Apart from Islamophobes, which have increased in number in both America (with the new elections coming and candidate Trump’s constant anti-muslim statements) and in Europe (due to the number of terrorist attacks caused by ISIS and other radical islamists), there are still many liberal, open-minded people who find it difficult to not link Islam with terrorism.
“I am sure Islam is a religion of peace, but I’ve heard/read that it says in the Qu’ran that one should kill the disbelievers.”
“I am sure Islam is a religion like any other, but it is still shocking to see that so many terrorist attacks are executed in the name of Islam. There has never been as many terrorist attacks from Christians or Buddhists or Hindus…”
“If Islam would modernise itself… it would be a good religion. It’s ethics are a bit backward… It hasn’t evolved with society like the Christian religion has.”
In 2016, it is difficult not to think about terrorism without Islam, or about Islam, without terrorism. With so many attacks having happened, so much media coverage, so many people talking, Islam and terrorism have been forcefully and unfortunately linked.
Many people do not realise the power of the media and how it can manipulate and control people’s perception about certain issues. Before 9/11, Islam was more commonly seen as a religion like any other. I think however, that every country wants its revenge in a certain way and that after this terror attack, most of the American media did not promote a peaceful vision of Islam as a religion.
Many people in Europe are scared. Many think that the terrorism which has occurred these last few months is a result of from a lack of education and misinterpretation of religion. And they are right, but I think this is only a very small part of it.
After hearing that ISIS publishes a propaganda magazine every month, it made me curious and want to read it. ISIS seems so inhumane, so unreal and completely alien.
While reading the article I became conciously aware that it had been written by a human being, by someone made out of flesh and blood, someone ‘real’…
The article’s title was “Why we hate you and why we fight you” and talks about ISIS’ hate for the West and its unislamic society.
The title predicts the content; every sentence is filled with hate, the hate is so strong that one wonders what this person behind the letters, the invisible author, must have gone through to write such a text.
The prevalent idea that stood out for me, especially towards the end of the article, was the extreme hate for the West, but especially a malevolence towards America. The whole article tasted of ‘Anti-America’. Europe was never mentioned, but America and American ideologies were constantly implied.
After reading a few paragraphs one begins to see the reasons for the author’s, a.k.a. ISIS’ hate for the West.
It reads, “We hate you for your crimes against the Muslims: your drones and fighter jets bomb, kill, and maim our people around the world, …. we fight you to stop you from killing our men, women, and children, to liberate those of them whom you imprison and torture, and to take revenge…We hate you for invading our lands..”
And then, when one continues reading, every sentence smells of revenge…
The whole article is badly written, filled with hatred, violence and propaganda (which is not surprising), but what surprised me, was the subtle, yet repetitious allusions to America.
One cannot simply say that terrorists are killing people because they have misinterpreted religion. There are so many reasons for terrorism, it is such a complex issue, that it makes it hard to comprehend why and what exactly has happened.
However, I believe that America and Europe are guilty too. War has been waged, weapons have been bought and many innocent people have been killed.
Islam has nothing to do with this. One of the world’s many religions, a last thing that some people held onto when the world around them changed completely. It gets twisted with revenge, with hate… Maybe that was how ISIS was created. Its roots. And then there is the lack of education, brain-washing propaganda, social upbringing, experiences, mental trauma, some who are crazy in their heads; that leads to radicalisation and creates heartless humans.
Maybe if Western governments had bought their weapons, killed civilians, waged war in Christian countries (especially third-world countries in which lack of education means people are more easily manipulated through propaganda), we would now have radical Christians killing people and perpetrating terrorist attacks.
The ‘Burkini Ban’ in Cannes surprised me. (For those of you who have not heard about it, the Burkini, which is a bikini which covers the head, the arms and the legs and which is worn by some muslim women, was banned from the beaches in Cannes.) France is the country of the French Revolution, in which people fought for human rights.
Everybody has different opinions about the burkini, but it is a choice that muslim women can make. It does not cover their face in any way, thus one could not use the “there could be a terrorist underneath” excuse to ban it. Why ban this type of clothing? This means that those who wear a burkini, will not go to the beach anymore, they will not be able to take their children there and they and their families will feel excluded from society. What does this create?
Banning the burkini, means banning those women who wear it. Maybe I am exaggerating, but when I read these news, I thought about South Africa and how during the time of Apartheid, black people were banned from certain beaches. Is it not the same thing?
I have the feeling that laws like this are only creating a stronger division within a country which especially now, should be united more than ever.
It is important for us to realize how strongly the media can influence us, important to conciously try not to judge a religion and most of all to go out and talk to a Muslim. I am sure many will be very happy to talk to you and explain how they see their own religion, how they practice it and what its values and ideas are.
This is the link to the 15th issue of ISIS’ monthly propaganda magazine, ‘Dabiq’ (propaganda and not very well written but also an interesting read): http://www.clarionproject.org/factsheets-files/islamic-state-magazine-dabiq-fifteen-breaking-the-cross.pdf
Image courtesy: http://www.jpost.com