OPINION: Time for the world to separate ISIS from Islam

OVER the weekend, attacks in Beirut, Paris and Baghdad left families broken and the world devastated.

It was a travesty that two out of three were given minimal coverage; and the world lit up in solidarity for only one.

It was a travesty that any lives should be lost in such a way.

And it was a travesty that we still have to remind people that crimes committed by militant, radicalised minorities should not reflect on a religion as a whole.

But here we are again.

I'm here, cringing as people blame Europe's heroic and compassionate refugee intake for the attacks.

They were fleeing a worse hell than you could imagine, from the very same people.

Here I am, rolling my eyes at every "Australia's next" and "stop letting them in".

Division is exactly what groups like ISIS thrive on.

Let's instead turn our focus to the people of Beirut, Paris and Baghdad, and the wounds they need to heal.

My thoughts are not with the demonic few who stole many lives; but with the man who politely accepted my terrible French as I went through a Parisian checkout in 2014.

My heart is in Paris, with the lovely Muslim shopkeeper who offered me a free crepe if I could name Australia's wicket-keeper (I couldn't, I bought one anyway); ... and with the loved ones in Baghdad who were trying to mourn when their lives were cruelly taken.

My mind is with those cities and those people who all deserved to live a life uninterrupted by violence and hate.

The way forward for the world is to, of course, unapologetically and uncompromisingly condemn ISIS and all of the monstrosities they have inflicted on the innocent.

But ISIS is not Islam; no matter how much they would like you to believe that.

We must always remember that blind hatred of millions has never been, and will never be, the right way to heal the world.

The world need only look back on the past to learn what happens when that is the path we choose.

We must mourn, remember, and remain unafraid.

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