Who are we to label ISIL members non-Muslims?

Source: Aljazeera

By Christa Blackmon

A media analyst and digital anthropologist.

“ISIS is not Islam!” declared many Muslims on social media after the attack on the mosque holding the final resting place of the Prophet Muhammad in Medina during the holy month of Ramadan.

Popular social justice figure and New York Daily News columnist Shaun King wrote an editorial declaring that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) are not Muslims, but rather “evil men hell-bent on carnage”.

It is something that Muslims have been saying almost since ISIL atrocities took over Western media. Believers, counterterrorism experts and government officials have long been going back and forth about what words should be used to describe the group, with many loudly pushing to deny any intimation of “Islamic”.

Whether or not the debate over language achieves anything on the ground, what is clear is that language plays an important part in the public’s emotional outrage.

Who gets to define Islam?

Which is why I need to urgently request that all my non-Muslim ally friends please stop saying “ISIS is not Islam”.

We love our Muslim brothers and sisters, but we are teetering on a dangerous cliff by dabbling in this bit of theological absolutism about a community we are not a part of, especially considering our historical role in colonialism and the “war on terror”.

The vast majority of Muslims are, indeed, opposed to violence in the name of Islam, and this is a statistic we should never forget.

But does the majority get to define the identity of the minority? Surely they may reject it and ostracise that minority, but self-identification cannot be dismissed even if it’s “for a good cause”.

Shaun King is a man with his heart in the right place. His statement that ISIL is not Islam is, by and large, a reaction to the pronouncement of people like Bill Maher that Islam is ISIL.

Read more

1 reply

  1. What I understand , we can not say anyone non- Muslim if he claims to be a Muslim . Problem is with that ideology which makes a man , bigot and terrorist . It is the prime time to analyze that ideology which is the root cause behind terrorism . If the Quranic teaching ” there is no compulsion in the matter of faith ” is considered irrelevant , how can Islam be called a religion of peace ? If we are waiting for that Issa who will kill all kafirs whether he committed any crime or not , how can we say that Islam does not allow the murder of innocents ? If we are sincere against Muslim terrorism , we will have to fight against this ideology which kills innocents and shout Allah u Akbar . This is the only remedy .

Leave a Reply