Reflecting on radicalism


Originally published in Houston Chronicle


Regarding “Police hunt gunman who killed 12 at weekly” (Page A4, Thursday), as a Muslim-American, I condemn the reprehensible atrocities and extend my profound condolences to the families of these victims.

While the perpetrators felt that the Charlie Hebdo newspaper had desecrated the image of the Prophet Muhammad, they responded by desecrating the name of God, chanting “Allahu Akbar” – Arabic for “God is great” – while committing these horrific acts. Clearly, these terrorists do not represent Islam, as the Quran exhorts believers that, “the killing of one … is like the killing of all mankind” (5:33).

To any Muslim worldwide who wrongfully supports these attacks: Yes, I found the cartoons distasteful, but we must learn to respond to satire and criticism with discourse, not violence. Hopefully, together, we can find a more wholesome way to glorify God, a more inspiring reason to roar “Allahu Akbar.”


About the author

Sajeel Malik

Sajeel Malik is an undergraduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in Cognitive Science with a specialization in Neuroscience. He is currently the West Coast Regional Representative for the Muslim Writers Guild of America and has published in a variety of local and national newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Daily News, and the Houston Chronicle. Originally a native of Houston, Texas, he is a basketball fanatic, and he ultimately hopes to become a practicing physician.

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By Sajeel Malik