THE scale of the carnage inflicted by extremists over the past week alone has been staggering.
* 200 killed by a truck bomb in a crowded Baghdad market;
* 44 killed at an airport in Istanbul, Turkey;
* 23 killed in a siege of a café in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
But among the most horrifying in its symbolism for many of the world’s Muslims was the attack on the holy city of Medina — the resting place of the Prophet Muhammed (Pbuh) and the second holiest site in Islam.
For many Muslims worldwide, as Haroon Moghul, senior fellow at the Center for Global Policy, writes, this was “an assault on Islam itself.
The Medina attack prompted an outpouring of outrage and condemnation, prompting hashtags such as #PrayForMadinah and #bombingattheholysiteofmedina to trend on social media.
Many tweets in Arabic apologized to the Prophet Muhammed (Pbuh) for the attackers having struck in the city, seen in Islamic tradition as a safe haven for the Prophet after he led the persecuted early Muslim community there from Makkah.
“O Messenger of Allah…They did not respect the prestige of your residence in their neighbourhood,” wrote one Twitter user.
Many expressed the view that no Muslim could have targeted one of the religion’s holy cities, or were quick to distance Islam from the attacks.
Another wrote that the mosque was “one of the most peaceful places on earth.”
“Terrorism has no religion!”
“I couldn’t even speak loudly there.. How can you carry a bomb there!! Muslim cannot do it,” wrote Mahammed Naushad.
Others pointed out that many of the recent Ramazan attacks occurred in Muslim countries.
“Before blaming Muslims for ISIS, remember that ISIS terrorist attacks is targeting more Muslims than any other groups. #ISISAttackingMuslims,” wrote Reem AlHarmi.
Hashtags also circulated suggesting a tipping point may have been reached in the Muslim world’s response to terrorism the wake of the attack.
“Saudi has to call for an Islamic summit to fight ISIS under the banner of defending the burial place of the Prophet Muhammad and every Muslim will respond,” wrote Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
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