BA on Assignment

July 1, 2016

Islamic or Extremist?

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Written for: Communicado Magazine
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OK. I’m going to tread into dangerous territory… I’m going to offer some possibilities about the Middle East. First, is there anything about the Middle East that isn’t dangerous territory? I’m having trouble finding something…

Extremist: a person who holds extreme or fanatical political or religious views, especially one who resorts to or advocates extreme action.

Islamic: Being of the religion which teaches that there is only one God – Allah -and that Muhammad is God’s prophet; The religion of Muslims; The modern nations in which Islam is the main religion.

I wanted to see what the dictionary definitions of both words look like side-by-side. It creates a new perspective…

Perspective: We are not at war with Islam, we are at war with terrorists.
President Bush didn’t sound like he believed it. President Obama sounds like he believes it.

But, in complete unbiased consideration, the difference between the two is vast. And it really does come down to non-religious affiliations.

The concern needs to be with people who mean harm as opposed to people who don’t. And, most muslims don’t mean harm. This is a simple case of stereotyping.

Are all women bitchy? Are all black men criminals? Are all Jewish people frugal? The answer is a resounding NO to all of those STEREOTYPES. And on purpose, I chose some of the most EXTREME stereotypes… Notice the choice of adverb used in front of stereotype.

The point is this… every underrepresented group has its extremes. There have been terrorists and extremists who are Muslim. They should not be allowed to define the entire faith. I’m sure there are Catholic terrorists… we just don’t hear about their choice of faith.

So, a ban on muslims entering the country is not a comprehensive plan to thwart terrorism. We still miss the Jewish terrorist or the greek orthodox terrorist or the Catholic terrorist. Terrorism not religion.

Jihadist: A personal struggle in devotion to Islam, especially involving spiritual devotion; A crusade for a principle or belief.

This is where it gets sticky…

Our leaders are currently calling the many attacks we keep seeing radical Islamic terrorism. Is that the best description/label? Is radical Jihadist terrorism better?

We all agree that terrorism is wrong. No debate there. But in the name of tolerance, we have to step away from full condemnation of a nation or a religion. The people who combine Islam and the Muslim faith with senseless killing and innocent deaths are overstepping.

The people who practice the faith – in good faith – should not be judged against that kind of hate and we should describe it as such.

This problem marches on. I don’t think I’ve solved any problems here today, but, if I’ve been able to change one person’s perspective on this issue… This is a win…