A man wakes up one morning. He brushes his teeth. He gets dressed. He eats some oatmeal. He straps on a vest filed with explosives and he goes to work.
This plays out everyday. Different people. Different cities. Same result.
Terrorism is random and it exists to incite terror.
ISIS will not win because of acts of terrorism.
ISIS will win when you allow hatred and fear to take root in your heart.
When you are afraid to take your daughter to Paris.
When you’re too scared to watch a band play at a concert.
When you sit at home instead of going out for a coffee.
So, you know what? Screw them. I’m taking my daughter to Paris.
All Muslims are not ISIS.
ISIS is a group of terrorists who happen to be Muslim.
Actually, they just know how to twist Muslim ideology as a propaganda tool in their quest for power.
ISIS is responsible for more attacks on Muslims then any other population group.
And they win, when you cross the street because of a woman wearing a burka.
They win, when you move seats instead of sit next to man in a turban.
They win, the moment you think it’s okay to ask Muslims to wear a badge stating their religious affiliation.
And they win when you think rounding up Islamic people and putting them in camps is acceptable.
It is not acceptable.
It was not acceptable when the British did it to the Boers during the Anglo-Boer war.
It was not acceptable when the Americans did it to the Japanese in WWII.
It was not acceptable when Hitler committed genocide on the Jews.
It was not acceptable during Apartheid.
Wearing a headscarf, or a burka or a yalmulka is not provocative.
Saying so is like saying a girl in a mini dress out at night is asking to be raped.
She is not.
The moment you respond to racism with racism, to bigotry with bigotry, you become a racist and a bigot.
When you judge the many by the actions of a few, you choose your side, and it’s theirs.
Sooner rather than later, Muslim people all over the world will be faced with fear and hatred, so that they have no choice but to join ISIS.
Is that really what you want?
I believe in a world where racism in any form is unacceptable.
A world where no-one is discriminated against on the grounds of the colour, their culture, their sexual orientation or their religion.
I believe in a world where people can practice their religion without discrimination as long as it does not interfere with the rights and safety of others.
I believe that violence will only ever beget violence and that wars are never ended with weapons, but only with words.
This is not a war that will be won with firepower.
It’s not going to be won by governments in their own quest for power.
It’s not going to be won by armies and soldiers.
This war will be won or lost in the hearts of minds of ordinary people.
So, you decide, are you going to let ISIS win?