The Foolishly Self-Proclaimed “Islamic State”

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Sabrina Iman ArsalaneSabrina Arsalane is a freshman in international studies major.

A gruesome 22-minute video began to circulate social media on January 27, showing a Jordanian pilot named Muath al-Kaseasbeh being burned alive in a cage by ISIS. Lieutenant al-Kaseasbeh was flying over Syria on Dec. 24 when his F-16 was shot down by ISIS militants. For months now, ISIS, also known as ISIL, has been claiming that they have rebirthed an Islamic caliphate, otherwise known as the line of successors/caliphs of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Throughout its existence, ISIS has systematically massacred and displaced thousands.

While ISIS claims to be a Muslim group, their violence is in no way Muslim. Among the countless disgusting crimes ISIS has committed, they have killed women, children, and the elderly, forced women into marriage with them, and forced their captives to convert to Islam. In Islam, the main goal of its law is to preserve life. Even your enemies have rights over you in Islam. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) would always tell his followers and army not to harm any woman, child, elder, or even cut down or harm trees.  Furthermore, the Prophet (PBUH) specifically forbids the use of fire when it comes to torture. Yet this so-called “Islamic state” caged Muath al-Kaseasbeh, doused him in gasoline, and set him aflame for the world to see. Al-Kaseasbeh’s wife, Anwar Tarawneh, couldn’t believe her ears when her mother called her in tears telling her what had happened, until Anwar saw the video for herself on her Facebook feed.

As a Muslim, I am absolutely disgusted by the atrocities ISIS has perpetrated. Muath was not the first victim of ISIS, as they’ve released countless videos of the torture and wrongful killings of American and Japanese journalists. These monsters call themselves Muslims but are far from what Muslims truly are. ISIS has failed to embody the true values of Islam and has used the name of such a beautiful and peaceful religion to carry out their barbaric agenda.

Muath al-Kaseasbeh was only 26 years old and leaves behind a family that will miss him dearly, including his wife whom he married in July. Tarawneh has said “The five months married to Muath were better than all the 25 years before.” Muath was a devout Muslim and his mother told reporters that, “He always carried a Koran…and never missed a prayer.” Being a Muslim myself, I can attest that Muslims can identify more with Muath and his values than that of ISIS and what the media portrays Muslims to be. The terror ISIS has inflicted onto the lives of many in no way, shape, or form finds its roots within Islam. The last time Anwar spoke to her husband, he reminded her to pray the sunset prayer, and told her that he himself had prayed double for the martyrs. That night Muath was captured and on his way to what turned out to be his own martyrdom.

1 COMMENT

  1. Who are you to say that it “isn’t Muslim” for ISIS to commit these atrocities, when there is a dearth of supporting Surahs from the Qu’ran to support violence against infidels.

    Surah 2:216: “Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not.” Not only does this verse establish that violence can be virtuous, but it also contradicts the myth that fighting is intended only in self-defense, since the audience was obviously not under attack at the time. From the Hadith, we know that this verse was narrated at a time that Muhammad was actually trying to motivate his people into raiding merchant caravans for loot.

    Surah 2: 191 -193: “And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [disbelief or unrest] is worse than killing…but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah [disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah] and worship is for Allah alone. But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.)” (Translation is from the Noble Quran) The historical context of this passage is not defensive warfare, since Muhammad and his Muslims had just relocated to Medina and were not under attack by their Meccan adversaries. In fact, the verses urge offensive warfare, in that Muslims are to drive Meccans out of their own city (which they later did). The use of the word “persecution” by some Muslim translators is thus disingenuous (the actual Muslim words for persecution – “idtihad” – and oppression – a variation of “z-l-m” – do not appear in the verse). The actual Arabic comes from “fitna” which can mean disbelief, or the disorder that results from unbelief or temptation. Taken as a whole, the context makes clear that violence is being authorized until “religion is for Allah” – ie. unbelievers desist in their unbelief.

    I could go on, but the point is that if Islam is a religion, essentially of interpreting the Qu’ran and the Hadith, (the Qu’ran being the final revelation from God, no other writing is needed, it is the end all be all of theology, philosophy, politics, etc. A belief that is already an incitement to violence) and if Islam does not recognize any Imam as having any higher claim, (though Shi’a Islam does), over any other as long as the umma, or community agrees, then on what foundation can you say that the supposed, peaceful, just, and good parts of the Muslim faith represent the true faith, as opposed to all the elements of Qu’ran, the supposed literal word of God transcribed by Mohammed, or some others? ISIL has every right to call themselves a Muslim movement, as you have to call yourself a Muslim.

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