Terrorism: Synonymous with Islam?

  A recent CNN article lists the names of American citizens who have tried to take America down via terrorism and atrocious acts. Focusing on recent times, every single person listed on that article was a devotee of Islam. As I read the article, I began to question: were there other notable acts of homecountry sabotage that had occured in recent years that were NOT perpetrated by a Muslim? If so, was there a reason why they were not included in the article? Or perhaps the author just wanted to be biased?
    However, it is not just one CNN author who seems to agree that to be a terrorist means also to be a Muslim: the two words are nearly synonymous, it seems, in many people’s opinion. Ask anyone what a terrorist is, and they will probably throw in the word “Islam” or “Muslim” somewhere at some point. This is disturbing. I know that here, in America, many (even most) terroists have been Muslims hell-bent on teaching our country a lesson as they decry our lack of morality (a tad ironic, a mon avis) but the two words should not be synonymous.
     I made a google search by typing in the word “terrorist.” What did I find?
  • Wikipedia listed “Definitions of terrorism”-History of Terrorism-Islamic Terrorism and Jewish (!) on it’s link blurb
  • Merriam-Webster’s definition of terrorism: “the systematic use of terror especially as a means for coercion” (Islam is not mentioned!)
  • Many images for terrorism mostly showing Osama bin Laden and the Twin towers
  • A link to an article from Boston.com about two young men of Middle Eastern descent, who were falsely accused of terrorism and accosted by the FBI why? Because they drove a car with alternative fuel tanks inside.

This last find (along with the many images) only enhanced the CNN article’s take that “all terrorists are Muslims.” Perhaps the police were right to investigate, but if these men had not been Arab they would most likely not have bothered. The same goes for the Muslim woman who is suing Southwest Airlines for being removed from her flight for allegedly saying the words “It’s a go.” If a stewardess had heard me, a white American, say those words, they would not have blinked twice.

    Unfortunately, it takes just a few people to give a bad name to any group, organization, religion, etc. However, we must combat this. If we teach the younger generation that “All terrorists are Muslims” what will that do for our world? It will spread prejudice as these children believe that anyone believing in Allah also hates the USA and wants to bring it down. It will spread fear–just what the terrorists want.
Cartoon from India Talkies.com website
        The photo above, taken from the India Talkies website (link below), sums it up best. A terrorist can be anybody from any religion. As is the case with many countries in Europe (look at the people who tried to blow up the embassies in Greece) a terrorist can be someone fighting against their very nation, their very neighbors. Thus, it is time to stop associating the word “Islam” with “terrorism”!
S-L-M
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7 thoughts on “Terrorism: Synonymous with Islam?

  1. You make a good point here. The association of Islam and terrorism isn’t so endemic here in the UK, because anyone over the age of about 20 grew up with Irish terrorism on our doorsteps, but the profiling and wariness of Muslims seems to have only grown worse since 2001.

    1. Thank you. Indeed it has, particularly in the US. I flew out of Manchester England a couple months ago, though, and I must admit that the security measures taken before boarding the plane (to the US) were just as lengthy as any in the US! I’m not complaining though: I strongly believe in airline security!

  2. Ana, you said:

    Unfortunately, it takes just a few people to give a bad name to any group, organization, religion, etc. However, we must combat this. If we teach the younger generation that “All terrorists are Muslims” what will that do for our world? It will spread prejudice as these children believe that anyone believing in Allah also hates the USA and wants to bring it down.

    While I admire your optimism and that you obviously like to think the best of everyone, lets not forget that Islam is founded upon the teachings and life of Mohammed – an individual who by anyone’s definition would be considered a terrorist. And unless a Muslim is prepared to renounce the prophet of Islam, which they can never do without also renouncing Islam, then they must implicitly agree with and follow the example he set.

    Of course Islam without its prophet and founder would be rendered meaningless to the billion or so Muslims on the planet: they can never renounce him without also renouncing Islam as a whole. Islam is a complete system of belief – one must either embrace it fully or reject it out of hand; there are no half-way measures.

    PS Thanks for your recent comment on my blog. I have put up another post which you may find informative on the whole subject of Islam: How Islam Manifests based on Percentage Muslim Population

    1. I am not always an optimist, but how can I not believe the best out of the average Muslim? Like Christianity and Judaism, there ARE Muslims who follow the religion in a more relaxed matter; certainly not every Christian follows the Bible in it’s exact context, and neither do all Muslims. The Koran and words of Mohammad, as I am finding out, are not always meant to be interpreted as concretely written, nor does it say to kill every person one meets who is not Muslim. After all, one of Mohammad’s wives was a Jew, and her tribe Jewish, and he did not fight nor try to convert them. Just like every religion, there is SOME ‘personality’ in Islam: witness that most Muslims do NOT believe in polygamy, although it is an act allowed in certain cases by the Koran. Thus, half-way measures.

      BTW, I read your other post and commented on it. As I am already doing extensive reading on the Islamic world, lived in Egypt for 2 months and am married to a Muslim, I would say I have a pretty good grasp on the subject in general and I know that most Muslims are peaceful people.

  3. Sadly, Ana, the statistics from my link above speak for themselves, and refute your claims that there is any difference between so called “moderate” and “fundamentalist” Muslims.
    The only ‘apparent’ harmony exists when Muslims make up one percent or less of the total population – from my link:

    *** One percent ***
    “As long as the Muslim population remains around 1% of any given country it will be regarded as a peace-loving minority and not as a threat to anyone….”

    We already see a paradigm shift when 2-3 percent is achieved:

    *** Two to three percent ***
    “At 2% and 3% they [Muslims] begin to proselytize from other ethnic minorities and disaffected groups with major recruiting from the jails and among street gangs.”

    And after that the lid really starts to come off as can be seen in much of Europe, the UK and other Western nations where Islam is asserting its dominance.

    Pleas note, the figures from my link above make no distinction between so called “moderates” and “fundamentalists” – these are percentages based on ALL Muslims in a nation. This is Islam. A wise man [woman] would open their eyes to the truth.

    1. I understand that the percentages for each country come from the CIA Factbook, but what about the comments that are in brackets (say, *** One percent ***
      “As long as the Muslim population remains around 1% of any given country it will be regarded as a peace-loving minority and not as a threat to anyone….”) Are these also from the CIA Factbook, or are just your own comments? Although some of these bracketed comments are certainly disturbing in themselves, others (such as Muslims proselytizing) are not bad. Aren’t Muslims allowed to proselytize, just as Christians and any other religions are allowed? I don’t think introducing some morals to a street gang or prison member is neccessarily a bad thing! And I don’t think that asking for halal food to be available or securing food jobs is a bad thing either. Jewish people require kosher food; there’s nothing wrong with that, so halal food should not be a problem either.

      I do agree that your statistics and (the comments that follow) do not make a moderate/fundamentalist distinction, however, that does not mean that the whole population is doing the proselytizing, demanding shariah law (I’d hazard a guess that the Muslim women would not be proposing this) or burning cars, churches etc.

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