So today, France, Tunisia, and Kuwait were victims of yet again, disgusting terrorist attacks on innocent citizens in the name of Islam. The attacks left hundreds devastated, either killed or injured, and seems to be following the ongoing trend of attacks in the name of Islam, by Islamic extremists. And when I say extreme, I mean out-of-this-world-with-no-humanity-left-in-them extreme. I’ve seen countless comments saying ‘Muslims don’t condemn’, suggesting we condone these acts, which is absoloutely absurd. Unfortunately, we can condemn all we want, yet still be criticized. Personally, the idea of terrorism and blowing myself up at every chance I get in the name of my religion is not only a poisonous ideology, but a foreign one that I have never, and will never accept or associate myself with. I’ve always, like hundreds of millions of my Muslim counterparts, have been raised to give more, and accept and empathize with others, through respect and tolerance, and doing this through peace.
An ongoing trend amongst these extremists who commit themselves to these acts of terror is that they are done by those who conform to an extremist and ultra conservative interpretation/sect of Islam, which practically takes what has been give of Islam out of context and into and a whole new form of so called ‘Islam’ – SALAFISM (also known as WAHABISM). This is a potentially very dangerous ideology which a minority of Muslims follow, unlike the very moderate perceptions of the majority of Islam’s followers (who follow Sunni and Shia). This ideology is rarely talked about as being one of the root causes of all these beheadings and mass murder, espeically upon the West, and instead, typically, we can be tarnished by the same brush, which leads way for dangerous mindsets that all Muslims promote or agree with this twisted ideology of extremism.
This particular ideology demeans woman despite us being equal in the eyes of God and the fact that it was the Prophet Muhammad who ended Woman being seen as inferior by enforcing their rights and also hates the lifestyle of the Western world and many active supporters will do anything to get at it (despite many Muslims being born in the West, and so this is a means of dividing us). It calls for Shariah to be implemented everywhere, despite Islam explicitly stating that you must respect the laws of the land YOU LIVE IN. Some Muslims choose to live in the West – this doesn’t give a free pathway to change the laws, but coexist. I wouldn’t live in the West if it dramatically conflicted with my belief and it doesn’t – I can practice my religion freely, and still integrate while accepting all other cultures and beliefs.
The major divide in opinion, similar to different groups in Christianity (Protestant, Catholic), has had distraught effects in division and has gone to the extent of war. This is demonstrated in the Kuwait attack on a Mosque. The divide should’ve never gotten to this point, though Salfism is far more recent than the Sunni/Shia population, and has been getting increasingly popular amongst the youth in Europe, prompting radicalization and therefore prompting people to enter places like Syria to accommodate extremist groups like ISIS, who want nothing more than a totalitarian state with only Muslims, not compatible with the modern world and uncalled for considering Muslims have lived side by side with Christians, Jews and people of different faiths historically.
Don’t get me wrong – not all Salafis are going to openly attack someone, but the foundations of conservatism in this sect is a breeding ground for attacks upon innocents – something rejected completely by Islam. Many salafis (ISIS for example) have a clear political basis for their attacks in order to get back at the West for wars waged on against what they consider their homeland, and it’s sad that they have to use their Salafist ideology to support this – yet to be honest, it is on the verge to becoming a whole new religion nowadays. It’s rejecting the basic foundations of all major religions as well as the five pillars of Islam which include giving to charity,and doing good – killing innocents does not reflect that. Their strong political influence is an example as to why politics and religion can be dangerous when mixed, especially with the extreme interpretation of Islam that terror groups aim to maintain. It leads to the unnecessary suffering of hundreds, Muslims or not.
Terror groups have the common ideology of Salafist Jihadism – a name that sounds pretty daunting and that’s because the rise of it is. Read the Quraan and you’ll find that jihad isn’t as literal as blowing yourself up or murdering anyone who doesn’t share the same views as you as this would clearly be not only morally wrong, but unrealistic and straight up terrorism. Jihad refers to self struggle, and wholly refers to the intention of becoming a better person and in terms of arms, refers to a just war against aggression once all negotiations have failed – something which most people would regard as fair, and a more just policy than most countries, and even then, it follows strict rules such as woman and children must not be killed, it must end immediately with no retaliation if the aggressor demands so, and it must be done to the absolute necessity, with no unnecessary violence or acts. Have extremist groups reflected that? Nope.
Now back to the attacks today, which raised a far more serious point in questioning whether these people are actually acceptable as Muslims. For a start, their views conflict with the moral principles that major religions uphold such as giving to charity and being compassionate and accepting, but also the fact that this act was carried out in the holy month of Ramadan, which if you don’t know, is a month of fasting for dawn till dusk, but also a month of reflection and particular restraint on immoral acts and more emphasis on what’s good such as giving to charity and thinking of the less fortunate. This is why Muslims, especially in extremist dominated states are the first victims of terror attacks for rejecting their extreme interpretations. The fact that ISIS, a famous example of extremism issued a call to arms for the holy month of Ramadan, was more than enough to tell me that they do not respect the foundations of Islam due to the fact that if there’s one time that you don’t hurt a fly, let alone justify mass killings, it’s the month of Ramadan. It’s the month we believe the Quraan was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad and I personally found it disgusting how they were calling for arms in this month of reflection, acting as an insult to the principles that the Prophet enforced during his life.
I will never understand what makes extremists think it’s okay to sacrifice hundreds of lives, including many Muslims (I myself would be just as likely to be killed by them for being too moderate, just like anybody else) in the name of Islam. It’s crazy how you can follow a religion that you find peace and strength in, only to be threatened to be killed by the apparent followers of the same religion.
I refuse to be labelled as someone who condones these attacks or supports them, when in reality I am completely, if not more against them than non – Muslims as it directly affects me when I’m criticized for apparently not speaking out against the extremists, yet those same extremists want me, alongside many Muslims who simply don’t support violence dead, as unprecedented violence is just simply uncalled for in Islam. We must reject this, but united, rather than seeing it as Muslims vs everybody else. There are almost two billion Muslims on the planet, and if we all shared the same notion of insane killings and mass murder, life would most likely be over. Most of us want peace, and an end to the constant degrading and mockery to our faith that extremist groups advocate.
My deepest sympathies go out to the victims of these brutal attacks, and I hope these do not divide Muslims and others, just as the extremist desire, but rather unite us for a cause which is so important in withholding humanity ❤