Presenting the True Image of Arabs and Muslims
- 26 August 2014
Acts of certain individuals and organizations resorting to terrorism and sectarianism, and using religion to justify their evil intentions, are most detrimental to the image of Arabs and Muslims. These acts are far removed from the true Islam, which teaches coexistence and calls for dialog between civilizations, cultures and communities. The video released by ISIS showing brutal beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley has tarnished every Muslim’s image. This gives an opportunity to those who believe in clash of civilization and paint a stereotypical and distorted image of Arabs and Muslims to influence world opinion, especially in the West.
Another abhorrent sectarian attack was carried out by an armed militia on Musab bin Omair mosque in Iraq a few days ago. It resulted in the killing of nearly a hundred people and wounded dozens of worshippers. The event has tarnished the image of Arabs, Muslims, and that of Islam. Those who carried out this terrorist attack follow a sectarian and nefarious agenda. This was very similar to other attacks of a sectarian nature witnessed in Iraq, whether they have been carried out by Shia or Sunni militias.
The dangerous situation that has emerged in Iraq brings huge responsibilities for the Arab and Muslim worlds to present the true image of Islam, Arabs and Muslims. They should unmask the designs of these sectarian and terrorist organizations and show how they are far removed from Islam. These elements direct their acts of terrorism against Muslims as well as non-Muslims. These organizations are totally against the faith and raise empty slogans that are against the interests of Muslims and their faith.
The firm position taken by Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on the killing of American journalist is significant. OIC maintained that the acts of this organization have nothing to do with Islam and its values and, in fact, run counter to its principles that urge instilling a culture of tolerance all over the world. GCC countries have also condemned the killing and the attack on mosques in Iraq. They described this as a heinous crime and rejected the practices that heighten sectarian divide.
There is no doubt that moderate religious institutions in the Arab and Islamic worlds should try to expose these terrorist and sectarian groups and their evil designs that are contrary to the teachings of Islam. They should ensure that their acts of terrorism, violence and extremism are not linked to the image of Arabs and Muslims as happened during the period that followed 9/11 attacks in 2001 and had serious negative repercussions at various levels.