Muslims too are turned off by IS PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 29 September 2014 11:43



IS or ISIS,  call it what you want — it is still that group which has dominated the media for the past weeks with demonstrations of its violent actions and  its firepower capability. To behead the hostages and have the scene video taped is bad enough; to upload the video on the Internet  simply underscores the malignant evil of the group.

I suppose the group  wanted the media to focus on the gruesome evil of the beheadings so that it can project itself as strongly focused on its objectives. But this is where it also over projected itself and in fact alienated the whole world. Even eminent Muslim scholars have strongly taken a stand against the actions of IS (or ISIS), not the least of which is  the claim that IS is doing what it is doing on its way to establishing a caliphate and pursuing a “purer” form of  Islam.  One press release from an Islamic group has called on the media to stop using the prefix “Islamic” in referring to the group since it is in fact acting in the very opposite of what Islam teaches.

In an earlier piece on the IS situation  I expressed a wish that respected Muslim groups publicly express their stand against the IS so that the wrong ideas created by the group in the minds of impressionable young Muslims can be countered. In a way I was right in anticipating the impact of IS on younger Muslims for soon enough the media reported sign ups of young Muslims in the West to join the IS jihadists. Even Indonesia, the most populous Muslim country in the world, started looking into IS recruitment among young Indonesians and in Australia police authorities began more serious surveillance of the jihadist coterie or their supporters.

In the last week or so some very strong condemnations of IS have come out in the international media.  And I do not refer simply to those who have joined the US in its air strikes against IS targets.  I am particularly struck by the strong stand taken against the group by Muslim groups.

A group of 120 Muslim scholars have signed an “open letter addressed to the followers and fighters of IS “  denouncing the IS and basing their stand against the IS on Qur’anic  teachings.  The rather scholarly letter in its executive summary focused on 24  major points in its condemnation of IS actions.  The interested reader can google this topic: Muslim Scholars Release Open Letter To Islamic State Meticulously Blasting Its Ideology.

Young Muslims in the West have taken to expressing their stand against IS in the style most expected of this group – Twitter and FB and other social media sites. And one which I found most interesting is one where humor is used as a put-down of the IS, using the hashtag #NOTI N MY NAME. But the campaign is not just a put down of the IS but is  also  a putdown of the tendency of many people to lump all Muslims in the same category. Which, in my reckoning, is one of the reasons why Muslims are unhappy in their relationship with non-Muslims. Like so much in our world, there is good and bad in each category. Love of neighbor is what makes us see the good more often than the bad.