The Stream

Looking beyond ‘not in our name’

Why do individual atrocities prompt some Muslims’ collective guilt?

Swaleh Ahmed, the Imam of Woolwich Mosque, speaks to the media after the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in South London, Britain 24 May 2013. EPA/STR

“Please don’t let it be a Muslim!” This thought races through the minds of many Muslims as soon as they hear about attacks like the Boston bombing and most recently the Woolwich machete killing. It is often followed by a sense of collective guilt and official condemnation by leaders within the Muslim community. But why is this not the case with any other religion, group or race? And why do some Muslims feel it necessary to apologise for atrocities committed by individuals who happen to be of the same faith?

In this episode from The Stream, we speak to:

Tarek El Messidi @elmessidi
Founder, Celebrate Mercy
Sana Saeed @SanaSaeed
Senior Editor, Islawmix
Also joining us on Google+: David Sirota @DavidSirota, Nabil Abdulrashid @nabilu, and Fiyaz Mughal @tellmamauk.
What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.