Few religions have been demonised as much as Islam. Thanks to the actions of terrorist organizations, many have judged an entire group of people by a select few extremist standards. This has worsened in the wake recent of terrorist attacks across Europe, that were designed purely to kill and ignite hatred.
And it worked.
What makes this prejudice so incredibly frustrating is the fact that the majority of Christians have not been judged by the standards of the KKK and , but many racists have chosen to condemn Muslims as a whole because of the actions of Islamic terrorist organizations.
Unfortunately, this hatred has resulted in widespread racism within many western countries, as others started to view Eastern religions in the same way, including Sikhism. Now, Sikhism and Islam may be two different religions – but it can’t be denied that many throw them into the same group because of the color of an individual’s skin.
This came to the fore last week during a campaign outreach event for Canada’s third largest party, the Left-leaning New Democratic Party (NDP).
Jagmeet Singh is a Canadian Sikh politician and a frontrunner to represent the NDP. The 38-year-old was subject to an anti-Islam, anti-Muslim attack in Brampton, Ontario. However, he reacted brilliantly, showing the world that love is the best response to hate.
The woman, who identified herself Jennifer, began her hateful tirade by walking up to Singh, who had just begun to address his audience, and saying, “We know you’re in bed with Sharia. We know you’re in bed with the Muslim Brotherhood.”
However, before she decided to openly attack Singh, she should have researched not only his religion, which is completely separate from Islam, but Sharia itself, which is religious law that not related to either Sikhism or Islam.
The event’s organisers attempted to remove Jennifer, however, she continued to rant at Singh, and refused to be moved. Instead of getting angry at the situation, or rising to any of her insults, Singh remained completely calm.
Ignoring Jennifer, who remained determined to anger him, Singh looked out to the crowd and said, “We believe in love and courage… We don’t want to be intimidated by hate, we don’t want hatred to ruin a positive event… So let’s show people how to treat someone with love: We welcome you. We love you. We support you.”
Needless to say, Singh’s calm and admirable response simply enraged Jennifer further. She continued to shout and point at Singh until he left the stage so that she could be appropriately dealt with by security.
The shocking footage went viral on Facebook last week after it was posted by a local news outlet, Brampton Focus, and it has been viewed over 600,000 times, with users of the popular social networking site praising Singh’s reaction.
This Saturday, Singh spoke out about the event on his Twitter account, once again reminding people to “stand united against all forms of hate.”
Jennifer has since identified herself as Jennifer Bush online. She claimed that she knew Singh was Sikh and that her tirade was not about race or religion, but his political policies, despite saying he supported Sharia and the Muslim Brotherhood.
People will always have differing opinions on political issues, but it’s important to remember that we live in a democracy, where the voices of the many can be reflected in votes and by elected politicians. If you disagree with something, becoming aggressive and shouting at the top of your lungs is never the answer.
If Bush would have remained calm and put her points across clearly and coherently, she probably would have received an answer, and not be labelled a “racist”.
We hope that people interpret Singh’s reaction to Bush’s “hatred” as an example of how to best deal with prejudice of any kind.