Are All Muslims Terrorists? Culminating Task Redux

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There are many misconceptions about Muslims and Islam in general. There is an idea that Muslims are extremely violent, and are terrorists, but is this necessarily true? A common belief is that religious Muslims who worship the teachings of the Quran are an immediate threat because of the negative connotations placed on Islam by society. Prominent religious groups such as Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda, and Islamic State (ISIS), have displayed a negative portrayal of the Muslim people, the media’s influence and selected broadcasting has also tarnished the image of the people who believe in Islam, and the lack of knowledge on different religions and cultures also contributes to this ignorant ideology and further ruins their image.

A major reason why Islam is looked down upon is because of prominent terrorist groups who wreak havoc in any territory that they visit or are located in. Terrorist groups such as ISIS crave power and commit acts of crime based on their political agenda as opposed to their faith. Therefore, they are misguided by their religion and do not follow the rules of the Quran (Islam’s holy book), as other Muslims in the world do. Also, the terrorist groups’ actions don’t reflect the actions and behaviours of the 1.7 billion other Muslims in the world. Furthermore, because these groups have been in existence and are still active in the world, it causes people to continue to have the wrong idea about other Muslims. These groups’ actions are reflected/connected upon other Muslims solely based on religion. This causes people to become scared of them and think that they indeed a threat to society. These terrorist groups are dangerous because they’re active in areas of the world that have no government, or are living in corrupt countries. Such countries include Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq.  There are limited resources to stop these groups from continuing to commit heinous acts. The more power they have, the higher the influence they have on others in their country and other countries all around the world. Finally, countries such as the U.S have invaded Iraq and Afghanistan for oil and other resources. People who believe that all Muslims are terrorists are blind to the real events in the world. In fact, 9/11 plays a huge role in this where Muslim terrorists were to blame, but only 3000 people died in this tragic event. In comparison, 500,000 civilians in Iraq have been wounded or killed since the U.S. invasion. Therefore, these terrorist groups inaccurately portray Muslims all around the world, and act the way that they do because they’re power-hungry which causes them to act violently and cause disaster so that they can instill fear into people. Finally, people need to open their eyes and understand the world around them and become aware of other terrorist groups.

The media also plays a significant role in portraying Muslims all over the world. News broadcasting companies such as Fox News, MSNBC, and others report Muslim terrorism more frequently than other groups. These companies focus on Muslim terrorist groups because that is what the world is used to seeing. It is rare to see other terrorist groups such as the FARC, and the New People’s Army being reported on. This is because it is easy to, many people are heavily influenced by the news and it makes Muslims look worse each time it is broadcasted. Therefore, there needs to be equal broadcasting of each major terrorist groups and their activity. Furthermore, all terrorist groups do horrible things such as abduct, rape, violate human rights, and murder. Other groups like Christian terrorist groups do not get reported on a lot in the mainstream media because news companies/anchors will hesitate to do so. This is because in the mainstream media, reputation and image is everything. For example, in the United States, the majority religion is Christianity and if a Christian terrorist group commits a certain act of terrorism, they would choose to focus on Muslim terrorists instead if given the chance. The inaccurate portrayal of Muslims is seen in media because people believe the majority of terrorism acts are committed by Muslims. However, in the United States since 1995, 56% of attacks were committed by Ring-Wing extremists, 30% by Eco terrorists, and only 12% by Islamic extremists! Some broadcasting companies/online news channels such as TYT are unbiased. TYT or “The Young Turks,” is one of the few news outlets that report on several events from all over the world and news companies should use them as an example. However, the majority of the mainstream media will do anything to protect their image, and hide the truth from the general public. This all negatively impacts the Muslim people and needs to change.

People are not educated on other religions or cultures all around in the world which also contributes to the problem. Most people are not informed on Islam in general. The Quran does not condone violence or murder. It strongly advocates kindness, forbids cheating, false accusations, and jealousy, and it advises all Muslims to be righteous and promote peace and tolerance. This is proven have a significant effect on people because UC Berkeley Political Science M. Steven Fish reported, “Muslim countries average 2.4 murders per annum per 100,000 people compared to non-Muslim countries that have 7.5 murders per annum per 100,000 people.” Therefore, countries with proper functioning governments with a majority of Muslim population are in fact, less violent. Not being educated on other cultures is also a problem because people are judged for things such as wearing religious clothing such as hijabs, burkas, or niqabs in the Muslim community. Marco Perolini, Amnesty International’s expert on discrimination says, “Muslim women are being denied jobs and girls prevented from attending regular classes just because they wear traditional forms of dress, such as the headscarf.” This shows that Muslim women are being discriminated against for being religious. The reason why they wear these types of clothes that cover their hair, skin, or part of their face is because they want to show modesty and want people to judge them on whom they are as a person as opposed to their outer appearance. Therefore, education is extremely important. Once people become open to other religions and cultures, then there will be more acceptance in the world. In today’s world, this just isn’t the case and it’s unfortunate.

A terrorist can be anyone; however, society has given the world, “terrorist” a religion, colour, and characteristics that relate to Islam. Because of prominent Islamic terrorist groups such as ISIS being active in the world and repetitively reported on in the news, the media’s portrayal of Muslims, and the lack of knowledge on other religions and cultures, the world has perceived the wrong idea about Muslims and who they really are as human beings. There are other terrorist groups in the world, there is less violence in Muslim countries, and the Quran promotes peace and tolerance. Not only is it not fair to judge people before knowing them, it’s even worse to do it to over a billion people in the world. Therefore, when one hears the word, “terrorist” a Muslim shouldn’t be the first person to come to mind.

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