Terrorism is not Islam. Murdering human beings is not Islam. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is not Islam.
The individuals of ISIS believe that they represent the monotheistic religion of Islam and have the ultimate goal of conquering lands in order to spread the religion. By screaming Allahu Akbar, All Praise Be To Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala, May He Be Glorified and Exalted, these terrorists justify beheading innocent persons, including two American journalists and a British medical aid worker that have recently made headlines in the past two weeks.
They took out minority groups of Christians scattered throughout Iraq and have savagely murdered civilians in their homeland, calling them martyrs for God. All of their efforts are driven by their sincere and utter devotion to God, but I join the large community of voices that argues against this idea completely.
As a Muslim, I watch in agony while these people who call themselves Muslims run around brainwashing young adults with their extremist views on life and culture just to develop an army of bloodthirsty individuals. Their entire agenda that is supposedly ruled by the laws written in the Qur’an, the holy Islamic scripture, is illegitimate and contradictory. ISIS is known for forcing people to convert, killing people in the name of Islam and declaring war on everyone who is non-Islamic. All of these efforts contradict the slew of principles listed in the Qur’an.
In the Qur’an, there are circumstances that say that killing someone is justified if they have committed such a sin. However, the demeanor in which ISIS acts is as if they are apprentices of God and that it is their religious duty to take the lives of innocent people in order to prove their devotion to God. In summary, if they kill people who have “strayed from the path of God” they will go to Paradise.
Playing God is something that is strictly reinforced in Muslim culture as one of the most negative traits or acts a practicing Muslim can commit. In Islam, God is the only being who decides the fate of his creations. When people take the matter of ending someone’s life in their own hands it is considered one of the greatest sins a human could commit because it is not following the path that God had designed for them.
The Qur’an specifically states, “And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his punishment is Hell; he shall abide in it, and Allah SWT will send his wrath on him and curse him and prepare him a painful chastisement, (Surah An-Nisa’ 4:29).”
Another act of treachery that ISIS commits that causes confusion is how they believe that they have the power to murder those who do not follow the Islamic faith simply based off the fact that the individuals subjected to death are living their lives differently than themselves. In the Qur’an, it states blatantly that every human is to be treated with the same level of regard and humanity as any follower of Islam. It specifically lists the religions that existed during that time such as Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism, but the concepts can be applied to the mass array of religions that exist today.
If ISIS did not kill the non-Muslims then they gave them the option of converting to Islam and pledging to the movement ISIS had created. Forced conversion is also heavily looked down upon in Islam. The idea that everyone should find their own way to God or back to God is iterated consistently. It enforces the idea that God is all forgiving to all human beings. Forcing someone onto the path of enlightenment is not any practicing Muslim’s responsibility. One can suggest or attempt to educate, but physically or mentally forcing a human to do so is not justified. This displays exactly how ISIS manipulates the religion to accomplish their agenda.
In the end, ISIS has taken hundreds of lives at this point in time. Stopping them is up to those who live in those countries who will have to fight to win back their land and most importantly their culture. I have no doubt that they will eventually be stopped because a monstrosity like this can only thrive for so long until people get tired of negligence and misrepresentation. These are inhumane beings, not Muslims. It is impossible for someone who doesn’t understand humanity to be capable of running an entire state.