We need to talk. Talk about what’s happening in the world. Talk about why it’s happening. Talk about our role in what is happening and what we need to do to make it stop.
Disclaimer #1: This post is on a heavy topic and I am still not able to grasp all aspects of it. Please bear with me as I try to remain politically correct while still getting my point across.
Disclaimer #2: My intentions are not to try and shove my religion down your throat. I am just trying to get others to understand the people of Islam and the problem with terrorist groups like ISIS.
After the first AP mobile alert I received about the attacks in Paris on Friday, I immediately felt uneasy. There has been so much going on in the world recently and the thought of another attack is truly sickening. But that wasn’t the only thing that made me uneasy: as soon as the news broke, I was ready for the comments about Muslim terrorists to start rolling in.
For me, this is normal. Shootings and bombings are unfortunately so commonplace these days that I often feel like society has become numb to the news of them. But for me, every time something like this happens, I just expect everyone to associate terrorism with Islam. And every single time my expectations become reality. I have to sit by and listen to ignorant bigots condemn a whole religion and its people because of the actions of a few. A few who, I might add, may identify as Muslims but in no way do their actions align with the teachings of Islam.
ISIS is not a religious group. Just because they call themselves an Islamic State does not mean they are in fact one. Simply put, ISIS is an extreme terrorist group that falsely accredits their actions to the teachings of Islam.
Islam in no way condones the killing of innocents. It is also forbidden in Islam to torture people. Not only that, but many of the victims of ISIS’s horror are Muslim.
The term Islam literally means peace. Islam is a peaceful religion and those who truly practice it are doing so to promote peace in the name of God.
I am a Muslim and I am tired. Tired of having to constantly defend and justify my religion, tired of feeling guilty for the actions of others, tired of feeling afraid and tired of feeling inferior. Open your eyes: there are many who have committed acts of terrorism who identify with other religions, yet people rarely, if ever, associate their religion with their actions. Terrorism has no religion.
Muslims around the world are condemning the Paris attacks and I am, too.
“Whoever kills an innocent person, it is as if he has killed all of humanity.” (Quran 5:32)
(Side note: I would also like to add that I think the Facebook photo filter of the French flag is incredibly inappropriate. While I understand it is an attempt to show support for the French people, we should not be creating social media trends out of tragedies.)