Evil in clear daylight PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 11 February 2015 11:36



In popular literature and  in traditional cultural practices, acts that are done in the open are generally considered as acts that we can approve of, acts that are in accordance with prevailing moral norms. However,   acts done in secret or  in darkness are usually those  that are the opposite, they are acts that a society considers as contrary to that society’s expectations of what is good. Thus the need to carry out these  acts in darkness or in secret. A particularly good example of this is killing another person.

How then should we evaluate the ISIS public killings of hostages unless ISIS conditions are met within a given time period? The latest such examples are the beheadings   of the two Japanese journalists and the burning alive of the Jordanian pilot. If the ISIS were simply a gangster group we can simply say that they are acting according to the expected conduct of a gangster group. But the ISIS claims to be a group that seeks to establish the new Islamic caliphate; it is  a group that seeks to promote the spread of Islam in the world and make the world one that conforms to the ideals that Islam teaches.

The heinous actions were  videotaped and posted on the ISIS websites and carefully identified as recorded actions of the ISIS.  Whether these were  carefully choreographed actions carried out simply to intimidate or  the real sordid and grisly actions  that they are, time will tell. No matter though; these actions have already provoked  extremely negative reactions from people of all religious persuasions, including those who are Muslims.

The ISIS has promoted itself in the media as a group that seeks to spread the interpretation and practice of a pure Islam as it was taught by the Prophet Mohammad. This goal is something that is admirable. But is the goal being pursued in the way it should be? If people are led to believe that ISIS is  noble in its intentions,  what understanding of Islam will be created in the minds of  people? And will this understanding help to erase Islamophobia or, instead,  even intensify it?

It is said that young Muslims, even in countries where Muslims are a  minority religious group like Germany or Australia, are signing up to join ISIS and fight in Syria and Iraq. The age group that has been drawn strongly into the fold of ISIS and its purported cause is the techno-hooked group, familiar with the environment of the Internet and, we might say, vulnerable to the claimed religious goals for the spread of Islam. If ISIS were not what it is, then we say that the words of God come to us via different routes. But surely the route taken by ISIS is not going to lead us to a better world.