Originally published in The Cleveland
The attacks perpetrated on Paris were done by Muslims, not followers of Islam. Doesn’t make sense? Of course, the literal definition of a Muslim is a follower of Islam. But anybody can claim to be Muslim, even if they have never read the Koran. If my holy scripture tells me not to kill others, am I following that book? Obviously, not. So when a person bombs, shoots, and wreaks havoc on humanity in a barbaric and inhumane fashion, does that make them followers of Islam just because they or the people behind these schemes said they were Muslim?
I ask, if a person were to exclaim, “Jesus is my savior!” while going on a shooting spree in a public area, does that make them a follower of Christianity? No!
I sometimes am frustrated by these acts of terrorism. Firstly, they are unbelievably awful and hearing of such unnecessary deaths is terrible for any human soul to comprehend. Secondly, because of these terrorist acts, the religion of Islam is cursed and belittled as a breeding ground for extremism.
To undo what has been done by these followers of fallacious ideologies of the Islamic State will take decades, if not more.
This leads me to what a good amount of decent men must be thinking: “Ok, cool – these other Muslims claim that their religion is a peaceful one that doesn’t let you kill whoever you want because they don’t agree with you, and some Muslims are doing these same acts in the name of their faith.
“I don’t care, I just want to know why these people are yelling Allahu Akbar, a central Islamic phrase which means God is the greatest, and then killing innocent lives.”
However, it will not stop the moderate, peaceful Muslims, such as members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, to repeatedly and tirelessly condemn these terrorists for their injustices.
This is the factual and unchanged translation of the Koran that Muslims believe to be the word of God:
“And create not disorder in the earth after it has been set in order” (7:56; 11:86; 29:37)
“Whosoever killed a person…it shall be as if he has killed all of mankind” (5:33)
“And do not let the hatred of people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness.” (5:8)
Does this correlate in any sense with what ISIS did in Paris or the actions of any terrorist groups who act in the name of Islam?
Creating disorder, killing others, and letting personal hatred for a people lead you into injustice are all prohibited in the Koran.
So why do they continue to scar the holy mantle of Islam? Simply because they are political groups who seek to gain attention by appealing to Muslims ignorant of Islam’s true teachings, not those who truly follow Islam, but those of who classify as Muslim because of their geography, ethnicity, culture, or family background.
Whether it is a Muslim teen in America who seeks to find an outlet for his energy in the grips of the wretched hands of ISIS, a citizen of France who falls under the trap of a fake Islam that will reward him for his horrible deeds, or a young Syrian man who may have no knowledge of his faith but will find a future and purpose within the political and territorial goals of ISIS, these all showcase the influence of the leaders of ISIS.
In fact, the prophet Muhammad foresaw the disease of these religious clerics, prophesying that they would be the worst creatures under the canopy of the sky.
With all this in mind, it is safe to say that the war with ISIS is not of religion. Their leaders know it and we should know it. Yet, their followers are not aware of the true Islam, and they ultimately become puppets and pawns who carry out their wishes of anarchy and scare tactics.
My wish is for all people to know that Islam is a peaceful religion. The Koranic verses I gave are merely a glimpse. Once we can understand this, the media of our country and the civilized world must display the true tenets of Islam. Once the global community reaches a consensus on this, we will see less and less radicalization.
Therefore, I say with logic and evidence that the religious war is nonexistent, and the fight with ISIS will only cease to exist once a widespread revolutionary ideological warfare is engaged against them.
We can mourn and send our condolences to the victims of these tragic events. We can see vast coverage on TV. We can curse ISIS and the perpetrators. There is no wrong in any of those things.
However, we need to take the steps to make these occurrences fewer and fewer. Let’s show the true face of Islam to the news and media world, as opposed to accepting the mask ISIS is manifesting.