Islamic faith misinterpreted: Radical acts of a few do not represent majority

By Shenay Damirgi 2005

Islam is an Arabic word that means peace and surrender. A Muslim is a person who surrenders to God and finds peace. But that’s not what other people think about Muslims. The word that pops into most people’s minds is “terrorists.” But that is so far off from the truth.

Ever since 9/11, Muslims have been labeled as terrorist when it was just some ignorant people who did this. A whole group shouldn’t be labeled for what a minority did, so if people say Muslims are connected to Al-Qaeda, then why aren’t Christians connected to the KKK? It wouldn’t be right to say all Christians are connected to the KKK, and so people shouldn’t say that all Muslims are terrorists.

Even during war, when one thinks of the word, one knows it’s all about killing, but the Prophet Muhammad (Peach be upon him) told his people not to kill innocent people (women, children, the elderly), not to harm trees or burn them, and not to slay the enemy’s flock.

So why would some Muslims kill innocent people when these people haven’t even done anything to them? Those who commit these attacks are ignorant people who don’t even know anything about this peaceful religion.

But what about those people who think that all Muslims are violent? Lots of things have happened to Muslims in the United States. Countless numbers of Muslims from different countries, including American Muslims, have been attacked since 9/11. Many have also died as result of these hate crimes.

Many of them were born and raised in America, and others came here to escape from violence in their own countries. It is a horrible thing to see people come here from the violence going on in their own countries and be attacked because of their faith.

Now let’s bring this to what has been going on here at our homeland. In Iowa there were attacks on Islamic Centers and Muslims. The Islamic Center of Waterloo/Cedar Falls got broken into after 9/11, and money and other things were stolen from there.

Another time, a lamppost in the front of the building and a door were broken. A couple weeks ago in our neighboring city of Cedar Rapids, the Islamic Center was vandalized. Graffiti was spray painted on the front of the building.

There are some hateful people right in our community. I used to think these kinds of hate crimes only happened in big cities, not in places like Iowa, but I was definitely wrong. One finds good people and bad people everywhere.

People need to know the truth, and if you just try to learn a little about different kinds of people before judging them, it would make the world such a better place.

I don’t blame the ignorant people, but my message to them is that they take a bit of time and study the Qur’an that was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), and educate themselves about other cultures.

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