My heart went into my mouth as soon as I read ‘BREAKING NEWS: Gunshots heard outside Parliament in Westminster’ on my Twitter timeline. A headline like this spells apprehension for a #Muslim. We begin thinking, ‘O God, let it not be a terror attack or anything serious,’ followed at once by, ‘O God, let it not be a Muslim involved.’

In the hours and days that follow more details emerge, and depending on what the nature of the incident is, the story is either given prolonged airtime, or rapidly put to bed. If its related to anything remotely Islamic, Muslims across the country are directly affected. There is a rise in Islamophobia incidents, and more debates crop up on things like the hijab, how Muslims can do more against extremism and try to integrate into British society.

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An attack makes life more difficult for Muslims

There is no denying that thus, life becomes more difficult for Muslims after an attack – carried out by a Muslim – hits the news. Stop-searches targeting Muslims become all too common. Every Muslim will tell you of having been stopped at the airport, or knows another that has. I am no stranger to that. A friend of mine was singled out in #London to turn off his car, get out, and open his boot for an ‘explosive search;’ the only one in a line of vehicles. This he says, was just because he had a beard and was dressed as a Muslim. On another occasion, he was stopped by police who thought a USB car charger was an explosive. They called backup, only to then realise what it was.

Credit to the security services for looking out for us all; they do their jobs to keep us safe.

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However, being a Muslim does not automatically make one suspicious; we should not be treated like the enemy.

The people that cause terror in the name of Islam do Islam and Muslims no favours. If anything, they make our lives more difficult. The world begins to see Islam as the enemy, while Muslims and the teachings of Islam plead innocence of their actions, and condemn them just as much as others.

What does Islam say about killing innocents?

Killing innocents is totally prohibited in Islam; it is one of the seven major sins, described as ‘deadly’ by the Prophet Muhammad. The Prophet also called the one who seeks to shed the blood of an innocent: ‘one of three most hated by God’ The Qur’ān says, ‘…Whoever kills a soul – not in retaliation for killing another or spreading corruption on earth – it is as if he has killed all of humanity….’ Scholars say that the similarity is in the fear spread in society because of the murder of an innocent. These are just three of the many texts that discuss the killing of innocents; there are too many to mention in this short piece.

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As for those who then kill innocents in the name of Islam, they do so base on their perverted, ignorant understanding of texts, just as Islamophobes do when they attack Islam using the same texts. The similarity, as well as the irony, is infuriatingly amusing.

Let me also point out that killing innocents anywhere on earth is wrong. Yes, that includes western countries droning Muslims in various parts of the world. In fact, the case that droning innocent Muslims in foreign lands *is* the root cause of so-called terror attacks in the west, is a strong one. #Westminster