How Can We Counter Extremist Groups?

The Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Area (ISIS/ISIL) is another terrorist movement that claims it is working in the name of Allah; that it is upholding the teachings of Islam when it beheads innocent people, or infidels. Yet, Muslims across the globe rally in protest to this claim of ISIS’s and argue that what they are doing goes against the teachings of the Qur’an. Since the rise of ISIS, the social media hashtag #notinmyname has become extremely popular. ISIS is corrupting the Muslim identity, and in turn, Muslims are fighting back by telling the world what Islam really teaches, through the use of social media. Is the ideology that ISIS holds actually in line with the Qur’an as they claim it is? According to many people, including the President of the United States, Barack Obama, Islam is a religion that advocates peace, and those who do not believe this are misguided.

Although President Obama must use force, including air strikes and military, to help take down this terrorist group, the American President also strongly suggests that the best way to counter these extremist Islam terrorist movements, such as ISIS, is to show to people what Islam actually teaches so that they are not manipulated into believing that what ISIS is doing is in accordance with Islam. General Martin Dempsey argues that, “ISIL will ultimately be defeated when their cloak of religious legitimacy is stripped away and the populations on which they have imposed themselves reject them.” If people no longer believe that ISIS is acting in accordance with Islam, then arguably, far less Muslims will join these terrorist groups and support them, and as General Dempsey suggests, Muslims will reject them.

Of course, it is not known that this method, employed in the United States by it’s government, will prove effective, but at the very least it will educate people, hopefully preventing some individuals from being swayed into believing that ISIS works on behalf of Islam, and thus they will hopefully refrain from joining and killing in the name of Islam.

-A.E. #349



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