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Is Islam a Religion of Peace?

Saida Dahir

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As-Salaam-Alaikum, is the greeting for Muslims all over the world. Translated into English, it means Peace Be Upon You. Is Islam a religion of peace? This is a question that many have been asking.

Growing up as a Muslim American is really tough. I have been called a “terrorist” many times. When you say the word “terrorist,” everyone automatically thinks of Muslims, 9/11 or both.  The first time I was ever called a terrorist was in the third grade. No one spoke the actual word, but as I walked by a group of boy they placed their jackets across their face and screamed, “Allahu Akbar,” which means “God is Great.” Some survivors have heard bombers say this before they blow them and their surroundings up. The third grade boys collapsed to the ground and erupted in laughter. Tears ran down my face as I tried my hardest to escape their taunting. I was so ashamed that it might’ve been true, so I didn’t tell anybody.

Muslims all over the world are stereotyped as terrorists every day. Muslims are constantly picked for random searches at airports. People hold their breath when a Muslim person walks into a room, afraid they are going to be killed. When people see them in the streets they give them dirty glares, like they don’t belong in their country. Not all Muslims are terrorists. According to Common Misconceptions, ninety-three percent of Islamic people do not support extremist views of terrorism. Social media sometimes makes it appear like we allow this. We don’t support terrorist organizations at all.

Recently, a group called ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) or ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and Levant) has been terrorizing civilians all over the world. ISIS use to be a part of a famous terrorist organization called Al-Qaeda. They later broke off and created a whole other group. Today, ISIS and al-Qaeda compete rather than collaborate. ISIS’s soul mission is to overthrow the existing governments of unstable Muslim-dominated nations and establish their own state. They use violence and hatred to make people fear them into obeying them, and they use Allah’s (God’s) name while doing so.

Just this summer, several terror attacks took place. On June 12, 2016, 49 people were killed and 53 injured in a mass shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Omar Mateen, the terrorist who caused the shooting, pledged allegiance to ISIL by calling 9-11. On the evening of July 14, 2016, a terrorist drove through crowds celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, killing 84 people. Mohamed Lahouel-Bouhlel, the man driving the truck was also associated with the terror group.

Their actions are repulsive and corrupt. This Islam is not the one I worship. The Quran (our holy books) prohibits their action. There are specific things that the Quran says one can and can’t do during war. A person can’t hurt children or the elderly, but ISIS has been killing thousands upon thousands of innocent people. Muslims beliefs say one can’t hurt women, yet ISIS is capturing girls and forcing them to be sex slaves. It is prohibited to hurt nature, but look at how many bombs they have set off. These actions are uncalled for and downright infuriating.

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MHS Student News
Is Islam a Religion of Peace?