“All faiths join in protest of Islamic extremism”
In the article “Calgarians of all faiths gather at City Hall in protest of Islamic extremism” (Southwick, 2014), attention is brought towards condemning radical groups. The Calgary Herald wrote about the reasons for the demonstrators outside of City Hall on Saturday, September 13, 2014. The organizers of the rally emphasize that Islamic extremism is not Islamic faith. Rather, it is a cult that draws in youth from many countries; including Canada. These youth are brainwashed into the ISIS ideology. The ideology of ISIS seems to be that if someone does not accept their ideology, they will be killed regardless of their faith. The rally consisted of a multi-faith setting, including Muslims that condemn Islam extremism. The organizers believe that it was important to have many faiths in attendance, because this ‘cult’ is affecting not one culture, religion and/or family, but many dynamics. The Calgary Herald released, “according to federal officials, 130 Canadians have been recruited to fight with radical groups and police say at least 30 are from Calgary” (Southwick, 2014). One son told his mother before leaving Canada that he was going to ‘protect women and children’. This was not the case and is now believed to be dead. In the end the rally of people want others to know Islamic extremist groups; such as, ISIS has nothing to do with what ‘Islam stands for’.
I believe that this article brings on an important point. Islamic extremism is not ‘real’ Islam. Putting it point blank like that can get people thinking. In Canadian society, I have heard so many stereotypes associated with the religion of Islam, and other Middle Eastern religions. I do not think it is fair for others to judge another’s religion, when you may not be fully educated on that religion. With the Middle East and terrorism being in the media on a constant basis, I feel like this is a contributing factor. People naively make the link between the majority of Islamic groups as being cults; subsequently terrorist organizations. I think that this can be problematic for the religion; because once someone or something has a stigma it is extremely hard to change people’s opinions.
I am currently enrolled in a religious course at the U of C, and I have learned that there are many branches of religion that have developed in the Middle East. Islam is a religion that has approximately 1.2 billion members as of 2005. It is considered a world religion, because of the amount of people that practise Islamic religion. These radical groups such as ISIS that are targeting young, vulnerable individuals are what we see in the media. We hear of them transitioning into murderers and involving themselves in violent acts, because of brainwashing being done by Islamic extremist groups. We do not hear of the essential values of Islam that have importance on family, daily prayer and dedicating their life to God. I hope individuals have an open mind to opening their faith to other faiths. With the joining of faiths at the protest on September, 13th we can see that faiths can join together, conversing their ideas on condemning radical groups for the better good of all society.
By: PMT 10086741
Course: Religion 200
Reference: Southwick, R. Stark, E. (2014). Calgarians of all faiths gather at City Hall in protest of Islamic extremism. Calgary Herald. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/1mwe3vC.