Is it true that religion is the root of most wars? This question is debated among historians, religious leaders and reporters alike. Going back to biblical times, religion has been a driving force to power that is still relevant today. In 2001, many asked if it was religion that caused 9/11. When asked, many people of faith said (and will say) yes, even if it degrades their religion.
In the 21st century, there has been an unprecedented amount of attacks by Islamic extremists.
“A recent poll showed that 27 percent of Americans believe that ISIS represents ‘true Islam,’” says Anne Blankenship, an assistant professor in the department of religious studies. This misinformation is a major hindrance to the Islamic faith. This misbelief is flamed by sensationalist newscasters and has resulted in numerous stereotypes, excuses for bigotry and ignorant generalizations.
We need to keep an open mind and consider the facts. We need to reject the urge to give in to generalizations.
“The type of Islam created by ISIS exists nowhere else on earth,” Blankenship says. Because of this, Syrian refugees are fleeing their homes. Though the United States Council of Muslim Organizations has denounced the Paris attacks and directly condemned ISIS, fear of Muslims has seeped in to the nation’s melting pot.
This fear is misplaced.
Fear of ISIS is justified but taking out our fear on refugees is dishonorable at best. This is shameful when “no refugee in the United States has been implicated in any terrorist action,” Blankenship say. This misplaced fear and prejudice has lead to blatant discrimination. “State governors – joined Tuesday by Jack Dalrymple of North Dakota – to reject their presence (though governors have no such power),” says Blankenship.
There are Islamic extremists just as there are extremists in any other religion. Just as those Christian extremists or Buddhist extremists are denounced by their religious peers, so is ISIS. Remember, Islam does not equate to ISIS.