The unforgiving heat of summer took its toll on me. There were patches of dark purple here and there on my shirt, a slightly darker than tone the shirt colour due to the excessive sweating i was undergoing. Yes. I run high on metabolism and am proud of it. Maybe i should have been born in Alaska, but that would be too cold. Then i thought of the knitted blanket supplied in our rented house.

"Just in case it snows in the sacred city of Kangar since the weather is extreme," a soliloquy that was rather imaginary.

My body, soiled of stench, with a pinch of salt odour.

A visit to the wi-fied Kangar Hospital library cured the heat off my body and i wandered through the pages of New Straits Times. 2 weeks ago, this was and i came to an article of the death of Marwa El-Sherbini.

Stabbed 18 times in a court trial by a German of Russian descent who had verbally abused her a year ago. The drama was complicated when the police who entered the frame, mistook her husband,who was trying to save her, as the assailant and fired few shots at him.

It's like a scene from a Hollywood production. Something predictable, something stereotype. Arabs are always the culprits. Muslims maybe.

Islamophobia is a grave problem which needs addressing since it is misunderstood by non Muslims generally.

It's the same thing going on even in football. The chants of "Mido's got a bomb," were directed to the Egyptian footballer while he was playing in St. James' Park in Newcastle. Maybe these were meaningless shouts and screams, but the underlying problem may be much deeper than what we think it is.

As Chandra Muzaffar mentioned in his article in the NST, there is some level of biased-ness and onesided-ness of media reports which tend to dominate headlines. And they are not friendly enough towards Islam and Muslims. Muslims will always be portrayed as terrorists, suicide bombers and everything else.

While journalism is one thing, the readers' point of view is the conclusion to it all. The superficiality of people these days have made it much more difficult to explain everything. Most people take the newspaper reports as the final say, and fail to dig slightly deeper to find out the history of a conflict involving Muslims.

But we should not view the media as an enemy. The recent bombings of Palestine at the beginning of the year were wildly protested even by non Muslims because they are getting bored and tired of the mainstream media and have read, watched or listened with full blown attention to the real sources of news. Now, some have accepted that the Zionist Israel nation is at fault for the on going conflict.

Racial hatred and religious bigotry have become staple in the society. Even by Muslims. How most of us would label all Jews as being Zionists, and some would look down upon others who have different school of thoughts, telling others that "we are right, you are wrong". All these are stereotypes, the same mechanism that categorized all Arabs and Muslims as being terrorists. If even our minds are controlled by these stereotypical labels, then we should not be complaining of their bigotry as this would be called as hypocrisy.

There were even some unfriendly remarks made towards Germans, which were unfair since he was a German of Russian Descent.

Then should we also consider Russians as evil or half evil?

We need to break free from these stereotypes.

At the end of the day, we should take a long look into the mirror and change ourselves for the better. By saying "you belong to hell, Muslims go to heaven", won't help a bit. We have to understand that the Prophet had said those words after he had preached about Islam to the inhabitants of Arabia. Only after they had denied Islam, then only revelations were sent down, with a much sterner warning of the punishment in the hereafter.

In other words, to mention such things to people who have zero or very limited information about Islam is like rubbing salt to the wound. Da'wah should be done in a more holistic approach involving our daily conducts and behaviours.

May Allah bless her soul.