October 2014 archive

Why would a Muslim join ISIS?

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ISISflag%20copyIf ISIS is not ‘Islamic’, then why on earth are Muslims joining ISIS? There must be a reason for the countless individuals embarking on this bloody journey. I was looking through ISIS’s videos calling for their alleged ‘Jihad’ to get some answers. I was actually very surprised at the result. In the video I came across, the spokesperson was inviting Muslims for this world of ideals that ISIS is claiming to apply on their acquired territories. What the guy was saying was inspirational to me, had I not known better!

The problem is that this world of ideals is totally absent in the group’s practices, to say the least. It does not take a Muslim scholar to denounce ISIS. Any Muslim with basic knowledge about this religion, and a minimal exposure to the prophet Mohamad’s life, peace be upon him, will immediately clarify that Islam and what this group practices are two totally different things.

But why are Muslims joining ISIS then? The only answer I was able to derive from my search, is a combination of two things: an overwhelming love for this religion, and a total ignorance of its essence. The overwhelming love is the drive for their decision, and the total ignorance will turn out to be the biggest mistake that could cost them their life, temporal and eternal.

When converts are asked about their first days of embracing Islam, almost all answers come with a feeling that takes them by surprise. It is a true connection with the creator. A person loses perspective, until he or she starts taking things one at a time again, and study issues with all their complexities. I have always been amazed at how committed converts are within days of embracing Islam, when compared to Muslims who have been so for years, and are still unsure whether they can do this bit of commitment towards it or not.

To make it simple, it is like taking a drug gradually so that your body can get accustomed to it and adapt to its effects, versus gulping it at once and watching the body react to it. I am just getting the effect feeling across. Islam is not a drug. It is rather a remedy for the soul taken on with rational and logical consciousness.

When we see the people joining ISIS from the western world, we notice that they are mostly relatively young people, who may have the identification right, but cannot possibly have studied enough about Islam, or contemplated the life of the prophet, even in its biggest headlines. In addition to that, at such a young age, kids can be subjected to all kinds of crisis, religious profiling, feelings of non-belonging, yearning for ideals, tendency to rebel, spark for change, etc… All of these could lead to this reckless and radical decision.

Once joined with the group, individuals will start living the epiphany of the choice they made. Chopping heads off, killing innocent civilians, forcing religious conversions, disfiguring the dead can only darken ones’ soul, rendering it inhumane. That and what the prophet was, peace be upon him, is like day and night, east and west, good and evil. They don’t mix and can never be seen as one. Ever!

 

 

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I understand why some Americans dislike Muslims… I really do!

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I understand whyFor once, I will not justify. I will not defend. I will actually agree that it is normal for people to view Islam as a bad religion that should cease to exist.

As a Muslim, even though the above notion does not surprise me, it sure breaks my heart. Not only because Islam is a beautiful religion that does not have enough good ambassadors at this stage, but also because in saying so, Americans violate the one thing they stand for the most, freedom.

Growing up in a Muslim family, my main concern was just like any other kid: Get a proper education, have a nice group of friends, have a great career. And I had all that. Praying five times a day was not my top priority. The truth is, the actions of some Muslims, repulsed me. They didn’t seem to me like they were the most ethical people I can come across. In a word, they did not inspire me.

It wasn’t until I had a spiritual inquisitiveness that I had a more objective look at Islam, alongside other religions. The career, the friends, whatever I had was just not enough! There was something unsettled inside of me and I knew it had nothing to do with materialistic gain. Only then I looked at Islam without judgments and only then I fell in love with it.

So when I hear that people dislike Muslims, especially those they have heard about from Anderson cooper, I am not surprised. I dislike those ones too. But I am lucky enough to know the difference between Islam and Muslims. There is no entity that represents Islam in our age… No country, no state, nothing! There are however great Muslims and they are so hard to find, even for Muslims seeking knowledge themselves. This is how it is and that is exactly how it should be.
Islam, as a religion exists for people who seek true knowledge, regardless if they want to embrace it or just be exposed to it. Outside that there is only news and politics!

 

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