When i started the page “sammen mot terror” on 22 July 2011 due to the massacre, I never realized the way it would turn out, being over 280 000 members in just two days.
Being a Muslim it felt kind of bad that here i am trying to get people together and still lots of comments were against muslims. I had started the page on facebook and accidently put in 21 July as the date since at that time i wasn’t thinking straight. It was so sad that a few members reacted by saying this seems fishy as it looks like you knew about this bomb since date is a day old.. Well i explained how facebook allows that and told them to focus on the main issue instead.
When the news came out that it was an ethnic Norwegian guy, the comments against me stopped, no more muslim-hate comments. But the sad part was still there, as people were still dying.. I pumped up the campaign and decided to ask people on the group if anyone wants to represent their cities and get permission from the police to bring out ppl on 26 july..thats it, the time was 18:00 to meet up with torches n roses.. All friday night..saturday n sunday night i was awake putting up the website and logging system that would hold the official timings for all cities in Norway. I even had a few people who wanted to come out with roses that day.. On monday i came on tv2 to talk about the campaign that brought the largest number of norwegians out at the same time in every city of Norway. I asked all who managed the march in their city to update me with number of people that came, and it showed a number near 1 million people combined.
One year has passed.. And with the negative exposure muslims still get in media, it would probably be a slap on the face of Breivik and those who think like him if the media showed that what Breivik did with the hate for immigrants was responded to by one of those he hates, a Norwegian Pakistani who follows Islam. Not only would it be a news for Breivik but for those Norwegians alike who feel Muslims are good for nothing.
Being a Muslim I feel the way we are portrayed isn’t justified. A news about a Muslim who does something negative in another country is picked up right away and all Muslims have to respond, and those of us who do something positive and do it because thats what Islam teaches and that we see this as our lovely country, is swept under the carpet. Not fair..
Don’t get me wrong, i don’t get treated bad by common Norwegians, i have an amazing job in a leading media company, while the next job is also similar, so no complaints there. All i feel is that we need a little bit more heart and balanced news when it comes to Muslims. We have to work harder to be heard, and most of those from my community suffer by not getting jobs they apply to due to their foreign names.
But with that I would like to thank all who said yes to starting the torch n rose marches in your cities, it was absolutely worth it and without you guys it wouldn’t have been possible.. And more so those that took part.
With a prayer for all that lost their lives I would like to add that we Muslims in Norway aren’t here to take over anything, we are just busy with our own lives and doing our bit as peaceful citizens.