CAIRO – Feeling the heat of anti-Muslim sentiments flared by far-right nationalists, European Muslims fear that Brussels bombing could trigger a new wave of anti-Muslim violence across the continent.
“It’s starting again, prepare yourselves, Arab Muslims,” one European Muslim reportedly tweeted, International Business Times reported.
Early Tuesday morning, March 22, two terrorist attacks ripped through Brussels, Belgium.
An explosion at the city’s main airport and at part of the Metro system left at least 26 people dead and 126 wounded.
The blasts at the Brussels airport and metro station occurred four days after the arrest in Brussels of a suspected participant in November militant attacks in Paris that killed 130 people.
The attacks were criticized by Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam’s most prestigious center of learning, as contradicting with Islamic teachings.
Muslim organizations in Europe typically come out quickly to condemn terrorist attacks, fearing backlash.
Many distance themselves from the attackers and seek to assure their compatriots that Islam is a religion of peace.
“I as a Muslim condemn these terrorist attacks. We ourselves are biggest victims of terrorism around the world. #Brussels,” one Muslim wrote on Twitter following Tuesday’s attacks.
The suicide bombing in Brussels hit the feelings of safety for European Muslims, including those in the Netherlands.
“These heartless beasts must be stopped immediately”, Azzedine Karrat, imam of the biggest mosque in the Netherlands, tweeted.
“May Allah protect the Netherlands and the whole world against such fanatics and right extremists who sow hate and corruption on the world.”
Facing far-right campaigns against refugees’ influx from was zones in the Middle East, Brussels attacks are expected to intensify pressures targeting them.
“And how again Islam and Muslims will be looked at negatively,” Abdelhamid Bouzzit, vice president of the Foundation for Islamic Organizations Region Hague, told NL Times on Wednesday, March 23.
Making their voices heard against terrorism, many Muslim groups were planning a peace rally on Amsterdam’s Dam Square next Friday against the attacks.
“Jew, Muslim, Christian or non-religious: every person of good will was hit by the terrible images that reached us from Brussels on Tuesday,” the Council of Moroccan Mosques spokesperson Said Bouharrou said, according to news wire ANP.
“Terror group Daesh misuse Islam in a degrading manner, now close to our borders. Terrorists may take our brothers and sisters, but they will never be able to take away our freedom.”
The organizations want this rally to send a signal to the “barbarians”.
“Discord and strife in our society, you will not reap. We stand shoulder to shoulder and together we make a fist of brotherhood and unity.” They want to form a “human barrier for reconciliation and against terror”.