Islam is the religion of almost 2bn people from all over the world, all with different backgrounds and cultures. But it has come under a lot of scrutiny and suspicion recently due to the atrocities committed by Isis in Iraq and Syria.
When it hasn't been misinterpreted and corrupted by fanatics, Islam is a religion based entirely on peace, tolerance and respect. Such values can be found in all faiths, from Judaism and Christianity to Buddhism and Hinduism. And as the religious scholar Reza Aslan pointed out during a debate on CNN debate this week, all of these religions, including Buddhism, have their violent fundamentalists who wreak havoc in the world.
Since some Western Muslims decided to follow this path, and join the terrorist group Isis abroad, Muslims the world over have been forced to publicly defend their beliefs, out of fear of association.
It is against this backdrop that the hashtag #MuslimApologies has emerged. It is has been appended to a number of sarcastic and informative tweets, highlighting the contributions Muslims have made to the world. One great example came from the Huffington Post journalist Medhi Hasan, who tweeted "I’m so sorry for coffee, cheques, parachutes, chemistry, inoculations, soap, shampoo, cameras, etc #muslimapologies".
Like the hashtag #NotInMyName, #MuslimApologies part of a growing trend of Muslims getting fed up of being discriminated against because of their religion. Such tweets are important because, although sarcastic, they still show a different side of Islam which many are unaware of, such as the obligation on every Muslim man and women to seek knowledge. This is something Muslims have always been obliged by the Qu'ran to do, and has led to coffee, cameras, chess and distillation being introduced to the world.
With so many Islamophobic remarks thrown around on social media at the moment, and Islam constantly being portrayed negatively by the media, it's reassuring to see Muslims fight back in a witty and informative way, and raise awareness about the history of the religion.
We’re TRULY sorry that we took Europeans out of dark ages, let them study our science, our books, attend our universities #MuslimApologies— Abdullah al Andalusi (@AbdullaAndalusi) September 26, 2014
We apologise for inventing Algebra and Algorithms- which laid the groundwork for thousands of modern day advancements #MuslimApologies— Fatima Barkatulla (@FatimaBarkatula) September 23, 2014
I'm sorry to let you know that Isaac Newton learned about gravity from the the books of Ibn al-Haytham #MuslimApologies— Ammār ibn Aziz Ahmed (@Ammar_Ibn_AA) September 24, 2014
I apologize for LeBron leaving Cleveland, then returning to Cleveland. Bonus: Apologies for his hairline #MuslimApologies— Safwan Shaikh (@safwanshaikh92) September 23, 2014
We are sorry for the kabsa, biryani, masala, shawarmas, kebabs and all that good stuff #MuslimApologies— Sulطan Al Masroori (@Soli2022) September 25, 2014