In November 2015 I wrote an essay entitled, “Should Islam Be Feared, Respect Or What?” in which I argued that any group of people with over one billion members will inevitably have murderers in its midst. Furthermore, most people from any religion don’t fully understand their holy book or live by it devoutly. So it would be irrational to fear Muslims moving into your neighborhood because statistically, they’ll mostly just act like everyone else. Therefore, Europeans shouldn’t be afraid of the influx of Arab refugees.
Ten days later Muslim extremists killed 128 innocent civilians in Paris, France. Not long after, Muslim extremists killed 32 innocent people in Brussels, Belgium. There have been hundreds of Muslim terrorist attacks around the world since 1980 bringing the body count into the tens of thousands, which has made it very easy for celebrities like Donald Trump to drum up anti-Muslim sentiments to the point of hysteria.
I kept my 2015 blog about Muslims online for two years, but I finally decided to take it down, not out of bitter prejudice, but out of a stoic commitment to truth. The truth is, my original blog was lackadaisical about the risk of Muslim extremism to the point of being wrong. The arrogant part of me didn’t want to admit this, but Muslims provided evidence disproving my conclusion. I wish this weren’t true, but it is.
This doesn’t mean I hate Muslims, or that I get freaked out every time I ride in an airplane with one, but terrorism has succeeded in striking irrational fear in a lot of people. Prejudice sucks, but Muslims needs to ask themselves, how many civilians do Muslims have to kill before it becomes rational to view Islam as an imminent threat? A hundred thousand? A million? What about when there are Muslims patrolling the streets with guns threatening everyone who violates Sharia Law?
This isn’t a theoretical question that only belongs in a freshman religious studies course. Over 100,000 people died from Islamic sectarian violence in the Middle East in 2015 alone. ISIS has killed a few thousand, and that number is growing every day. These body counts are high enough to constitute WWIII, and most of the victims are Muslims.
Islam is practically committing ethnic cleansing/genocide on itself. You may insist that Islam doesn’t pose an imminent threat to non-Muslims, but the statistics show that it’s a clear and present danger at least to Muslims. If Islam continues down the path it’s on, hundreds of thousands more will die. Even if this doesn’t shock the world into rejecting Islam, the religion will shrink as it kills itself off. On a long enough timescale, this could lead to the end of Islam as a major religion. With every death, it becomes harder and harder to explain how that wouldn’t be in the world’s best interest.
There are large Muslim organizations that have condemned ISIS, and polls show widespread disapproval of terrorism among Muslims globally, but there are a lot of Muslims who do support ISIS and want Sharia Law implemented universally. The world cannot and will not allow ISIS to survive or for Sharia Law to replace secular law. This is for the sake of Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
The only question is what role will moderate Muslims play in shaping the future of Islam? Any Muslim who decides to sit back and wait to see how it all unfolds is arguably guilty of tacit consent of terrorism. Even if that’s not true, that’s how much of the secular world will take their silence. The less Muslims speak out against terrorism now, the more likely they are to have to explain themselves to mobs of angry Islamophobes later.
But speaking out against terrorism isn’t enough. Muslims need to take actions such as donating to refugee relief organizations like Unicef, Rescue.org, the UN Refugee Agency, etc. or even donate to organizations that are dedicated to fighting ISIS.
Also consider that these organizations only address the symptoms of deeper problems: poverty and ignorance. As long as people are angry, hungry, uneducated and desperate for salvation, they will always be easy prey to be recruited by shrewd, militant organizations such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda that are arguably more interested in money and power than religion and use Islamic propaganda to bait-and-switch recruits into killing for them.
Sustainable infrastructure and free education are the keys to eliminating poverty and ignorance. If every Muslim donated $1, that would easily fund the world’s first sustainable city and the world’s largest free online school. That would go a long way to solving Islam’s infighting and its public relations problem. Muslims needs to unite against Islam’s usurpers one way or another, or they may have the world united against them, and nobody but ISIS wants that.