After reading what I felt to be a naive albeit heartfelt article written by Aditya Divakar Karkera entitled “ISIS is not Muslim”, I felt compelled to respond. (CLICK HERE TO READ HIS ARTICLE IN TIMES OF ISRAEL). I admire the writers intentions and truly understand the message he is trying to get across. The problem is, that while he defends Islam, he has a very serious problem defending Muslims. Here is why.
Although I take some issue with some of his earlier comments, it is one of the last statements of his article where sadly, the argument completely falls apart. I say sadly because in my heart I want him to be right. I want it to be true that there are only 75,000 Muslim extremists. Maybe there are only 75,000 Muslims willing to commit acts of terror, but unless you actively oppose these people, as a Muslim you are more of an extremist than a moderate. What percentage of the remaining 1.5 billion plus Muslims actively oppose this extremism? There were more than 75 thousand Muslims protesting against Israel and in support of Hamas this past summer on any given day in Europe. Are they moderates? The people of Gaza elected Hamas. Are they not extremists? They are being taught to hate Jews from a young age, that we are pigs that need to be killed. Is that not extremist?
Iran is a nation of people led by a government committed to the destruction of Israel and opposed to western values. I am sure not all of the people living there feel that feel the same way, but the citizens are not exactly rising up against this. If we are to take the position of the writer, we need such a sentiment to come from more than one good person from India with the genuine desire to see a world free of hatred. We need the Muslims of the world that feel as the writer says they feel, to stand up and make their voices heard. Without that it means nothing.
It may be true that much of Islam peaceful, but I don’t hear of many Muslims fighting for peace. I don’t see tens of thousands marching against the extremists. I don’t see the young people throwing rocks or Molotov cocktails at terrorist headquarters. I would like to see that, but I don’t. The perception that Islam is a religion of violent extremists can only be dispelled by one group of people, and that is the Muslims themselves. We would all welcome that day if it were ever to arrive. Sadly there are no indications of that happening with any significance. As long as that is the case the argument made in this article won’t be accepted by the majority of people, and in my opinion, rightly so.
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