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Islam: the Hero to Combat ISIS

September 19, 2014


A recent op-ed published by MPAC President Salam Al-Marayati called “The Key to Defeating ISIS Is Islam” cites Islam as the cure to preventing violent extremism. Al-Marayati’s central argument is that “America needs Islam -- not to convert people to the religion, but as the antidote to the toxic and threatening ideology of ISIS.”

As ISIS continues to uphold their violent presence in Iraq and Syria, millions of people across the world have felt the impact of their hatred and evil acts. While ISIS claims to promote Islamic values and aims to achieve their political goals through acts of violent extremism, their actions and ideologies are contradictory to the values and principles of Islam.

While ISIS is based on hate and vengeance, Islam values forgiveness and perseverance. While ISIS is preoccupied with violent confrontation and intimidation, Islam focuses on engagement with others. While ISIS calls for the death of others, Islam voices the importance of life and of serving the public interest.

Al-Marayati concludes the op-ed with: "That's the message that needs to be conveyed to Muslims worldwide in order to isolate ISIS from Islam and provide Islam as the antidote to the ideological distortion of ISIS and its destructive ambitions. That's the substance in countering the narrative of violent extremism. It needs a vehicle and that's where media, government and civil society can help."

Physical confrontations and battles and are not the answer to combating dangerous ideologies that promote violent extremism. Fighting back with a dialogue about the principles and morals that Islam values and advocates for is the way to dispel ISIS' brutal and aggressive ideologies in order to successively dispel the misconception that ISIS speaks for Islam.

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