MUST WATCH: This Is How Muslims Worldwide Should React to Terror Attacks
There is one thing that always follows a deadly terrorist attack perpetrated by an Islamic extremist: a conspicuous — and deafening — silence from Muslim leaders.
Top imams of the faith do not seek out news media to condemn the horrific act, and reporters routinely make no effort to find such leaders and find out their reaction.
But something very different happened after a backpack bomber killed 22 people — many of them teenagers and children — at a pop singer’s concert in Manchester, England, last week.
Zain, a leading mobile telecommunications provider for the Middle East and Africa, did something remarkable.
First, though, let’s paint just how big Zain is. They’ve got 971,000 customers in Bahrain; 12.7 million in Iraq; 4.3 million in Jordan; 3 million in Kuwait; 2.3 million in Lebanon; 10.7 million in Saudi Arabia; and 13 million in Sudan and South Sudan. That’s more than 46 million customer across a mostly Muslim region.
On May 26, four days after the bombing — and the first day of the Muslim holy period Ramadan — Zain released an extraordinary three-minute ad.
It opens with a man building something in a dark room — a bomb. Cut to an old man kissing the feet of a giggling baby. Back to the bomb builder getting on a bus, wearing a suicide vest.
Throughout, subtitles play: “Confront your enemy with peace, not war,” one says. “Persuade others with leniency, not with force.”
At the end, the bomber, surrounded by caring people and others with signs of hope and unity, falls to his knees. A singer sings:
“Let’s bomb violence with mercy, let’s bomb delusion with truth, let’s bomb hatred with love, let’s bomb extremism for a better life.”
“Confront your enemy with peace not war.”
At one point, singers sing “Alluhu Akbar” — a phrase that means God is greater but has also become synonymous with terror attackers, who often shout this before killing innocent people.
As the video ends, Zain delivers a final message: “We will counter their attacks of hatred with songs of love. From now until happiness,” just as an old man kisses a small child.
Pretty wonderful stuff. And yes, this is exactly how Muslim leaders should be responding. We need to hear them say words like these after every terror attack. They have the best chance of stopping Islamic terror.