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Terrorists Vs. Muslims Essay

1336 words - 6 pages

Terrorist events such as 9/11 are widely known as an attack by the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda. This event, one of the most remembered moments in the U.S., may have been the start of the pressure towards defining Islam as a violent religion. Islam was developed in the Middle East and spread around the world to form a following of over 1.5 billion people, which is over 1/7th of the total population of the world. Islam is the 2nd largest religion in the world, to say that the majority of Muslims are terrorists or criminals because of their religion would mean that a large fraction of the world are criminals. Most Muslims in modern society are ordinary people who practice Islam, but because of Islamic extremists, certain scriptures in the Quran, and the portrayal by the media, Muslims have been subject to preconceptions. Muslims are treated differently in each country across the world, a cultural difference of various regions is also a factor in their mannerisms. The discrimination against Muslims is a misuse of opportunities to have those who are opposed to the unjustly use of their religion for violence, fight against it.
Mainstream Muslims—that is, ones who go to school and study, watch a movie with their friends, and go to the gym to exercise, just as the average person does—are not terrorists. These are individuals that know no more about making bombs or plotting against the government than most do. Michael Gerson of the Washington Post argues in his 2013 article “Tied in Knots by Radicalism” that, “Islam is a diverse religious tradition including more than 1 billion people and millions of our fellow citizens who overwhelmingly reject the murder of random strangers as an expression of their faith. Terrorism is the expression of a violent ideology that has, disturbingly, taken root among some Muslims. Debates over the meaning of terms such as ‘jihad’ and ‘Sshariah’ are at least as complex as Christian debates over ‘just war’ and ‘social justice.’ For an outsider to assert that Islam should be generally identified with its most radical theological and political interpretation is both presumptuous and uninformed” (1).
The Quran has several scriptures voicing its thoughts of violence, along with its pursuit of peace. It is true that the Quran speaks of violence, but these verses mostly pertaining to self-defense are often twisted to justify jihadist actions. Karen Armstrong tells us in her 2001 piece “The True, Peaceful Face Of Islam” that, “Muslims are ordered by God to ‘slay [enemies] wherever you find them!’ (4: 89). Extremists such as Osama bin Laden like to quote such verses but do so selectively. They do not include the exhortations to peace, which in almost every case follow these more ferocious passages: ‘Thus, if they let you be, and do not make war on you, and offer you peace, God does not allow you to harm them’ (4: 90) … fundamentalists often feel justified in ignoring the more compassionate principles of their faith. But in...

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