Terrorism Has No Religion

Terrorism has no religion. If I could have that tattooed on my forehead (trust me, there is enough room) to suddenly appear in the aftermath of terrorist attacks I probably would.

To say, at 18 years old I have studied every religion in the world would be a very bold and ultimately untrue statement. But what I do know is that religion is about God and being the best human you can be, whoever’s guidance and beliefs you follow to achieve this. Terrorism does not please any God and does not make any man a better man. Terrorism therefore has no religion. There may well be, and indeed is, times in life where humans have interpreted a religion to suit their own horrific beliefs and manipulated scripture to justify their immoral and unforgivable actions. But it does not take a genius to realise that these actions are not representative of a whole religion, but rather a minority tarnishing the name of a religion through their purposeful misinterpretation.

The beheadings of James Foley and Alan Henning and so many more innocent civilians were not done by Muslims. They were done by jihadists. The lynching of African Americans in the 20th century was not done by Christians. It was done by the Klu Klux Klan. The Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris were not done by Muslims. They were done by Jihadists. The views and homophobic rallying at soldiers’ funerals were not done by Christians. They were done by the Westborough Baptist Church. The association of terrorist attacks with a whole religion is not only completely ignorant to what that religion stands for, but also incredibly dangerous. It targets unjustified hate to a group of people most likely sharing the same values as us and ultimately fills the world with further violence, prejudice and discrimination, as if we already didn’t have enough.

The spread of hatred and violence following terrorist attacks is much like being punched in the face by the world and then being punched a bit more by ‘humanity’ after. Reading through comments on the Daily Mail is even worse and feels like being run over by ‘humanity’ in a tractor. It seems that people sit on Facebook and read such reports of violence, death and tragedy and instead of seeing a need for peace, see a need for further violence. They call out for the persecution of an entire religions, run their mouth with racist and ignorant remarks and only add to the hatred and brutality in the world.

I’m tired of people confusing Muslims with Islamic extremists either through their own ignorance, laziness or prejudice. I’m tired of people saying we need to get ‘them’ out of our country, as though the actions of a minority represent the views of so many other innocent people just like you and me. The Muslim population of the world is 1.6 billion people. To put it simply, if all Muslims were terrorist, if all Muslims wanted to be suicide bombers and if all Muslims had even the slightest jihadi beliefs, we would all be dead. It’s completely not true and I’m tired of people being too lazy to read a book, travel or open their eyes to understand the difference between a religion and a group of people committing horrible acts under a religions name.

Terrorism has no religion and it never will. If you can’t understand that then you are probably part of the problem in a world where our answer to violence is more violence.

Jessica Readett

[Image: NBC News]

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