The Quran Speaks: ISIS and Islam are Opposites

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They have names like ISIL, Al Qaeda, Taliban, and so on. We Americans are being told by mainstream media sources that they belong to one religion: “Radical Islam.” The terrorists insist on calling themselves “Islamic,” and the media repeats this claim, but this label is a false equivalence and a very harmful false association we should be quick to avoid. Let the public not be fooled — the peace-loving, pious adherents of a beautiful faith that translates to “Submission” do not share a faith, values, or philosophy with terrorists, homicidal maniacs. The ultimate measurement of who or what is Islamic is universally accepted to be the Quran. It is by the Quran that one can determine who/what is really and truly Islamic, and whom/what is wearing a stolen name. The first “I” in ISIS is an affront to Muslims around the world, and we prefer to call these rampant killers “Daesh” which means “to crush.” Empowered with solid information, Progressives can refute the stolen name, and the frightening attacks by politicians like presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Breaking, disobeying, and doing the opposite of every major moral requirement of the Holy Quran means ISIS are certainly not Islamic. Not one iota.Terrorists are criminals, and their crimes are crimes against all of humanity. The perfectly-honorable and pure faith, based on a Holy Quran that encapsulates the words of Almighty God himself,preaches only peace. So what is today dubbed “Extreme Islam” in the mainstream media is in actuality, Anti-Islam. ISIS is Anti-Islamic, the polar opposite of Islam.
“Islam” is Arabic short-hand for “Submission to the Will of the Creator.” That means accepting everyone and everything in the world — just the way they are. Terrorist groups are not members any form of “Islam,” extreme or otherwise; they have invented their own religion. ISIS and their kind operate against the sacred core tentants of the Holy Quran, and to disobey the Quran or choose another source besides makes one’s actions patently un-Islamic.The Holy Quran is an unchanged, consistent sacred manual to religious life for all Muslims, and the timeless Arabic text is the same today as it was 1400 years ago at revelation to the Prophet Mohammad. Actions taken against the commandments of the Quran are unauthorized by God, rejected by Muslims, and denounced by our community. Terrorists are rightfully called “extreme” — extremely sinful, extremely wicked, and extremely deplorable. In their sinful, depraved acts, ISIS represent only themselves, not Islam. And Muslims decry the association of their destructive activities with the Muslims, Islam, and the God of Abraham, Most Gracious, Most Merciful God.
The Quran commands God’s followers specifically and unequivocally to reject violence against others, reject harm against the self, and to get along with people of various faiths (or no faith at all).
(1) The Quran says: Thou Shalt Not Kill Thyself. The Quran states unambiguously in verse 4:29 You shall not kill yourselves. Suicide is hugely taboo in Islam. Suicide Bombers are inherently un-Islamic and an outright contradiction of faith, both for indiscriminatly killing others and themselves. In fact, the majority of Muslims believe suicide makes one ineligible for entrance to heaven. In real Islam, the destiny in the afterlife is not paradise but punishment for the suicide bomber.
(2) The Quran says: Thou Shalt Not Kill Innocents. Self-Defense Only. Just as with the other Abrahamic faiths, the Quran’s commandments are completely familiar to us. Verse 17:33 You shall not kill any person – for GOD has made life sacred. 2:193 Aggression is permitted only against the aggressors. In the Quran and real Islam, murder and unprovoked attacks are strictly forbidden and tremendously, hugely sinful. Non-violence is the rule — the only exception to the rule is that a person is allowed to defend himself, but only if under seige. Killing harmless strangers at a concert, restaurant, or football match cannot possibly be confused for self-defense, and therefore, ISIS and like-minded groups are pro-violence and anti-Islamic.
(3) The Quran says: On Infidels & Disbelievers — Live and Let Live. In multiple places, the Holy Quran tells Muslims to leave disbelievers alone, to not even try to convert them. Here’s the entire Chapter 109:0-6, with nothing left out. “In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. Say, ‘O you disbelievers. I do not worship what you worship. Nor do you worship what I worship. Nor will I ever worship what you worship. Nor will you ever worship what I worship. To you is your religion, and to me is my religion.’ ” God’s words are commanding Muslims to agree to disagree. And in Verse 2:256 “There shall be no compulsion in religion.” No compulsion in religion means freedom of religion — regardless of faith, or no faith at all. The Quran states clearly that God’s will for humankind is free will.
So in fact, the label “extreme” Islam is an honorable title that belongs only rightfully to smiling, happy people whose lives revolve around gratitude, charity, peaceful contemplation, prayer, fasting, praise songs. And most of all, to those who display acceptance of everyone, and everything, just the way they are. That is Submission. That is Islam. “Extreme” Islam is also extreme non-violence, to the point of not even opening one’s mouth to complain or object to anything! Some in my congregation totally have this down, even blithely accepting life’s little mishaps as blessings in disguise, always seeing God’s benevolence in everything around us, even if it to others it might seem like an irritation.
Muslims by definition are required to be nonviolent, peaceful people because we believe God is in charge. And for that reason, we do wish the media, Trump, and our beloved fellow Americans would recognize that ISIS has nothing — absolutely nothing — in common with us.
Delilah Leval is a tolerant, nonviolent, and Quran-literate Californian.