The words of Öz | Is terror my religion?

I was born a Muslim, I choose to remain a Muslim, and I will die a Muslim, so I get highly agitated every time individual acts, whether they are immoral and violent, reference my religion. The problem is that many people are ignorant enough to actually believe that my religion preaches violence, and that my religion is one of terror. I hate the fact that some lunatics highjack my religion and use it as validation of their maniacal actions, and it makes it even worse that the mainstream media gives these idiots free promotion on every news channel and in every newspaper.

When you look at the articles about the horrible killing of the British soldier in London, there are certain words that are repeated in article after article: terror, Muslim, Islamic and Allah. And while it’s true that these words were necessary to describe what happened, their appearance together in the media is so commonplace it is the norm. When you repeatedly read ‘terror’ in the same sentence as Islam or Muslim, they turn into synonyms for one another.

The British prime minister came out right after the incident and said the actions had nothing to do with Islam, which I believe was very good, and we need more of that. But my positive feelings quickly dissolved when I read that Marie Krarup, a MP for Dansk Folkeparti, had actually criticised Cameron for “hiding the truth”. Writing in one of the newspapers, her conclusion was the very opposite of mine. She argued that the act of terror is linked to Islam because the perpetrator believes that there is a relationship. And because he made clear references to Allah, she continued with the argument that “there have been many like him, before him”.

Let’s take a moment to think. Is she saying because 0.001 percent of a faith justifies crime through their beliefs that it makes the whole religion criminal? Is that the logic we should follow?

After Anders Breivik killed 77 people in Oslo in 2011, he wrote that one of the reasons he did it was “to save the nation and Christianity”, and that he was highly inspired by the Crusades.  If we follow Krarup’s arguments, then Christianity is a religion of terror.

But she may say that it was a one-off incident, so let me provide another example: this time a more powerful one, which has done a lot of damage to a large group of people. Let me quote him, just to make it clearer: “I believe today that I am acting in the sense of the Almighty Creator. By warding off the Jews, I am fighting for the Lord’s work.” Hitler said this in a speech in 1936. And I do not think that I need to sum up what he did. So if we follow the logic that because some insane people used their religion to justify their thirst for violence and lack of morality, then we can also easily link Christianity to terror.

But that would be wrong. No religion is the problem here. By linking terror to Muslim societies, I think we are overlooking the real problem, and I am not the only one who believes our eyes are focused in the wrong place.

In an article in Berlingske, Poul Høi wrote that terror analysts have concluded that the acts of terror are the result of a temporary or permanent madness, committed by people who feel excluded and isolated from their society.

The authorities look for terrorists with the image of a Middle Eastern guy with a beard in mind, but the evidence strongly suggests that the perpetrators tend to have nothing of any meaning in their society to live for, so they decide to die for something ‘meaningful’. In some cases they become spiritual and decide to die for a religion, because they find safety in religions like Islam and Christianity that promise an afterlife in paradise. They forget that according to the religions their acts will not earn them paradise but eternity in hell.

If terror was my religion, then the world would look different. To demonstrate that I will end with a quote I have read that I do not know the author of: “There are 1.6+ billion Muslims in the world. If Islam was to really promote terrorism, you’d all be dead by now.”

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