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The tragedy and irony of the storm on the U.S. Capitol

The storm on Capitol Hill reads like Shakespeare.

The tragedy and irony of the storm on the U.S. Capitol
United States Capitol - Wikipedia
I am a Biology graduate currently working in clinical laboratories. I am an avid reader and amateur painter. As a Muslim woman I am a passionate advocate for my faith and in my writing I hope to present the true and peaceful message of Islam in the context of current socio-political issues.

Following the news coverage of events on the U.S. Capitol on January 6. and subsequent comments from lawmakers, federal officers and even the President-elect Joe Biden—I'm reminded of Shakespeare. The utilized number of literary techniques; a popular one being that of tragic irony.

Romeo believing his great love is dead, ends up committing suicide, Juliet is of course very much alive, and upon discovering Romeo has passed away, proceeds to commit suicide. How does this relate to an angry mob of Trump supporters undermining American democracy?

Let me explain.

The greatest tragedy of the U.S. Capitol riots, and the loss of five lives will impact the relatives of the deceased for years. In the past year, there have been at least 333,167 deaths related to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the CDC. Losing another life amongst senseless acts of violence is no trivial matter.

But this particular storm has been brewing.

Although a group of angry Trump supporters storming and vandalizing the American 'lighthouse of democracy,' was both shocking and unprecedented, it was not unexpected. President Trump's time in office has been divisive and inflammatory, and his recent reluctance to facilitate a peaceful transfer of power has only served to validate the cause of these MAGA and white supremacists groups.

They had the courage to walk into the U.S. Capitol building, without fear of being detained, wielding spears and confederate paraphernalia while chanting "USA!"

As expected President-elect, Joe Biden was quick to comment on the events, speaking directly to the American people that the aggressors did not represent true American values. He said "the scenes of chaos at the Capitol to not reflect a true America, do not represent who we are. What we are seeing are a small number of extremists dedicated to lawlessness."

A sentiment all too familiar to me, as a Muslim woman.

The storm on the U.S. Capitol was an act of domestic terror - an act of violence intended to incite fear and cause further social division. An event that has shown the true threat to America is Americans themselves. Therein lies the irony of these events.

An open letter to the U.S. Capitol rioters

An open letter to the U.S. Capitol rioters

"Dear grandson, learning that you were among the rioters at the Capitol compelled me to write to you."

For as long as I can remember America—from Hollywood to the White House— has played a huge role in pushing the rhetoric that the greatest threat to freedom and security is Islam. An idea that has fueled rampant Islamophobia across the globe and is manifest in severe and unfair legislative restrictions on the practice of peaceful Islam. From hijab bans across Europe, to spot checks at airports and accusations of radicalization in our places of worship.

Muslims around the world observe the horrors committed by extremists in the name of Islam, a religion that firmly condemns such aggression. We would watch the news, devastated and frustrated, and prepare once again to try and impress on people that the actions of a small number of extremists, dedicated to destruction and insurrection, are not representative of Islam.

So I empathize with Joe Biden. I empathize with the millions of American people that value peace, and condemn all acts of terror. I offer my heartfelt understanding of their circumstance and their desperation to make clear that the acts of a few do not define the ideals of the many. I offer this in the hope that the same courtesy may be extended to me and other members of my faith.

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