The rise, battlefield success and vainglorious propaganda of the so-called “Islamic State” may prove to be a moment of clarity for Muslims worldwide.
This alleged state has suddenly caused all nations in its neighborhood to join a coalition with the United States to combat what is now seen clearly by all as a purely barbaric force. To this extent, it may be serving a historic purpose.
The “Islamic State” phenomenon is forcing a clean separation between those Muslims who wish to live by the peaceful fundamentals and intent of Islam from those who do not. Muslims who wish to live in harmony with the rest of the world, with civilized justice and without coercion, with equal rights for all, with benefit to their fellow man are in a large majority. That majority now knows that it must take stronger action against the anti-Islamic Muslim minority.
Long constrained by a tradition of showing deference to another’s faith and merely condemning criminal acts, Muslims watched extremists as they abrogated peaceful Islamic principles and took on what they claimed to be worthy causes with an end-justifies-the-means approach. As a result, violent men appeared to speak for our faith and were brought to prominence by media focused primarily on reporting bad news. The realization has been slow among Muslims, spread as they are among diverse cultures, that rotten apples spoil the lot for all of us, wherever we may live.
American Muslims, many of whom left dysfunctional economies and social systems in the Old World for better opportunities in the United States, find themselves under a cloud due to events in those ancient lands. Any confusion caused by rival propaganda or false-flag theories should now be replaced by clarity. We all must stand with moral certainty for civility and call out the violent ones such as the “Islamic State” for disgracing their faith in pursuit of political agendas.