Western Jihad: Islam for Dummies

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I didn’t leave my house today. I woke up to the news – my day was a write off. My heart breaks for Syria, Palestine, Afghanistan.. It broke for Paris on the 13th of November 2015, and it broke for Brussels today. My heart breaks for the lost lives, those injured, their families, and the people left with fear in their hearts. But every time something like this happens, my heart sinks for all my Muslim brothers and sisters out there. I know what’s coming…

Apart from the impending duvet day, I know that there are 1.6 billion muslims in the world and many of those living in the West are about to go through yet more discrimination, torment, and abuse. To be frank, I am completely baffled by the idea that there are people out there that believe that Muslims – all 1.6 billion of them – believe in mass-murder. That Islam breads hate. A religion followed by almost 20% of the planet. That we’ve come to YOUR precious country (because you own it, right?) to steal your jobs, rape your women, and kill your children. All 1.6 billion of us. Do you think that me and my Muslim family and friends are sitting around watching the videos of the disaster, over chips and dips, non-alcoholic beverages and laughter? I think I’m correct in believing that a lot of people who know me well (and those who don’t) probably wouldn’t believe that I was here for the last 19 years on a hidden agenda to destroy infidels. “No Sahar!” you say? “…but you’re sound. You’re the exception.” I am no exception. 

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EDIT: These numbers are actually a mass overestimation of the actual numbers in said terrorist groups. See ‘Kilkcullen the Accidental Guerilla’ p48 for correct numbers. Thank you to John McGarry for clarification.

We are all human and we all come in evil or good. There is no such thing as an exception. Islam, is a list of rules. A way of life. A very specific way of life. Whether you follow them or not is up to you. Whether you follow them the right way, is up to you. Whether you have the audacity or the arrogance to justify the killing of hundreds of innocent people… again that is up to you. These are not errors found in Islam but these are errors found in humans. Jihad does not mean “bomb the white man”, it means “struggle”, for some it’s trying to survive in Gaza, for some it’s trying to raise a family, for some it’s a fight for a made up cause in their own heads. For some of this, putting up with this – the hate, the misrepresentation, the misconceptions – this is our jihad. A real Western jihad.

 

Here are two people. Two muslims. Oooh look how radical they look. Are they good people? Can you tell by looking at them? No! Well for one… they are cartoons but most importantly holding a label of a certain religion does not mean that you are a pinnacle for everything that religion stands for, It does not mean that you are a good representative and it certainly doesn’t mean that beneath that label you are not a hate-mongering asshole. 

It absolutely BAFFLES me that I have to say this. That it’s not completely obvious. That there isn’t a young catholic female ranting on her own blog about how catholicism is not a religion that breads paedophelia… The amount of hatred on social media today is gut wrenching. The hashtag #stopIslam was trending today and the tweets behind it were some of the most uninformed and hateful things I’ve read in my life. Backed by the likes of Katie Hopkins and the honourable (cough) Donald Trump – they were enough to confirm that I have made the right decision deciding on a duvet day today.

I’m writing this now because I am so full of sadness, it numbs me that there are people who think that. As a Muslim in the West who is expected to be a representative for 1.6 billion other people (dare I say that the same would never be expected from the average practicing Catholic in Ireland?), it’s a lot of pressure. The hate being thrown in our direction? It really isn’t easy. You can’t avoid it. For most people, if you want to find the hateful pit of the internet that targets you, you have to go looking for it. For us, it’s everywhere, right in our faces, right outside our mosques.

It scares me that the media has the voice to speak against 20% of the population. A mass misinterpretation of myself, many people I love, and 1 billion others. It scares me that this media-led world gives a voice to the aforementioned Donald Trump and Katie Hopkins. A media-led world that is too arrogant and too uninterested to think for itself or grant a voice to the people that can make a change. A world that would never give Malcom X, Martin Luther King, or James Baldwin a loud enough voice today. Not like back then. Never again. In 2015, over 100 unarmed black people were killed. 100 voiceless people. I don’t know if the social-media heavy world is bringing to light opinions that would be otherwise kept silent, or if it is fuelling them. All I know is that the world is hurting. A voiceless Jihad…

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29 thoughts on “Western Jihad: Islam for Dummies

  1. strawman arguments (noone says ALL 1,6 billions are massmurdereres) and throwing in civil rights activists in to muddle it up with Racism. If there is a problem with Islamic fundamentalism, it’s a problem with the fundamentals of Islam, its critizing a religion, not a race. you clearly don’t take all of the quran or the hadith, good for you, but you can’t complain if some of us want to critize those who do.

    Islam, like all religions, are built on hate and a desire to have power… christianity has lost that power, but Islam still has influence in politics in some countries in the middle east. that is a problem, but the biggest problem, is that Islam can be interpreted and used for hatred and violence, it is a weapon, and that has to be challenged in a free and democratic society. The media doesnt need to tiptoe around it, it needs to mention and challenge the very versus that are being interpreted.

    what baffless me, is religious people (all abrahamic religions, not jsut islam) who demand respect over untestable and magical claims, and have the cheek of claiming, or at least hinting towards, Racism to anyone who critiques those claims.

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    • I’m have literally myself witnessed many people give the opinion that ALL Muslims are terrorists.

      You can not assume that I do not take or believe all of the Quran or Hadith – you know nothing about me.

      There is nothing in the Quran that condones the Paris or Brussels murders. Nothing. Just a whole lot of misconceptions and lines taken out of context. Most people will take action after reading the Quran without relating lines to each other and studying it thoroughly, it’s no so black & white. Every word, every line has a deeper meaning. And nothing condones terror.

      The media is very focused on antiIslam. It’s simply false to say otherwise – we barely heard anything about the groups of Muslims killed in the US this year and last year. We don’t hear about Christian extremism right now in Russia.

      It’s easy. No need to complicate things.

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      • saying you have witnessed it, is totally anecdotal and totally meaningless. If everyone believed that every muslim was a terrorist, we’d have none living in the west, none voted into parliament and none in business, none in our society etc. it’s quite simply not true.

        if you actually do believe in all of the quran and the hadith literally, then I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have given you so much credit. To say, it’s not so black & white is exactly why Islam is used as a weapon by some. The context of violence passages are indeed more ambiguous than is expected from the perfect book friom a loving god (Islams claim, not mine). some people choose to interpret it literally. the ideology is of hate, Mohammed was a warlord and his teachings reflect it.

        Quran (2:191-193) – “And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [disbelief or unrest] is worse than killing…
        but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah [disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah] and worship is for Allah alone. But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun(the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.)” (

        Quran (2:244) – “Then fight in the cause of Allah, and know that Allah Heareth and knoweth all things.”

        Quran (3:56) – “As to those who reject faith, I will punish them with terrible agony in this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they have anyone to help.”

        Quran (5:33) – “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement”

        — the list is endless, and saying that the lines have deeper meaning and implying the rest of us are too stupid to understand is frankly insulting and absurd

        I agree with you on one thing, it is easy… the problem is with the Ideology and teachings of all Abrahamic religions, who seek the power and the destruction of everyone who believes differently and they all seem to yearn the apocalypse and the end of our days. The fact that most muslims, christians, jews interpret their hateful texts as a metaphor or exercise a personal choice to interpret those texts in accordance with their own moral preconceptions doesn;t mean we have to ignore the people who take those verses and texts literally, nor does it mean we aren’t able to critize those said texts.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You started your first comment by saying that nobody is saying all Muslims are terrorists, I’m just telling you that in my experience it is being said.

        I’m not saying that people attending too unintelligent to understand -although I would argued that ISIS have two brain cells between them. I’m just saying that more than just the text has to be taken into account. A lot of the verses you listed were shown at a particular time – during war or operation. Some people are using it to condone unnecessary violence in the 21st century.

        I agree with some of what you say but I was raised (through religion) to respect the religion of others (or lack of) ESPECIALLY in their own land (Surat al Kafiroon). I just wish that other people could do the same.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Geology Cat and commented:
    A dear friend of mine wrote this blog post. Every time these insane fundamentalists carry out these heinous acts, she in turn experiences hatred. She gets it in the street and on social media. The same thing happened to Jewish friends of mine when the Gaza strip was the hot topic. So if you haven’t heard the perspective of a Muslim, here’s one to read.

    Maybe one day ignorance will become just a little less rampant, through honest, open and heartfelt communications like this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It makes me sad that people have found another means of persecuting people. People have used religion for hate and violence forever, look at the Catholics it doesn’t get plainer thaan that. It’s a shame noone looks into what the religion is about before they judge which is something Americans do alot unfortunately. I love the name of your blog:)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The topic is a sensitive one. And it’s also an important one. I don’t have an answer to this topic…
    I live in Belgium, I work in Brussels, I grew up with friends coming from all nationalities, all religion… I travel, I meet people, but how many people do that? How many people have the opportunity to meet the “other”, the “foreigner”?
    I agree with you, it’ not a matter of being Muslim or not. These terrorist are Islamist, they are conservative and EVERYONE should condemn them !

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s great to hear the perspective of someone in Brussles. I pray for your country, I have friends who live in Paris and the days after the attack were a difficult time.

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  5. Hi yes, I can sympathise with your plight, unfortunately the world is not a forgiving or fair place and people only see and hear what they want to see/hear. I’m from Ireland and a non-practising Catholic however I have never experienced any hatered from non – Catholics over the clerical child abuse issues and now realise how lucky I have been. I hope you have peace and happiness in your future. x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Coming from Kenya where Al Shabab has attacked us at will your article makes some sense but the only question is. How can you tell those who have been hurt by these ‘jihardist’ that they did what they have done because of selective interpretation of Islam?

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    • Well of course, I’m not trying to justify their actions because they are obviously unjustifiable. I’m sure low intelligence, mental illness and a superiority complex also plays a huge part in it. However, in this post I’m not talking about terrorists and why they do it. I’m talking about how it is not a correct interpretation of the average Muslim.

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  7. Hate is not just or right, no matter what the source is from where it may stem. I am so sorry that as a Muslim you face discrimination because of the actions of some radical extremists.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you so much for speaking up and I want you to know that I do not tolerate discrimination or abuse against any group religious or not. I am not religious but one thing is for certain; Islam is meant to be a religion about peace and love and yet the world seems to think that Muslims are bad people. Those terrorists that you see are not Muslims but full blown psychos and it hurts me to see that the rest of the community is suffering because of their actions. Keep your chin up .

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I really wouldn’t know where to start commenting on your article. There are so many things involved that makes this a very complicated subject. On one side there are the terrorists, who kill in the name of their religion and on the other side is the press, that accentuates the believes that all muslims are murderers. On the secondary side, there are the waves of migrants coming every day to Europe and making the situation even more difficult. I have friends of all religions and I do not discriminate, but I do fear every time I’m in an airport or on a plane. And it’s involuntary, it’s because of everything that happens around. Europe is threaten every day… I want to live in peace!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great post. I am not sure how to comment other than say we should stand together as a human race against terrorism as a whole. I also can t understand why Christianity and bibles are prohibited in certain Islamic countries example the Maldives. All this hatred saddens me too as a Christian and I do pray everyday for peace in the land!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I know how it feel when religion hatred involve as I myself had minor experience out of this issue. It doesn’t matter what religion or beliefe we have, when hate is there, the outcome is always bad.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. People nowdays are so manipulated by the media they seem to be unable to use common sense. An act of violence made by a certain group of people does define the whole religion and certainly not 1.6billion people. People need to open their eyes and see the political agendas everywhere we need to start seeing each other as humans that’s all we are in the end of the day.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. “As a Muslim in the West who is expected to be a representative for 1.6 billion other people (dare I say that the same would never be expected from the average practicing Catholic in Ireland?),”

    Have you ever stopped to realise that you are not the only group who are subject to harassment, verbal or physical abuse and taken as representative of their entire group ? Have you never seen a group of goths called ‘devil worshipers, freaks, weirdos’ when simply walking down the street minding their own business because of how they dress, or a football fan who strays into a group of rival team followers be beaten up simply for supporting their wrong team? Two men or women walking down a street holding hands clearly identifying themselves as gay and being attacked for it? These are non religious examples of how clearly identifying yourself as a member of a group who others disagree with can lead to verbal and physical abuse and threats regardless of what type of person you are.

    There is nothing unique about this to Islam – if you go out clearly identifiable as a Muslim (i.e. wearing hijab) then unfortunately you may come across some uneducated neanderthals who take you as a representative of the group. The comparisons you make to Catholics not having to shoulder being representative of their entire religion are invalid – Catholics in general do not wear anything that identifies them as catholic however priests who are easily identifiable are often verbally abused or attacked regardless of what type of person they are – they are tarred with the same brush.

    It is not right but it is a risk that any person takes when they go out in public identifiable as a group that others may disagree with – so I don’t get why you think the case of muslims is so much more important?

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    • Oh Anne, I understand what you’re saying but that is not the point. Just because it happens everywhere does NOT make it acceptable to any of the examples you gave above and talking about one does not belittle the others. It’s that simple.

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  14. Your article states the approximate numbers of Muslims that are actually members of three well-known Islamic terrorist groups (there are hundreds) but does not reflect the number of Muslims who condone the actions of terrorist groups, or at least do not denounce them. And while you might not be among them, you should also acknowledge that fact, as those statistics are quite disturbing. https://westernaffairs.wordpress.com

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    • Although the main stream media may not reflect it, there are hoards (thousands upon thousands) of Muslims who take to the streets on a daily basis to denounce the actions of ISIS. You have to keep in mind that ISIS have killed more Muslims than anyone else, ISIS have destroyed more Muslim homes than anyone else, and ISIS have kidnapped and tortured more Muslims than anyone else. Western media speaks in the biased views of the West and refuses to show the millions of people like me who share my opinion, hence why I wrote this blog post – to get that voice back. (Love your poetry blog btw)

      Liked by 1 person

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