From James Foley to Steven Sotloff, the tragic killings of both journalists by the militant group that calls itself the Islamic State and might be more widely known as ISIS, is not only alarming as an aspiring journalist, but also as a Muslim.
As a Muslim, I take my religion seriously, and for an extremist group to taint the name of a beautiful religion for the sake of conveying a message is not only disturbing, but also hurtful.
The group claims to be justifying its atrocious acts of murder because it’s outraged over U.S. airstrikes targeting ISIS in Iraq.
But one of the key concepts that ISIS is not grasping is that murder is not supported at all in Islam. Any murder is seen in Islam as killing the whole of humanity.
The group claims to be fighting in the name of Allah or God, but how can a group fight for the sake of God without understanding the teachings of its own religion?
Islam is a religion that not only stands on the concept of peace and justice, but also on the idea that every Muslim ought to live in a state of balance.
It seems so predictable, all these so-called “Islamic” terrorist groups who bolster their weapons and kill civilians for the sake of conveying a message, but what they forget is that as a Muslim, these actions are useless. What groups like these forget is that in order to truly claim to act in the name of a religion, one must first understand the teachings of the religion.
Through understanding the religion, what many of these groups will realize is that their actions are not only useless, but also tainting the image of the roughly 1.6 billion Muslims throughout the world.
Aside from the conflict and their attempts to defend their actions, what they do not realize is that they have become blinded in pursuit of their goals.
The solution does not lie in beheading the heads of innocent journalists or terrorizing the lives of innocent civilians in the name of religion.
Although the answers are not clear to the war and destruction that is currently taking place in the Middle East, groups such as ISIS have only become blinded and ignorant in attempts to finding a solution.
As an aspiring journalist, it truly hurts to see other journalists die for the sake of bringing awareness to the events that are taking place.
What these ignorant groups forget is that these journalists are there for a reason, which is to deliver the message of the unheard voices and to tell the stories that the rest of the world are not able to hear or see. It seems like these groups desire to come out with different methods and tactics to bring attention more than defending the religion they claim to represent.
What they are truly failing to realize in this whole ordeal is that they are only jeopardizing the name of Islam with their horrific acts of murder. With each murder or attempt to show what they are capable of, they are only destroying the name of Islam and worsening the lives of Muslims throughout the world.
As a student who is passionate about my religion, as well as the ability to speak out against injustice, their actions are only causing the image of Islam to be further correlated with negativity.
I am not speaking out against ISIS in hopes that it might receive my message, but rather to the couple of other readers who might read this article already holding a certain level of negativity about Islam in their minds.
From the comments about terrorism, Saudi Arabian or Muslim women, I have seen the responses articles such as this one typically attract.
ISIS in no way represents Islam, and just like every other terrorist group, they are just as blinded and filled with hatred as the person who dislikes another person based on his or her religion.
The horrifying acts of a few black sheep do not define the meaning of an entire religion. This line has been overused so many times, but the concept is absolutely true.
Islam is about peace and balance, not murder or killing. Remember, people become irrational and blinded — it is part of human error, but do not let the atrocious acts of a few define an entire religion.