The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Recent ISIS attack leaves Islam the target of ignorant accusation

3 min read
By HANNAH PARKER On Nov. 13, 2015, a day surely to go down in history, the world shook. In a full-fledged terrorist attack on the capital of France, Paris, 129 civilians were killed and 352 were left injured according to the U.K. paper, The Telegraph.


On Nov. 13, 2015, a day surely to go down in history, the world shook. In a full-fledged terrorist attack on the capital of France, Paris, 129 civilians were killed and 352 were left injured according to the U.K. paper, The Telegraph.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria extremist group, better known as ISIS, admitted to being the culprits behind the attacks on Paris, saying it was just “the first of the storm” for the future terrorist attacks to come according to The New York Times. ISIS has successfully inflicted fear throughout the world and the world wants retaliation now.

And rightfully so due to the innocent lives lost and the fear captivating the world, but some forms of “retaliation” are not so righteous.

Exploding over social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and anonymity sites such as Yik Yak, people are classifying all Muslims as “terrorists” because of the inhuman acts of ISIS. ISIS is an anti-Western militant group centralized in northern Syria stretching to Iraq whose goal is to create their own Islamic State in their region, according to CNN.

There are two very important words to pick out, militant and group. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary militant is, “having or showing a desire or willingness to use strong, extreme, and sometimes forceful methods to achieve something” and a group is, “a number of people who are connected by some shared activity, interest, or quality.” ISIS is a connected number of people who share the same desire to use extreme methods to achieve a goal. Therefore, generalizing the entire Islamic religion as terrorists is simply incorrect.

Not only that, stereotyping terrorism as a Muslim or religious act is incorrect. Terrorism is, “the use of violent acts to frighten the people in an area as a way of trying to achieve a political goal,” according to Merriam-Webster dictionary.

Nowhere in that definition does it specify a religion that solely uses tactics of terrorism. The world needs to learn to stop associating a 1,400-year-old religion with actions that have occurred over the last decade.

If we were to look broadly over the history of the world ‘terrorism,’ it would be associated with multiple religions.

Are all Christians terrorists because of actions of the Ku Klux Klan? Are all Buddhists terrorists because of the League of Blood Incident in 1932, which plotted the assassination of politicians and the wealthy? Are all Hindus terrorists because of the 2007 Samjhauta Express bombings, which set off bombs in two trains killing 68 people?

No. Just like not all Muslims are terrorists because of the actions of ISIS or Al Qaeda alike. We would like to believe that our school is above such ignorant generalizations, but sadly the night of the Paris attacks hate posts were made over Yik Yak degrading Muslims and the Islamic religion.

Examples include posts from Yik Yak such as: “Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslim,” “Christianity does not condone killing #Islamdoes,” and“If I kill in your name does that mean you condoned my killing? No, Islam condones the killing of nonbelievers. Simple as that.”

The ignorance that surrounds the concept of terrorism is clouding the real issue at hand- ISIS, not Muslims, but ISIS. And before the world can learn the difference and learn that terrorism has no religion unrighteous retaliation will proceed on.

4 thoughts on “Recent ISIS attack leaves Islam the target of ignorant accusation

  1. Great article, but there are grammar mistakes everywhere (that last sentence in particular crushes me).

  2. You’re right that to generalize all muslims as terrorists is starkly unjustifiable.
    However, you must be careful not to misconstrue objective criticism of Islam as islamaphobia or bigotry, a practice that’s becoming more and more pervasive.

  3. Firstly, I will concede that not all Muslims are terrorists, and hopefully, we may be able to seek more Muslims who want nothing to do with the Islamic ideology of the sword that has plagued the West.

    But sadly, though, as of this day and age, most terrorists are going to be Muslims.

    Many of your arguments against the over-generalization of Islam, unfortunately, leave much to be desired. The goals of ISIS are inextricably bound up with mainstream Islamic ideology; and this mainstream Islamic ideology is the ideology of the sword; the ideology of horrific persecution against non-Muslims promulgated by Muhammad the Prophet.

    Bear in mind the fact that the Qur’an had abrogated the “Peace Verses” with the “War Verses”; the “Peace Verses” were written at a time when Muhammad the Prophet was not at an advantageous position against his enemies; by the time Muhammad had reached that point, it was time to justify his actions by invoking divine support from Allah. And the teachings of Muhammad cannot be abrogated again after being set in stone, which will become very problematic in efforts to divorce Islam from an ideology of violence.

    I want, so desperately, to believe that Islam is a religion of peace, and that peaceful coexistence is possible. However, with the bloody history of an Islamic rise to power under, and following the death of Muhammad the Prophet that left a trail of devastation and suffering in its wake in the lands that were conquered and placed under a state of dhimmitude, now manifested in the events of September 11 and now the ISIS attacks, force me to conclude that unless there is some detachment from the warlike doctrines of Islam, the Islam that is present in this world will continue to be an ideology influencing its adherents to promulgate destruction and oppression in its wake. If you draw connections to these acts of terrorism, you will find that such acts of violence share a common grain of an influence bound up in Islamic theology; the conservative brand eagerly promulgated by many traditionally-bounded leaders. If there are any Muslims who want nothing to do with this brand of a destructive ideology, it will take great courage for them to issue a unanimous “No” against the atrocities that ISIS is perpetrating. I am afraid, though, that such Muslims may only be a minority, and they will be considered, by their traditional counterparts, as not being good Muslims.

    As for your arguments over whether most Christians, or Hindus, are terrorists because of some terrorist actions some of its members have committed, I have this to say, my friend: You are partly right in that we must refrain from over-generalizing of a sect, except for one fundamental concept: it seems your arguments fail to differentiate between what an established religion teaches, condones, and prohibits. Ask yourself this important question: at its core, what does a particular religion teach and command its followers, and what does it prohibit? For example, taking two of the religions you mention, Christianity and Islam: To name some examples, Christianity commands its adherents to love one’s enemies, and not only that, bring souls to Christ through good works and the gospel of salvation that Christ promised, in season and out of season. Buddhism places much emphasis on the search for truth in meditations, for example. These teachings are just a few examples. As for Islam? Its ideology seems to be wrapped up in a divine mandate to subdue all nations under Allah’s name, and place them under Shari’a, through subterfuge, deception, and temporary peace treaties to be broken when one is at an advantage to subdue non-Muslims, as such things had happened in the days of Muhammad the Prophet. And when non-Muslims are under the rule of the Islamic confessional state, they are forced to pay the jizya (a great financial burden for non-Muslims), and the non-Muslims are forced to convert, often by the point of a sword, and those who refuse are summarily executed, and if not executed, their lives are made a living hell.

    Yes, my friend, terrorism can have religious mandates, and we are seeing it before our eyes. The agents of ISIS are well-equipped, but traditional Islamic ideology forms the backbone of its belief structure, and this ideology motivates them completely, giving them indomitable willpower.

  4. ISIS’s actions are driven and justified by a literal interpretation of the Quran and Hadith. Thus, there is a palpable link between ISIS and Islam.
    In fact, Islam propagates many pernicious beliefs that are incompatible with the 21st century and civilized society in general. For ex- Islam explicitly promotes the killing of apostates, the spread of shariah law by violent means, and the oppression of women, homosexuals, and free thinkers.
    Studies suggest that 15-25%, or roughly ~400 million, of the 1.6 billion Muslims subscribe to these radical ideologies.
    I’m no proponent of generalizing all muslims as being radical, violent people. Anyone who does should be condemned.
    The ~400 million Muslims who are radicalized, however, is a number that’s too prolific to ignore. For this reason, Islam must be criticized. For this reason, we must throw political correctness in the garbage.

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