This is a quote thrown around a lot on Twitter and I see it literally all the time. Its often followed with a barrage of resistance from people who you could easily confuse for morons, based on the arguments for Islam being evil vs against. The argument for Islam’s evil seems so obvious and easy to follow, yet if you take even half a critical look at it; it starts to fall apart really easily. The funny thing is that these arguments could easily be avoided entirely if we just added one word to the sentence.
Browsing through Twitter on any given day and you’re not unlikely to find some anti-Islam posts here and there. Maybe that’s just my feed, but I’m willing to take a guess it happens in a lot of people’s feeds too. The arguments for Islam is evil seems pretty compelling, there’s lots of images of death, gore, beheading, immolation, torture, caning, heck even murdered children. Just the other day George Gallaway (Scottish politician-y guy) tweeted an image of a child’s head being held up in the air by a man brandishing a knife. The child was no older than about 12.
The images are super powerful and convince you of the evil of Islam right off the bat. I’m totally against all of the crap I just named above, its abhorrent and I stand fully against this. Yet I’m not against Islam.
That’s because there are lots of problems with calling the above Islam and not making any distinction of the kind of Islam it is. See the fact that there are Muslims – whose religion is Islam – who are also totally against this stuff, who hate seeing children murdered, who are totally non-violent and are instead peaceful people totally invalidates that the above behaviour is Islam as a whole. There are clearly sub sections of Islam – some who do practice this awful shit and some who really really don’t.
The best comparison I have for this is Christianity. In Christianity there are lots of people who believe themselves to be the true believers of the religion, much like we have with groups like ISIS. These groups can be directly contradictory to another group who also believe themselves to be true believers; again much like we have in Islam. So for example you could have a sect of Christianity which believes in gay marriage and one that doesn’t, ie Church of England vs Catholicism.
These denominations aren’t hugely important and when speaking about religion generally we wont really need to make reference to them. Its only when something bad happens that we ever really make a point of it. Like for example when the Catholic priests were raping the altar boys – we didn’t call them “Christian priests” – it was always specifically Catholic.
This is because we know its pretty shitty to throw shade at people who don’t really deserve it. CofE priests weren’t involved with the Catholic’s boy raping – nor was any other denomination of Christianity, so we didn’t include them when talking about it. Yet for some reason this doesn’t transfer to Islam.
You can find countless examples of good Islamic people, good Muslims – who believe in love, truth and helping people. You know? All that crap. As with Christianity, the core religion is the same – however the interpretations of it and the parts that you actually decide to follow are different. This is literally what creates different denominations. CofE Christians are still Christians even despite their whole religion being created because some Brit monarch wanted to bone someone else. (Thank you Henry VIII for divorce!) Yet for some reason we don’t offer Muslims the same?
Obviously hating on Islam as a whole when there are plenty of nice Islamic people isn’t working out for people, so how do we fix this? Its actually laughably simple. Stop calling it Islam. Add one word to that to describe the extreme or radical way Islam is interpreted… I dunno.. maybe… like… Radical Islam? Yep. That’s literally all it would take. Then nobody has any right to say “you’re just being Islamophobic!” because you’re objectively not. You’re not hating all Islam, you’re hating a specific sect of it which is proven to be violent and hateful.
So from now on, don’t refer to the religion of Isis as merely Islam, call it what it actually is and respect those who practice Islam but aren’t hateful war mongers. Call it Radical Islam.