Yes, perhaps there is a feeling of catharsis in the waving of fists and chanting of slogans. Yes, it's obvious that the way they express themselves betrays the message they claim to be carrying. But we should not place the blame entirely on them. We should look towards what's really lacking in the Muslim community, and for that, we cannot look past the real superheroes in this episode: the present leadership. These Muslim leaders who come out in full force when it's time to condemn other Muslims in the public, only to welter away and become invisible again once the tide settles. These superheroes, who, rather than voicing the very real grievances of the youth, and defending the interests of the whole Muslim community, seem more intent on representing the voice of an exclusive, overly image-conscious minority.
So what is the solution, then?
Well, here's one radical idea: rather than having a collective anxiety attack each time Muslims are mentioned in the media, how about we actually genuinely engage the youth for a change, and speak to them rather than about them?
Mohamad Tabbaa is a PhD candidate in law and criminology at the University of Melbourne. He researches issues of discrimination against Muslim minority groups in the West, particularly Australia.