18 Sep

The past few weeks have seen ISIS used as a basis to vilify Islam through a variation of methods.

The most prominent of which has been an insinuated animosity between Islam and Christianity. Especially by professing such animosity is rooted in Quranic
 teaching.

As a person who has studied Islam my whole life, I can confirm that this is complete and utter nonsense. Christians and Jews are among the most respected people in the Quran, singled out and named “the people of the book” in every verse they are mentioned. 

Having said that, there is no need to take my word for it. Here are a few examples demonstrating the strong bond between Christians, Jews, and Muslims cited from the Book itself:

“The same religion has He established for you as that which He enjoined on Noah … and that which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus” (42:13). 

“We (Muslims) believe in the Revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you (Jews & Christians); our Allah and your Allah is One” (29:46).

“We believe in Allah, and in what has been revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and in (the Books) given to Moses, Jesus, and the Prophets, from their Lord: We make no distinction between one and another among them” (3:84).

Hence, the aforementioned implication is clearly nothing more than a baseless fabrication aimed at inciting hatred.

Another myth being perpetuated is the notion that ISIS are “a religious movement”. This is also ill-founded. 

Every single action ISIS have taken so far has been glaringly political. 

Their first step upon entering Iraq was armament- a very clear military manoeuvre with no religious incentive. 

The ultimate goal is to colonise two countries (Syria and Iraq)- colonisation is a form of political control through forced settlements.

In the process, they have attempted a genocide of any (Muslim, Christian, or other) who does not pledge allegiance to their self-proclaimed caliphate- for them, this is “treason”, yet another political concept.

Every aim undertaken has been heavily politicised, regardless of the rationale or labels declared towards purported religious teaching.

These falsified claims of religious value have a multitude of aims, one of which is manipulating a steady source of recruitment through brainwashed support. Much like the Christian Crusades- a mass slaughter in the name of religion, but if one were to look at its true nature, it was simply a territorial conflict.

It is absurd to think that highly educated journalists, analysts, and politicians have fallen to such a naive standard where they would unequivocally believe an organisation’s claim for what it is, rather than defining it through its actions. A self-evident truth is extremely apparent, yet the public is still deliberately bludgeoned with the same xenophobic implications.

Beyond this, the propelled image of ISIS has instigated a new form of Islamophobia which seeks to blame Islam for all that is wrong in history, the world, and anything in between. 

In a world full of problems, the urge to find a focal point for one’s frustration is understandable. However, Islam is an ironic choice to make.

Through centuries of history, spanning the Spanish Inquisition, the Holocaust, European Antisemitism, the Cuban genocide, the American genocide of more than 100 million Native Indians, and the brutal British colonisation which stole the lives of more than 15 million Indians (among others).

Even taking into account the First World War, Second World War, nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (with a lasting impact to this very day), the British concentration camps of Africans and the enslavement of black Africans which resulted in the death of 88% of 180 million- corpses which were then dumped into the Atlantic Ocean.

Also, the ethnic cleansing of Australia’s Aboriginals, Vietnamese being subjected to phosphorous gas by the US, 200,000 killed in the Mexican Caste War of Yutucan, and millions of Russians by the hand of Stalin. Human beings have clearly suffered much disparity.

Though there is more to list, a cynical irony already forms. Not one of the above (more than a billion) corpses piled, involved a single Islamic role.

Still, Islam is where we have fallen to lay all blame? 

A religion which: 

– Is so victimised and relentlessly portrayed with negativity through every and any media platform.

– Is demonised to the point where it has become absurd.

– Through its own laws dictates that not even a tree can be harmed during war, let alone an animal or innocent human being.

– Teaches that no man can kill another, lest they be prosecuted as though they had murdered all of humanity.

– Has close to 2 billion adherents across the planet.

Catholicism, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and other ideologies or religions (even though they do not provoke any form of violence) can quite easily be argued as the overbearing objective for instigating many major conflicts in world history from the aforementioned tragedies. 

Therefore, if people were to rely on statistics or any historical context to support their racially charged claims, blame for religious war would not be so particular.

The fact of the matter is that political motivation and certain traits within human nature (greed, self-importance, vengeance, egotism) constitute the only real reasons for these acts of barbarism. Religion is merely manipulated as justification for the masses, thus it cannot be liable as a “cause”. 

The appeal in blaming religion is in its simplicity. It is far easier to blame an idea which acts as an umbrella over anyone and everyone you are meant to despise, rather than going through the hindrance of patience to identify those solely responsible then punishing their perverse agenda in isolation.

Today Islam is thrown around far too easily as a scapegoat for evil, and this is only becoming worse as it is fed by mass ignorance. The utility this unsubstantiated hatred now encompasses is at the point where it is an embarrassment to our proclamation of existing as “intelligent beings”. 

Do not let abhorrent individual acts represent any religious ideology. Do not let ISIS overshadow fact and spread bitterness. 

Most importantly: do not become empty puppets, connected by the strings of media, to the fingers of ISIS.

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