Ryan Kwon Campbell Hall 11th Grade
From the terrorist attacks all around the globe, to the horrific actions carried out by militants in the middle east, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has been responsible for numerous war crimes and violation against humanity. However, is ISIS really carrying out these actions for the sake of Islam or are they using religion as an excuse for world domination? Throughout history, people have been using religion to conquer. But, within the Quran, there are texts that can be misinterpreted and taken in a more radical way. Is this truly the reason why ISIS and past terrorists organizations have been implementing fear to the world?
For centuries, religiously motivated wars have been taking place all around the globe. During the middle ages, war was tremendously more gruesome than wars of today. Today’s Islamic State is very similar to the middle ages’ Islamic Caliphate. From the strict set of laws to the harsh torturing and punishing that happens when breaking the laws, members of ISIS want to implement the old middle age ways to today’s middle east. But, is this really religiously motivated? Whenever a terrorist attack occurs, the Muslim community immediately jumps in to claim that the constant attacks do not represent Islam. However, in the Quran it states, “And kill them (the infidels) wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah (disbelief) is worse than killing... but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful.” Quran (2:191)
This quote in the Quran can be taken literally or as a symbolization. From acts of violence and torment carried out by Islamic militants, it is clear that certain quotes in the Quran can be taken literally. But, the Muslim community claims that the Christians have also committed many acts of violence in the past, such as the Crusades. However, it must be taken into consideration that the Crusades occured hundreds of years ago, during a time where every religion and kingdom committed acts of terror that would be seen as war crimes today. During the time of the Crusades, the Islamic Caliphate was carrying out equally as much violence as the crusaders. Today, Christians and members of other religions are not seen cowardly bombing or shooting innocent civilians for the sake of their religion.
In countries like Indonesia, a set of Islamic laws called Sharia Law is bringing problems to basic human rights and especially women’s rights. A police organization known as the Sharia Police patrol the streets of Indonesia, making sure that women are properly covered up and are not wearing clothes that are too skinny or exposing. If a woman were to be caught not wearing a headscarf or is showing too much of their skin, the Sharia Police would harass and torture that woman. In the predominantly Muslim state of Indonesia, there is no law that stops the Sharia Police from doing these violent and unjust acts. Unfortunately, looking at things like this does not make ISIS and other terrorist organizations the only radical Islamists. According to a 2009 poll, there are approximately an estimate of about 680,000,000 radicals out of the 1.6 Billion Muslims worldwide.
So, are these terrorist organizations that the United States is fighting against truly Islamic? According to Sharia Law and textual evidence from the Quran, there is nothing in the religion that truly condemns these terrorists for their acts. Looking at other religions like Christianity, it is in the Ten Commandments that “thou shalt not murder” and “thou shalt love thy neighbor”. Looking at Sharia Law, which oppresses basic women’s rights and the Quran itself, the promotion of violence can be seen when taken literally.
<Ryan Kwon Campbell Hall 11th Grade