Not In My Name

Avenged, they said?

The Prophet Muhammad was not avenged by the massacre of the 12 people at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. The Prophet and the majority of Muslims around the world were betrayed by those who claim to hold Islam as their religion and use it for their own political gains. Shame on them.

But I'll tell you, those murderer terrorists sure do have something in common with the prophet. It is in the encounter between a victim and his oppressor. These terrorists are the prophet's and Islam's enemies. The enemies who existed while he lived. The ones who would bully, attack and injure him. The enemies who would attempt to silence him. There's something so ironic about that.

I find it perplexing and sickening that there are people out there who think they can defend God and the prophet with violence. Like they need you?! The bottom line is that a person who is confident enough in their religious convictions and in who they are would never be moved by an offensive depiction of their faith figures.

Disgusting. And not in my name.

There's an ongoing debate within the American Muslim community on whether or not Muslims should condemn such attacks in the name of Islam. There's an argument that Christians and Jews and Buddhists never have to go out in full force and condemn acts done in the name of their respective religions. Even though, like with the Paris massacre case, those who do twist and turn religious texts to justify these actions. There is an argument that in condemning these acts we are admitting that it is done on behalf of Islam, that we are responsible and we are attaching guilt and shame to ourselves and Islam. There is an argument that the west has much more to apologize for its acts of genocide and war in the Middle East and other places. There's an argument that in expecting Muslims to apologize, we are subjugated by the west and held in a catch-22 scenario of having to apologize, even though these acts have nothing to do with our religion.

And then there are those who argue that we Muslims must condemn these actions, not to please anyone but to remain proactive and in charge of our destiny. This is the side of argument to which I belong.

I simply condemn these acts out of my Islamic religious convictions, which teach me that I should speak out against injustice. All forms of injustice, and that I do. There's a certain pain that I feel when I watch as my religion is being run through the ground by loud ruthless voices who take all the headlines. If I'm able to counter that, by my actions before my words, I will always do it.

I do not care whether Christians, Jews, Buddhists, atheists or any other group condemn or not condemn acts of terrorism in their name. I do not care whether the word terrorism has unjustly become exclusive to Muslims by the media and islamophobes.

I, a Muslim, am responsible for making sure my religion is portrayed factually, not to please anyone, but to be true to myself and my religion. I am responsible because it is what my religion teaches me.