Today, once a terrorist attack takes place in the Western world, the media promptly link it to Islam with blatant disregard for all the terrorist attacks taking place in the Eastern world. It’s very easy to limit a whole religion to an inhuman act of terrorism but not to think deeply and logically of the reasons.
This is what results, in one way or another, in consolidating a hostile situation against anything Arab or Muslim, in letting people believe that Islam is against all the humanitarian values held sacred by the West, contrary to the time-tested truth.
This ultimately led to inflict ill-treatment on migrants and refugees from Muslim-majority countries.
More than a few societal movements and political parties, whatever their various political views are, had adopted opposing attitudes. Moreover, this had a detrimental effect on the international political relations between so many countries amounted to severance of diplomatic relations, or even waging wars.
Let’s agree that ‘Islamist terror’, ‘Islamist extremists’, ‘religious fundamentalists’, and ‘Muslim terrorists’ are inherently misleading conceptions. Originally, there shouldn’t be a link between a certain religious belief and terrorism. This applies also to Islam, especially when stereotypes are discarded and facts are considered.
One of the obvious facts is that around 24 per cent of the global population are Muslims while only 10.3 per cent of all the terrorist strikes, taken place since 1970, have been orchestrated by, as alleged, Islamist-motivated groups.
Despite the recent increase in this share, it has not exceeded 24 per cent. It is surprising to find out that lower terrorist strikes tend to take place in any country with a larger percentage of Muslims, if anything at all.
Much more surprising is that most of the victims of a lot of ‘terrorist strikes’ are Muslims. As can be simply concluded from this, any Muslim at anywhere in the world at the moment is far less likely to be a terrorist than any other one belongs to a different religion or creed.
Consequently, any claim that Islam is inherently linked to the rise of terrorism is erroneous.
Double Standards and Stereotypes
Paradoxically, we don’t find many point the finger to Christianity in similar in the event of similar strikes driven by Christian extremists.
For example, when the Lord’s Resistance Army (“LRA”) in Uganda has murdered around 100.000 people and committed widespread human rights violations, including abduction, mutilation, child-sex slavery, and forcing children to participate in hostilities with an ultimate goal of establishing a theocratic state on the basis of the Ten Commandments.
In 2011, US and NATO forces moved to help combat LRA without any explicit accusations and charges brought against Christianity.
Likewise, the self-proclaimed Army of God (“AOG”) is a terrorist organization that has engaged in the use of anti-abortion violence in the United States to fight against abortion for decades.
In both cases, almost every Christian rejects such violent acts and ideas. We would be applying double standards if we consider ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and the Taliban related to Islam as a whole while not linking the LRA and AOG to Christianity. The secret behind such contradiction is the lack of knowledge of Islam and Muslims and the common stereotypes projected by the international media.
Recently, several acts of violence in the United States were perpetrated by the White nationalist groups, which encompass murdering a substantial number of innocent people. One of the most horrific crimes known to humankind that was perpetrated by Dylann Roof, claim to be a white supremacist, when he murdered nine African Americans in a church in Charleston, South Carolina. Yet, no fierce campaigns were launched against white Americans and no stigmatization or stereotyping was practiced against the White.
Islam and tolerance
If we re-read history thoroughly and impartially, we will find a tolerant treatment with the non-Muslims proven that Islam, just like other religions, calls to mercy, charity, justice, fairness, equity, tolerance, and freedom of religion or belief.
Such call to noble principles and lofty ideals was not only at times of peace but at wars as well. Jihad was basically legitimized in Islam to help spread concepts of freedom and justice and free people from tyranny, slavery, and persecution to have mercy on the oppressed, empower the overpowered, and guide the perplexed. Nevertheless, Islam has prohibited killing kids, women, elders, priests, and monks or even cutting a tree at wars. Islam ensures upholding the ideal values of keeping the commitments and prevailing peace over war, and calls upon the faithful to believe in all heavenly messengers and holy scriptures.
After all, criminals have never been representatives of their race, ethnicity, or religion by any means. We should never be driven by the false prevailing trends and believe that terrorists are motivated by Islam, Christianity, Judaism, or any other religion but they are just murderers.
Islam Terrorism Christianity Tolerance White ISIS LRA AOG