For the past four-five years the phrases I heard most are ‘Terrorists are not Muslims.’ and ‘Terrorists have no religion.’ Every time I log into social media after a terrorist attack this is the first thing I see on my feed. Even the Prime Minister of Bangladesh repeats this in every one of her anti-terrorism speeches. It has become the default response of the Muslim community for every terrorist attack, even if the attacker isn’t Muslim or affiliated with Islamist extremists.
But let’s be honest here, this declaration is complete bullshit. It’s a nice sentiment to comfort you after a horrible terrorist attack but in reality, this is absolutely rubbish. The truth is the extremists are a better Muslim then you ever will be.
Just because you say they have no religion doesn’t make them godless. I have had the very enlightening experience of meeting a few Islamist extremists over the course of my life. They all belonged to the group Islami Chhatrashibir which is the student branch of the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami. They prayed 5 times every single day, fasted the whole month of Ramadan, never missed a single prayer, could recite the Quran line by line from memory with meaning and led life according to the Quran. They knew more about Islam than you ever will. I doubt that the Muslim community who say ‘Terrorists are not Muslims’ can remember more than a few surah, let alone memorizing the whole Quran. So saying terrorists are not Muslims is a bit too condescending, don’t you think?
Let me ask you a question, what can you do for your religion? Can you give up the comfort of modern life? Can you denounce your own children if they decide to leave your religion? Can you give your life for your religion? If you hesitated for even one second to answer yes to these questions, then you are a worse Muslim then an extremist. To them, you are the one who has fallen from Allah’s path and that’s actually true. It’s clearly written in the Quran that Islam is the complete code of life. It can not be altered or changed in any way. Yet you pick and choose the parts of religion that are convenient to you and ignore the rest. To an extremist who follows everything the Quran says, that’s heresy, mutiny. You are worse than a Kafir.
The reason extremists do the horrible things is their religion. They are doing Jihad which is a very valid and important part of Islam. Yes, I know the argument that America and the west created Al Qaeda and ISIS. But how many Al Qaeda soldiers become suicide bombers and kill themselves for America? None. They do it for their religion. It’s safe to say that the people who were in cahoots with western conspirators are less than a few handful of high-ranking members of Al Qaeda and ISIS. Everyone else is there to ‘protect’ and ‘serve’ their religion.
Do you really think most ISIS soldiers give a fuck about western conspiracies? No, they don’t. They are serving their religion which happens to be Islam. You denying this does not matter to them. They believe they are doing the right thing and they are willing to give their lives and take other innocent lives for this belief. This is all that matters.
Terrorists are Muslim and Islam is their religion. If you want to stop terrorism the first thing you have to do is acknowledge that. Because denying a problem does not make it go away, it only makes you part of that problem.