Islamophobia in social media


Is·lam·o·pho·bi·a: fear or hatred of Islam or Muslims. With groups such as Al-Qaeda and ISIS constantly in the news, many Americans go to social media to express their opinions. Unfortunately, many people have begun to fear Islam as a whole, without realizing there is a difference between Muslims and terrorists who interpret Islam and the Quran in an oppressive way to support their actions. It’s natural for humans to fear what they don’t understand, but it’s not justified to attack it.

Upon looking at social media posts from news outlets, we found many comments that attacked Islam and accused it of promoting violence. Here are some examples:comment 1

comment 4

comment 3

comment 2

Although these people have the right to practice their First Amendment rights by attacking Islamic beliefs, the attacks are not justified. They don’t understand the core principles of Islam; Islam has five basic pillars: declaration of faith, praying five times a day, giving money to charity, fasting and a pilgrimage to Mecca. No where in these five pillars is there any mention of killing Americans or violence in general.

The media often calls members of ISIS or members of Al-Qaeda “jihadists” but these people do not follow the rules of jihad. Jihad is made up of three kinds of struggle: a believer’s internal struggle to live the Muslim faith as well as possible, the struggle to build a good Muslim society and “holy war” – the struggle to defend Islam. It is this last part that is often misconstrued by American society. True Jihadists (not terrorists) do not force people to convert to Islam or conquer other nations to colonize them. Before going to war, all other solutions must have already been attempted to resolve issues among groups of people. Some other crucial requirements for Jihadists is that innocent people should not be killed, women must not be raped and enemies must be treated with justice.

Islam is a very peaceful religion, in fact there is a line in the Qur’an that states, “Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loveth not aggressors” (Qur’an 2:190). ISIS is a group of terrorists in Syria and Iraq who behead, crucifix and rape their captives which is against the Jihad rules. ISIS is so extreme that even Al-Qaeda leaders such as Ayman al-Zawahiri condemn it.

For those who use Christianity as a basis for their attacks on Islam, Christianity was and still can be a violent religion. Examples include the centuries-long Inquisition and the beginning of the Protestant-led Ku Klux Klan. Christianity shouldn’t be used as an “ideal” religion. At the bare bones, Christianity and Islam are based off the same basic ideals: one God, one main religious text, etc.

There is no justification in attacking a religion that many people don’t seem to know much about. Islam does not warrant any vicious comments about the violent nature of the religion because those claims are strictly false. Terrorists twist the words of the Quran in order to condone their actions and indoctrinate followers. People on social media need to educate themselves on what Islam is and the beliefs of Islam before posting ignorant comments that incite others to foolishly do the same.