Trinidad and Tobago Humanist Association

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How many more young Muslim men must become cannon fodder for ISIS?

Published Sunday Express 14 August 2016 • 371 words

The actions and beliefs of the terrorist group ISIS can be effectively rejected solely on ethical and secular grounds. ISIS is waging both an actual war and an ideological one, and it is through the latter that they get recruits. However, responses by both Muslim and non-Muslims to a recently published interview with ISIS fighter Shane Crawford, who now calls himself  "Abu Sa'd at Trinidadi", insist that his assertions have no basis in religion in general and Islam in particular.

It is difficult to believe, however, that Muslims who are presumably familiar with their Quran are unaware that ISIS cites scripture to justify its actions. While religious apologists may argue that ISIS spokespersons are misinterpreting these texts, it is at least disingenuous to pretend such verses do not exist.

For example, Crawford in the interview advised local Muslims to "terrorise the disbelievers and make them feel fear everywhere, even in their own bedrooms." The Quran in Sura 9:123 says "Fight those of the disbelievers who are near to you and let them find harshness in you."

Crawford also warned local Muslims that "... If, however, you abandon your brothers while continuing to live in the shade of an enemy at war with Islam, within a petty distance from many Crusader interests, then do not be shocked if Allah strips you of the speck of faith remaining in your dying hearts, as a punishment for your sin and insincerity." Sura 5:80 tells Muslims who make friends with unbelievers that "Allah became displeased with them and in chastisement shall they abide."

Devout Muslims have a moral duty to rebut ISIS's textual authority for their actions by providing alternative interpretations, rather than mere blanket statements that Islam is a religion of peace that does not promote any violence whatsoever.

In this day and age, people who profess a religion should embrace only the humane aspects of its dogma, not use the bloodthirsty passages of scriptures derived from more primitive eras and circumstances to justify impulses of hatred and cruelty.

How many more young Muslim men will become cannon fodder for ISIS?

We encourage our Muslim citizens to adhere to their deepest principles of peace in a problem that threatens the security of all T&T.

T&T Humanist Association

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