Authored by Erin Tracy
There is something that has been weighing on my mind recently. I’m sure most people with access to social media have seen the plethora of negative statements people are making about Muslims and Islam. For the past year in the United States we’ve been seeing an upsurge in the animosity towards Muslims and the Islamic faith. Yes, this has been happening for over a decade now, but now that we’re accepting more refugees and increasing the Muslim presence in our country, the rhetoric has changed.
Friends of mine who I’d believed were peace-loving and kind-hearted people have been posting statuses saying we should destroy Islam and rid the world of all Muslims. Some say we should kick them out of America, and even more are calling for their death or incarceration. The most shocking posts have been those calling for Muslim executions and for Islam to be wiped from the earth.
And these are just the posts I’m seeing from my friends. My Christian, God-fearing, bible-following and “Christ-like” friends. And along with my Christian friends, yes, these types of posts are also coming from my Agnostic, Buddhist, Jewish, Atheist, non-denominational, Hindu and Pagan friends.
In response to these disgusting statuses and posts, I have one question:
What Makes You So Different From A Terrorist?
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Do you not realize you are behaving just like the people you say are destroying the world? Do you not realize that by calling for the eradication of Islam that you are supporting the very ideology that you wish to destroy? It isn’t the ideology of Islam, but the ideology of hate. You condemn these people for their desire for death and destruction, yet you are calling out for the same. Radical Muslims say, “Death to America.” Many Americans are saying, “Death to Muslims.” What’s the difference?
What makes you so different from them? Is it because you’ve never actually killed anyone? Neither have most of them. Middle Eastern terrorist groups are made of more than just Muslims. Granted, Muslims probably make up for a large portion of their numbers, but there are certainly plenty of people of other religions who just want to cause mayhem in those groups. A terrorist can come from any religious background.
Before I go any further, I wish to clarify that I am, in fact, a devout and faithful Christian. I’m not a follower or studier of Islam. I believe in God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost, the Bible and the Book of Mormon. I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and strive to follow the teachings of the Savior. I’m not perfect, I fall short so many times, but I’m doing my best.
Except for right now. Right now I feel upset and want to yell at a lot of people.
When I read these status updates about how we need to kick all Muslims out of the US, or that we need to round them all up and put them in Guantanamo, or that they should be shot on sight, or even that we should bomb Iran, Iraq and Syria off the planet, it just breaks my heart and baffles my mind. How can anyone think that 100% of Muslims are evil?
- Do we think 100% of all Catholic clergy are child molesters?
- Do we think 100% of all Baptists rejoice in the deaths of the military?
- Do we think 100% of Jews are penny-pinchers?
- Do we think 100% of Hindus perform human sacrifices?
- Do we think 100% of all Pagans practice witchcraft?
- Do we think 100% of Atheists are devil worshipers?
- Do we think 100% of all Christians practice what they preach?
I’m pretty sure most of you answered NO to all of those. There is no situation on EARTH where 100% of any group of people have the same ideals. Most Catholic clergymen are good and devout men. Most Baptists disavow the Westboro group. Hindus moved away from human sacrifice almost 200 years ago and it is only rural and radical sects who violate the laws banning such practices.
And as for the Christians, we Christians are just as bad as everyone else when it comes to not always practicing what we preach. I mean, there are quite a number of Christian serial killers, bombers, arsonists, murderers and radicals. Timothy McVeigh (Oklahoma City bomber) was raised Catholic. The Army of God is a Christian group with many members who have committed mass shootings, sent bombs or murdered. Heck, a lot of mob, mafia and cartel leaders are devout Christians, too. These people are all radicals and terrorists. Does this mean ALL Christians are terrorists? By your reasoning, yes.
And I’m pretty sure that assertion is making you quite upset. But all I’m doing is applying your own logic.
Not all Muslims are Terrorists
My point is, not all Muslims are terrorists and wish to destroy America. Not all followers of Islam are radicals. Not all of those who worship in a mosque are conspiring to take your life away. So many of these people are peace-loving and hate what the radicals are doing to their beloved religion.
I want you to consider the following questions:
- Do you realize that when you call for Islam to be destroyed that you are mirroring the radical Muslims’ calls for the destruction of Christianity?
- Do you realize that when you post that all Muslims should be eradicated that you are echoing the radical Muslims’ cry for the annihilation of the Western world?
- Do you realize that when you call for the deaths of all Muslims, that you are calling for the deaths of babies, toddlers, young children and so many others who have never hurt a person in their lives?
- Do you realize that the venom you spew about how evil Islam is and how it needs to be crushed is hate speech?
- Do you realize that when you say all of this you are acting just like THEM?
A lot of these things were said by people in the days leading up to the Holocaust. So many in Germany blamed the Jews for everything that was going wrong in their country.
It started with making them wear something that denoted who they were, then there were calls to kick them all out, then it evolved to putting them in special ‘zones.’ After that, all humanity was lost. Are we heading in that direction again with the Muslims?
Consider This …
As a Christian, it is so shocking to me that my fellow Christians are saying such horrible things. How can you call yourself a Christian and say the awful things you do?
- Do you believe that Jesus Christ would be calling for the murder and destruction of a single person, let alone an entire group of people?
- Do you believe that “Thou shalt not kill” only applies to the actual act of murder by you and not for the support and rejoicing of it?
- Do you believe that “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” only applies to your actual neighbor?
- Do you believe that the God of peace, love, grace and truth would have His followers petitioning for hate, murder, anger and destruction?
- Do you believe that the instruction to “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” only applies to those of the same faith?
- Do you really believe you are behaving in a Christ-like manner when you speak in such a way?
Whatever happened to love and compassion? Whatever happened to following the example of the Savior?
And if you aren’t a Christian, these questions apply to you as well:
- How does being hateful to those who may or may not hate you make them not hate you?
- How is calling for the destruction of an entire religious group any different from what Hitler wanted with the Jews?
- How is inciting hate and fear going to solve the problem?
- How is behaving in an antagonistic manner going to stop other people from becoming militant extremists?
Because really, I bet there are quite a few that join the radical cause because they see all the hate many are spewing their way and start to believe the radical preaching that they must destroy us before we destroy them.
But many Muslims are just living their lives. They have come to the United States to get away from militant extremists. Or are living in fear in their home countries because of those same extremists. These people are the ones we need to protect.
I’m not saying we should just sit back and let the Islamic extremists blow America to bits. Or that we should give up trying to get rid of terrorism around the world. Or that we shouldn’t conduct thorough background checks before letting refugees into the country.
What I AM saying is that not every Muslim is a terrorist and we need to stop acting like they are.
And I’m also saying that before you write your next “we should blow every Muslim off the planet” post or make your next “Muslims are the scum of the earth” comment or share that hate-filled blog post, perhaps you should think about what you’re doing. Because, honestly, you’re saying the same things the terrorists are and, from where I’m sitting, you’re not much different from them.
Despite a recent increase in terrorism around the world, and the ongoing warnings about suspected attacks, research has revealed that the public remain defiant and 79% proudly state they will not let the ongoing terrorist threats affect their plans to travel.
“Sadly, the threat of a terrorist attack is something we are having to learn how to live with. It seems that we get almost daily reports of either a plan being foiled or an attack being made. This leaves us with two options: either we change our plans and let fear dictate our lives or we make a stand. I am so thrilled to see that some many people feel like I do and will not let these attacks affect their lives. It makes it abundantly clear that terrorism, in any form, will not win.”
– Adam Ewart of Send My Bag.
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Photo credits: Featured photo by The U.S. Army. Pinterest images by Mapping Megan & kris krüg.
Well writing post. Thank you for speaking your mind and sticking up for those who often are found without a voice. It’s very sad what is being said about certain groups of people and I hope the hate stops.
Glad you enjoyed it Susanna – thankyou for your comment. Erin phrased everything I have been thinking so perfectly. Hopefully we’re not about to see history repeat itself as it did during WWII. XX
The world needs less negativity from the media. We need more WE and less ME….and I am so saddened that the British people choose ME in their recent vote to leave the EU. I applaud you guys for sharing this piece and hopefully shedding some light on people’s hateful words and giving them a moment of pause.
I absolutely agree with you Mike – I feel as though in some ways the media only makes the problem far worse. Because a story promoting tolerance obviously doesn’t sell news.
Thank you for your rational voice. As a matter of fact the number of Muslims killed by those Muslim terrorists is by far greater than the number they killed from any other faith.As a true Muslim, I love all fellow human beings regardless of their creed, color or ethnicity and unequivocally condemn those terrorists who are acting against the teaching of our prophet.Our usual greeting is “assalamu Alaikom” which means peace be upon you.
Thankyou Hassan for your comment – absolutely, I think that Muslim deaths at the hands of extremists are “conveniently” ignored when it comes to applying stereotypes to the whole religious group. It’s not religion which is evil, it is individual human beings who decide to practice hate and use their religion as an excuse.
assalamu Alaikom XX
You’ve made some very good points here, Megan. All I really want is just a world where everybody can get along despite there differences – but I guess that’s too much to ask, eh?
Yea, good luck with your wish, Zascha! We all want a world where everybody gets along, but we are not allowed to have one. Promoting hate is not the answer, but fighting against terrorism is. As long as the Muslim world doesn’t want to collaborate with us in putting an end to this nightmare, people are going to continue to die. And all we can do is stay on the side and preach political correctness.
Anda, the Muslim world is fighting against terrorism and extremism just as much as the west. Extremists and terrorists form a very small percentage of Muslims as a whole, so the point of this post was to illustrate that part of the problem is when we associate the whole religion with the few who preach hate.
What makes us different from the terrorists? How about the fact that, we don’t blow up buildings all over the world, we don’t decapitate people and we don’t do mass shootings or suicide bombings? How about the fact that we tolerate and respect their religion and allow them to build mosques in our country? How many Christian churches are there in the Muslim world? That is not to say that the spreading hate or labeling all Muslims as “criminals” is right. We don’t hate Muslims, we hate terrorists. Unfortunately, we don’t see much collaboration from the Muslim world when it comes to eradicating terrorism. They continue to judge and condemn our way of life instead of condemning terrorism and working with us to put an end on it. The main difference is that we can disagree with other people without resorting to violence and crime. I think that’s what makes us better.
Hi Anda – for those who respect the Muslim religion, this post obviously does not apply. It was written for the many, MANY people who do lump all Muslims as terrorists and criminals, and do spew hate towards all who practice the Islamic faith. Because as we’ve said in the post – all those things you’ve said about not blowing up buildings, not killing anyone, neither have most of them. Most Muslims are peaceful citizens just trying to live their lives.
The Muslim world is just as affected by extremism and terrorism as the west. Probably even more so than we are.
One of the world’s largest refugee crisis’ is currently underway because citizens from Muslim countries have been forced to flee due to terrorism and extremism or pay with their life. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims are killed due to terrorism and extremist violence.
These people don’t have time to worry about things like condemning our way of life. It’s not religion which condemns other ways of life, it is a small faction of extremists who do not represent the Muslim population as a whole.
It’s not Muslims who are resorting to violence because they disagree with other people. It’s extremists. And not every Muslim is an extremist.
Epic passion coming through this Erin, found myself nodding constantly as I read. I’ve got a beard that most see as a ‘Muslim bard’, in the it’s black and straight (I’m a kiwi, no religious ties)….but it’s interesting how people ask me somewhat regularly ‘are you a Muslim?’ purely based on the beard.
The other day at work I was asked if I was a terrorist (and to bring bacon the next day to prove I wasn’t)…it was ‘a joke’…not a very funny one….what if I was a Muslim!
Wow Jub – it amazes me that people will stereotype you based just on having a beard. I truly hope that the world wakes up and we stop judging people based on the actions of others.
I love this post and have shared it widely. The more we think of others, and what they are going through, the better off we are, honestly.
Thanks Jessie! We appreciate the shares :)