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ISIS, Islamophobia and ignorance

Muslims are by far the greatest victim of IS; directly stricken through IS’s slaughter, and indirectly though the rise in Islamophobia

The fanatical, deluded murderers, rapists and beheaders also known as ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham) have done nothing but contribute to a rise in Islamaphobia.  The majority of the 1.6 billion Muslims around the world have stood against the atrocious acts of ISIS and continue to rally against the actions of these evil deviants.

I have continuously expressed my disgust and condemnation of the blood hungry IS, as have many of my colleagues and peers within the media, who have been working tirelessly to clear misconceptions and promote unity. 

I have never experienced an incident of prejudice for being Muslim until recently when I was walking through the city of Glasgow. A man approached me using foul language and demanded that I should apologise for the actions of ISIS in the middle of the busy city centre.

Despite telling the man relentlessly that I too condemned the actions of ISIS and that they are in no way a representation of Islam or its teachings, he continued to curse me and eventually walked away. To generalise a person due to their religious beliefs, or to make assumptions about someone according to what they wear, is ludicrous. Generally, in all my time living in Glasgow I have always come across friendly, tolerant people. This incident made me more aware of the impact of actions of deviants, who unfortunately, get labelled in the mainstream media as belonging to a religion that in actual fact has nothing to with the atrocious conduct of ISIS.

Ironically, in the case of ISIS, there are more Muslims being killed than any other group. In both Iraq and Syria, there is an unprecedented amount of Sunni and Shiite Muslims being killed en masse, which goes to show that they too are victims of these violent groups.

Despite a rise in Islamaphobic attacks, it is refreshing to see the response to prejudice that was witnessed in a social experiment conducted by two Canadian actors. One actor was dressed in full Islamic clothing and another actor pretended to be Islamaphobic. The video showed members of the Canadian public standing up passionately for the Muslim victim. One man was even prepared to punch the racist in the face after accusations were made that the actor dressed as a Muslim could be a potential terrorist purely based on the way he was dressed.

The Canadian public response in this video is something worth watching and nurtures the sense of unity that we all need in the world today. We need to stand united, regardless of faith or any other factor in opposing the wrongdoers.

Recently, the "Not In My Name" campaign launched unprecedented support in establishing a platform to isolate ISIS from using religion as a guise to justify their inhumane acts.

Individuals who say they are acting in the name of religion to justify immoral actions are not truly following their religion and are practicing it wrongly. For this reason, it is a mistake to form any idea of that religion from the activities of these people.

“Those who do not call on any other deity together with God and do not kill anyone God has made inviolate, except with the right to do so, and do not fornicate; anyone who does that will receive an evil punishment.” (Quran- Surat al-Furqan: 68)

As we can see in the verses above, those who kill innocent human beings without cause are threatened with evil punishment. In Islam, Muslims believe that God has revealed that killing one person is as great a sin as killing all mankind. Anyone who respected the prerogatives of God would not do harm to even one individual, let alone murdering thousands of innocent people. Those who think that they will escape justice and punishment in this world will never escape the account they must give in the presence of God on the last day according to Islamic teachings.

Therefore, we need to stand united against those inhumane individuals and work together to promote better interfaith understanding.

- Tasnim Nazeer is an award winning Freelance Journalist/Writer and Author who has written for a variety of print and online publications including CNN International, The Huffington Post, The Muslim News, Your Middle East, Islam Channel and many more.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

Photo credit: Muslim discrimination is on the rise in many Western countries (AFP)

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