My so-called moderate, left-wing life

Aman Ali's view

I’ve been asked many times: “Why don’t Muslims condemn terrorist attacks? Isn’t their silence implying that they support what happened?”

Before I answer, please read my entire explanation before giving me my “Stater political label” for the semester.

As Muslims are rounded up solely on charges of suspicion, the American public has remained quiet. Why don’t members of all faiths show outrage? Where is American outrage to the number of Iraqi civilians dead, the number near 100,000, as the London-based publication, The Lancet, recently found?

I understand that Islam is being attacked because some terrorists use Islam to justify their acts, but I believe these types of questions should not address only Muslims. Why shouldn’t every religious community that has fanatics committing barbaric acts condemn terrorism too?

Why can’t Christians condemn the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda that has enslaved, raped and massacred numerous men and women and forced children to become fighters? Joseph Kony, the group’s leader, quotes Biblical texts to maim and murder. Isn’t Christianity a religion of peace?

Of course, it is! I would never question Christianity’s peaceful teachings because I understand its foundations.

Islam does not have everything to do with violence in Iraq. Iraqi insurgents, using religion as a political tool to rally supporters, are fighting an insurgency against U.S. occupation.

Are people in Indonesia rising up rebelliously? Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world and it is politically democratic and stable.

It is wrong to say political violence only happens because of a religion or the silence of so-called “moderates.” I don’t think my friend Andrew has to condemn Timothy McVeigh nor the neo-Nazi organization Christian Identity, an organization that allegedly inspired McVeigh to commit mass murder. I know McVeigh’s actions had nothing to do with Christianity.

Like Christianity, Islam does not have two equally large groups — one fanatical, the other peaceful as it is made out to have. Islam is practiced in many ways, depending on a country’s geography, society, social structures and government type.

I reject statements that hate “America” (as if it was a single entity) for acts of terror against Iraq or even Nicaraguan civilians. It is not “America” that violates international law; it is a few individuals in the U.S. government or army that allow it to happen. This is the same for Islam. Islam is not a single person or a homogeneous group. About 1.2 billion Muslims live a peaceful life and pray for world peace.

I love this country, the freedom that it stands for and the people who reside in it. I tolerate and respect other religions because I know I am in no position to hold my religion above any other.

I urge everyone when reading about acts of terrorism that mention Islam to understand the bigger picture on how these singled-out acts are hurting every member of my religion. Please don’t demand “moderate” Muslims to stand up against fanaticism. Please demand that all people stand up for justice, mercy and human rights for all.

Aman Ali is a junior information design major, president of the Muslim Students Association and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].