus at Chambers Street.

After the collision, the driver exited the truck with a pellet gun and a paintball gun. Witnesses said the suspect yelled “Allahu Akbar”, law enforcement sources told CNN.

A note found in the truck claimed the attack was carried out in the name of IS, a senior law enforcement official confirmed to CNN. The note was in English.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said it was a “cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians”.

de Blasio added: “We know that this action was intended to break our spirit. But we also know that New Yorkers are strong, New Yorkers are resilient and our spirit will never be moved by an act of violence and an act meant to intimidate us.”

US President Donald Trump tweeted: “My thoughts, condolences and prayers to the victims and families of the New York City terrorist attack. God and your country are with you!”

Former US President Barack Obama tweeted: “Michelle and I are thinking of the victims of today’s attack in NYC and everyone who keeps us safe. New Yorkers are as tough as they come.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday condemned the attack in a tweet: “Strongly condemn the terror attack in New York City. My thoughts are with the families of the deceased and prayers with those injured.”

British Prime Minister Theresa May said she was “appalled by the cowardly attack”. “My thoughts are with all affected,” she said.

“Together we will defeat the evil of terrorism” and the “UK stands with NYC”, Xinhua news agency quoted May as saying.

Five of the eight killed in the attack were identified as Argentine nationals, who were celebrating their 30th graduation anniversary at the Argentine Polytechnic School of Rosario, Efe news reported.

The statement released by the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs, identified the five as Hernan Diego Mendoza, Diego Enrique Angelini, Alejandro Damian Pagnucco, Ariel Erlij and Hernan Ferruchi.

The New York authorities said that it was a lone wolf attack. It was not part of a wider conspiracy or plot, BBC reported. But this is an active crime scene at the moment. They are still trying to piece together precisely what happened.(IANS)

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Islamic Terrorism Strikes New York Again: #NYCStrong But Who will Bell the Cat of Islamists?

The suspect was is a 29-year-old immigrant from Uzbekistan named Sayfullo Saipov, who entered the U.S. in 2010.

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Islamic Terrorism in NYC
Bicycles and debris lay on a bike path after a motorist drove onto the path near the World Trade Center memorial, striking and killing several people, Oct. 31, 2017, in New York. VOA

At least eight people were killed Tuesday and more than a dozen others were injured when a man drove a rented truck onto a busy bike path in New York City.

“Based on information we have at this moment, this was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called it a “lone wolf” attack, saying there’s no evidence to suggest it was part of a wider plot. The incident took place near the World Trade Center memorial in lower Manhattan.

Islamic Terrorism hits New York City again
A Home Depot truck which struck down multiple people on a bike path, killing several and injuring numerous others is seen as New York City first responders are at the crime scene in lower Manhattan in New York, NY, Oct. 31, 2017.VOA

New York Police Commissioner James O’Neill said around 3:05 p.m., a man driving a rented Home Depot pickup truck entered the bike path, striking riders and pedestrians. The truck also struck a school bus, injuring two adults and two children.

The man then “exited the vehicle brandishing two handguns,” O’Neill said.

A paintball gun and a pellet gun were later found at the scene. He was shot in the abdomen by police and taken into custody.

He underwent surgery and is expected to survive.

Police said the driver shouted “Allahu Akbar,” Arabic for “God is great” when he got out of the truck. But when O’Neill was asked whether the suspect shouted the phrase, he replied: “Yeah. He did make a statement when he exited the vehicle,” though he declined to elaborate.

The New York Police Department said they will increase the number of police throughout the city “out of an abundance of caution.”

Law enforcement officials, who refused to be identified, told media outlets the suspect was was a 29-year-old immigrant from Uzbekistan named Sayfullo Saipov, who entered the U.S. in 2010.

The Cato Institute told VOA only about 40,000 Uzbeks have entered the United States as migrants in the last 20 years, of those only 2 percent arrived as refugees.

David Bier, a policy analyst at the Washington-based think tank, said he believed this is the first time an Uzbek national has killed anyone on U.S. soil in a terrorist attack.

As of March 2017, three Uzbek nationals had been convicted of terrorism offenses. Ulugbek Kodirov who entered as student visa holder in 2008 and later radicalized on the Internet was convicted of threatening to kill President Obama in 2011. Fazliddin Kurbanov who entered as refugee in 2009 attempted to build bombs for an attack in 2013. Abdurasul Juraboev who immigrated after winning the green card lottery in 2011 was convicted of attempting to join ISIS in Syria in 2015.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said President Donald Trump had been briefed on the incident and will be continually updated as more details are known. “Our Thoughts and prayers are with all those affected,” she said.

Trump later tweeted, “We must not allow ISIS to return, or enter, our country after defeating them in the Middle East and elsewhere. Enough!” Followed by: “I have just ordered Homeland Security to step up our already Extreme Vetting Program. Being politically correct is fine, but not for this!”

Department of Homeland Security said Acting Secretary Elaine Duke had been briefed and the department was “closely monitoring the situation.”

Argentina’s Foreign Ministry said “Argentine citizens died” in the attack, but it hasn’t said how many. (VOA)