"I am not a terrorist
How can I make you see?
The terror that terrorized you
Is also terrorizing me"
That poem, written by artist Saint Hoax, features the words that he uses under his latest artwork featuring popular Disney couple Aladdin and Jasmine. They're each holding a sign that reads "I Am Not A Terrorist."
Hoax, who is known for using his art to address social issues, drew the cartoons after the Paris attacks by ISIS, which has caused an onslaught of anti-Muslim stereotypes and judgements. In particular, that Muslims are terrorists because of their faith, which is not correct.
According to Vocativ, only 8 of the 746 terrorist attacks in Europe were religiously motivated — which includes Muslims as well as Christians, Hindus, Jews, and Buddhists.
"'I Am Not A Terrorist' is an awareness campaign that fights stereotypes against Arabs and Muslims," Hoax wrote on his website. "Aladdin and Jasmine are an illustrated symbol of the common misconceptions that surround Arabs and Islam."
Though Aladdin the movie itself faced criticism for perpetuating and caricaturing Arabic stereotypes, the illustrations bring the issue home in the fact that these beloved characters — because they're from the Middle East — are part of the group being marginalized.
But Hoax isn't the only one attempting to squash the stereotypes. After the attacks, Muslims and supporters joined together to create the #NotInMyName social movement to prove that the actions of few claiming to be of a certain religion don't speak for all.
Philistine Ayad, a Muslim, summed it up perfectly for CNN:
"To me, terror knows no religion. They are picking and choosing aspects of the religion, and twisting and distorting them in order to justify their actions that are unjustifiable."
The world is far from being shining, shimmering, splendid, but this is a start.
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