March 27, 2023
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Muslim Does Not Mean Terrorist: Inside Islamic Discrimination

With recent ISIS activity taking the forefront of the media coverage, the fear of terrorists is on high alert. We have, as a country, been more active in security measures and more precautious in our actions as a result of 9/11. However, with this has come the fear of Muslims. People see a man in a turban in the airport and automatically rush to the worst-case scenario. I would like to take the opportunity to say this: Islam does not equal ISIS.

Muslims do not discriminate as ISIS does. It was the Islamic Prophet Muhammad himself who said, “Surely Allah [God] does not look at your faces or your bodies, but looks at your hearts and your deeds.” It is a belief of these people that everyone is born equally and we should not be judged as a result. The Islamic religion is one founded off of peace. The Five Pillars are the foundations which keep the whole religion in tact- prayer, pilgrimage (to Mecca), charity, fasting, and faith. The Five Pillars are meant to promote a sound mind and body, as well as giving back to the community. Nowhere in the foundation of this belief system does it say bombings, murder, violence, fear, or pain. These may be five characteristics of ISIS, but this is not a part of Islam.

In the early months of 1993, the government was at a standoff with the religious sect of the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas. The leader, David Koresh, led a 51 day standoff with police which resulted in 76 casualties, including Koresh. The cult compound, as it would later be known as, was raided by federal forces as it had been stockpiling illegal weapons and had come under fire for allegations of sexual abuse. Koresh himself had multiple wives, some as young as 12 years old. All of this was justified by Koresh as “God’s work.”

My point? There are radical groups in all religions. Branch Davidians are offshoots of Adventists/Protestants. So are all Protestants murderers and sexual deviants? Of course not. If one Catholic priest abuses a child, are all Catholics pedophiles? Of course not. This is the same with Muslims. The actions of a few do not define the entire religion as a whole. Do not judge the word of Islam based off of a few outcasts who have twisted the Quran into justification for their actions. Right is right and wrong is wrong, a basic principle which the majority of Muslims know to be true. Do not condemn them for the actions of extremists.