War against ISIL ideology


Originally posted in San Jose Mercury News

Just miles away from Ground Zero, three Muslim men plotted to leave this country and join ISIL, the so-called “Islamic State.”

As a Muslim, news like this is disheartening but it serves as a vivid reminder that radicalization, unfortunately, remains a pressing problem even in the United States. It is time for us to act, but more than just militarily.

While strategic airstrikes may slow enemy forces, this war is more an ideological one. Our best response as a nation is to empower Muslim voices, like that of the Khalifa of Islam, Mirza Masroor Ahmed, who continuously declare ISIL ideology as antithetical to Islam.

The answer is to wrest control from the hands of terrorists by promoting the true, peaceful teachings of Islam: one that accepts all and prevents youths from feeling alienated in the West.

And fellow Muslims, let our voices drown out the violent rhetoric of extremists. Let us cleanse the tarnished face of a religion whose very name signifies peace.

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