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Riz Ahmed, J.K. Rowling blast media coverage of Muslims after London attacks: 'Language matters'

Riz Ahmed. (Chris Pizzello / Invision/AP)
Riz Ahmed. (Chris Pizzello / Invision/AP)

On Monday "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" star Riz Ahmed took to Twitter to decry the media's treatment of Muslims in the wake of London's Finsbury Park terror attack and Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Early Monday morning a white male assailant plowed a van into pedestrians outside a London mosque, injuring 10 and leaving a man dead during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Authorities have now labeled the fatal attack an act of terror.

Just four days earlier, the Grenfell Tower fire claimed the lives of more than 70 residents of a public housing tower block. Overlooked in the tragedy, Ahmed argued, are the Muslim Samaritans who rushed to offer aid to victims and families devastated by the tragedy. 

"When [a] crazy Muslim kills, it's MUSLIM TERROR," wrote the London-born actor and musician. "When Muslims save lives and lead relief at Grenfell where's the MUSLIM HEROES headlines?"

The issue is far from relegated to London's recent tragedies. 

"[When] non-Muslims shoot American politicians and drive a van into Muslims, why isn't it called TERRORISM?" Ahmed continued, referencing the June 14 shooting attack on a congressional charity baseball game practice in which four people, including Republican House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, were shot by James Thomas Hodgkinson, a white man.

"Where are the calls for white males or American gun-owners to answer for all others? Prejudice, extremism, supremacism is all the same."

"Language matters," Ahmed wrote. "By emphasizing some violence over others or focusing on one extremism over others we fail to see how they're connected. Violence is a cycle from people feeling under threat or their suffering undervalued. A first step is to use calm, and balanced language."

Authorities have identified Darren Osborne, 47, as the terror suspect in the mosque attack. After being detained by bystanders on the scene -- and reportedly protected from harm by a group of men, including Imam Mohammed Mahmoud, until police could arrive -- Osborne was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

"Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling used her social media platform to praise the efforts of those protecting the alleged terrorist from harm and to hold media responsible for stirring Islamophobic sentiment.

"Those who dehumanize and stereotype Muslims have no moral high ground from which to deplore demonization of secular westerners by Islamists," she tweeted. 

"Let's talk about how the #FinsburyPark terrorist was radicalised."

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