Defining was the first major act of militant

Defining
the issue:            The religion of Islam has gained heaps of negative
attention over the past decade due to the rise of terrorism and violence
committed by Muslim extremist groups. These extremist groups include ISIS and
the Taliban, whom have committed atrocious acts of terror in the name of Islam.
Although, most victims of terrorism are Muslims, the actions of such groups and
individuals have created a stereotype declaring all Muslims as being
terrorists. The media, such as Fox news, has further perpetuated stereotypes
aforementioned by labeling many Muslims as terrorists. This kind of public
labeling has altered the view of many societal members against Muslims (Gerecht,
2016). In addition, the term islamophobia has become simultaneously popularized
with the rising issue of the Islamic religion and its association with
terrorism and violence (Awan, 2017). The term islamophobia is generally
perpetuated by fear and a sense that Muslims are taking over. The religion is
the second fastest growing after Christianity with a population of 1.8 billion
Muslims in the world (Awan, 2017).  Consequently,
Islam and western world beliefs are in a world altering civilizational struggle
(Gerecht, 2016). Muslims are fighting a battle between their own beliefs and
views, and the views of society.History
of the issue:            In terms of world scrutiny upon the issue, terrorism and
Islam hit the spotlight after the horrifying 9/11 attack. This was the first
major act of militant Islamic terrorism in the U.S, thus it had taken center
stage. However, the dawn of international Islam based terrorism was between the
years 1968 and 1979 (Moore, 2017).  The
creation of Israel resulted in animosity between Israel and Palestine. Terror
groups were then formed, “resulting in a launched series of hijacking,
kidnapping, shooting, and bombing” (Moore, 2017, 10). Furthermore, the turning
point in international terrorism was from 1979 to 1991, this is when terrorism
initially began to go global. The soviet invasion of Afghanistan resulted in
the Mujahedeen war. This war stimulated many Shia-Muslim terrorist groups who
began to spread terror mostly within the Arabs (Moore, 2017). One of the key radical
religious groups at the time was the Hezbollah group. They were a Muslim group
formed in Lebanon, who was involved in many anti- U.S attacks including the
suicide truck bombing of the U.S Embassy (Moore 2017). Nevertheless, Muslims
had not yet received the label of a terrorist. This was because after World War
II, many terrorist groups had emerged from different countries, of different
ethnicities, and of different religions. These groups set their target based on
concepts, which they opposed. However, a new phase of militant Islamic-based
terrorism commenced from the 1990’s and onwards (Moore, 2017). This initially
began in Afghanistan and Pakistan during times of bitterness between the two
countries, although radical terrorist groups like the Al-Qaeda were present in
Afghanistan prior to the Taliban and the wars. When the Taliban was first
established, Pakistan was in favor of the Taliban militia, as they fought
against opposition forces. Later, as time progressed, the Pakistani-supported
terrorism in the country urged afghan-based terrorists to evolve. After this
era, Muslims received the label of terrorists. Now, an additional major
extremist group, with the name “ISIS” has emerged. This group has furthered
global terror with 143 attacks in 29 countries and killed around 2,043 people. Most
of these attacks being in the Middle East. These ISIS attacks, along with other
ISIS inspired attacks, have consequently furthered discrimination against the
Muslim community (Lister, 2017). Due to recurring news in the media spotlight
regarding ISIS and their other extremist acts, Muslims continue to be feared
and labeled as terrorists.Psychological
factors            When it comes to a social issue, many different people
are affected differently. In regards to the Islamic religion and violence, the
two main people affected are the western non-Muslims and Muslims. This is due
to the fact that North America is home to many Muslim immigrants who must face
the views of society upon them. Likewise, non-Muslims are faced with the challenge
of whether to believe society or their own believes. Overall, Muslims in
America feel targeted as they are continuously demonized in the media and in
the public eye. The result is that the Muslim community has become
self-conscious in regards to societal views upon them (Rashid, 2015). Consequently,
they feel a need to ensure that they maintain a superlative reputation as
majority’s negative perspective gives them no other option. In addition, many
Muslims living in a free country like America feel suppressed by the feeling of
hatred deriving out of others. They are also fearful of being held responsible
for the actions of others who create terror in the name of Islam  (Rashid, 2015). The rise in terror caused by
Muslim extremist groups has upset the Muslim community as much as the rest of
society. This is because  “killing others
or committing suicide is forbidden in Islam. Muslims believe Only god gives
life, and only he takes life. No one has the right to take anyone’s life, not
even their own.” (Rashid, 2015, 3). Muslims also feel targeted as majority of terrorist
attacks are on Muslim people yet it is Muslims that are the ones being blamed.
Some Muslims are even eliminating themselves from the religion of Islam, as
they feel embarrassed and humiliated by what their religion is viewed as. These
people are not loosing faith as much as they are becoming unable to withstand
the mental torture they must endure from society (Rashid, 2015). In terms of
the rest of society, more specifically the non-Muslims living in North America,
people have been gradually warming up to the Muslim community since 2014. Initially,
most of the general American society felt fear towards Muslims (PEW, 2017). For
most, without any prior knowledge about the religion, hearing about Muslim
terrorists and their extremist acts drove many into believing that all Muslims
are terrorists (PEW, 2017). In addition, the majority of people have been
inclined to believe that Muslims are more likely to encourage violence resulting
in islamophobia; “fear of Muslims and denial to accept them into society” (PEW,
2017, 1). Although the overall fear of Muslims has declined, the percentage of
warmth towards Muslims has only increased from 40% to 48% between the years
2014 and 2017 (PEW, 2017). This concludes that the Muslim community is still
feared by most. Consequently, the fear of Muslims has resulted in much hated,
which has lead many people to repudiate Muslims.Sociological
Factors            The Issues regarding Islam and violence concern societies
all around the world. It has resulted in a battle of ideas in terms of what one
should believe.  For instance, the
religious establishments in much of the Muslim world have been fighting the
rise of radical interpretations of Islam, which justify violence and allege Muslims
(Azzam, 2015).  In addition, the American
public has been confounded in terms of whether to believe if Muslims are
terrorists, or if the terrorists are Muslims. This is because terrorism
committed by extremist groups has become a common figure; it is what has lead
to the stereotype in regards to all Muslims being terrorists. The constant
media attention on the issue has provided society with multiple biased views,
which lead to a variety of ideas upon the issue (Geretch, 2016). The differences
in ideas vary between complete islamophobia, and support for the Muslims.
However, despite the differences in ideas, about 61% of Americans have acquired
unfavorable views on Islam; their views have worsened since 9/11 and have yet
to recover comprehensively (S. 1).  The
contradicting views of society have created a divide between the Muslim
civilization and the rest of society (Geretch, 2016). This divide is eminently
clear with the rise of hate crimes, islamophobia, and protests. However,
regardless of the differences in terms of how Muslims are perceived, no one but
the terrorists is in favor of terror. Nature
vs. Nurture            What makes a terrorist? Are Muslims born terrorists? Is
terrorism spawn by one’s environment? These are all questions that fit the
issue regarding Islam and violence into the nature vs. nurture debate. The
nature vs. nurture debate is about whether human behavior is determined by a
person’s environment (nurture), or people’s genetic traits (nature). In regards
to the nature part of the debate, many anti-Muslims believe in the stereotype
that all Muslims are terrorists. This claim declares that all Muslims are born
terrorists regardless of their surroundings and environment. However, many Muslims
claim that terrorists are not Muslims, but instead, are people who have lost
their way. Regardless, in the end, this social issue brings many to question
whether a Muslim is born a terrorist or if they become terrorists. But more so,
this social issue falls into the debate, as it is controversial in regards to
whether a terrorist is made through outside factors or eugenic factors. It is a
fact that a Muslim is born into this world just as any other human being. Human
development is life long and can be influenced by ones surroundings and/or genetic
traits. However, there is no gene for terrorism, which determines that personal
interests and environmental factors influence the making of a terrorist. Different
Viewpoints            In regards to any social issue, there are many different
sides and views by which the issue is looked upon. In terms of the Islamic
religion and violence, the two major viewpoints are of the Muslims and the anti
Muslims. These two societies share completely antagonistic views upon the religion
and its association with terrorism and violence. First, majority of America has
unfavorable views upon Muslims. Majority of these people are completely anti
Muslim and have views that are mainly based upon the aspect that the religion
is a religion of violence and terror. Furthermore, most of these people believe
that Muslims are “nourished by an Islamic tradition that is intrinsically
inhuman and violent in its rhetoric, thoughts, and practice” (Suroor, 2007, 7).
In addition they believe that Muslims try to deny the “fact” that Muslims are
terrorists. Although, Muslim based terrorism is a product of a type of
interpretation of the religion. Many have also claimed that the Muslims holy
book, the Quran, encourages violence. They also think that Muslims just claim
that terrorists are “misguided individuals” despite the fact that terrorists
are deliberately spreading violence in the name of Islam (Suroor, 2007).
Moreover, many anti Muslims strongly believe that people should not be
mesmerized by Muslim people’s excuses as majority of them are uneducated and
have social and economic issues (Suroor, 2007). However, Muslims believe the
exact opposite. First, Muslims oppose the claims that Islam and terrorism are
associated to one another. Muslims believe terrorists are not Muslims as they
do not follow the teachings of Islam taught in the Quran, “whosoever kills an
innocent human being, it shall be as if he has killed all mankind… humanity is
but a single brotherhood: so make peace with your brethren” (49:10). Moreover,
Muslims defend violence in the Quran as they clarify that violence in the Quran
is based on Sharia law. Sharia law is the judicial system in which the smallest
of crimes result in great punishments. This is so that people get scared and
avoid committing a crime in the first place (Leila, 2017). In addition, Muslims
are frustrated, as majority of terrorist attacks have targeted Muslims, yet
Muslims are the ones being blamed. Muslims mainly view the issue as a battle of
ideas in which the Muslims must defend themselves (Azzam, 2007).Expert
Opinion              Many different opinions revolve around the social issue
of Islam and its association with violence. Likewise, a professor with the name
of Dr. Stephen Chavura has been researching this social issue and has thus developed
his own interpretation upon the issue. He is a political theorist and
intellectual historian who has been teaching a variety of topics including the
philosophy of sociology, history, religion, nationalism, and politics at the
Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia (Macquarie, 2017). Chavura inspired
his research on Daniel Pipes, an American historian who researched jihad for 25
years with the intentions to avoid and minimize the stigma of all Muslims as
terrorists (Chavura, 2017). Chavura believes that Islam is a religion and it
does not create its own terrorists, that is why “most Muslims living in
non-Muslim countries are good citizens and must suffer unfairly due to
coreligionists” (Chavura, 2017, 1). However, there is no empathy for terrorism
or the “Muslim terrorists”, but there is sympathy for the Muslims. Through his
studies he determined that events such as the Manchester bombing, are not
associated to Islam as it is irrelevant to the religion and the people who
follow the religion. However the extremists who commit these acts of terror,
base their terror on sharia traditions and that cannot be denied as Muslims. Chavura
also established that modern terrorism which is labeled as “jihad” is actually
against Islamic laws and culture. After studying Islamic scriptures such as the
Quran and Hadiths, he disclosed “Muslim militants are those whom take part in
war and fighting parallel to the ways of Islam, that is truly jihad” (Chavura,
2017, 1). He believes that people should remove Islamism out of their
descriptions of events such as the Manchester bombing, in an attempt to assuage
any anger directed towards the entire Muslim community. He has also
demonstrated in his studies that the terrorists, who claim they are Muslims,
are Muslims. However, terrorism can be committed by anyone from any religions.
Thus, people should stop associating terrorism to Muslims. Chavura strongly
believes that “people are not idiots”, they can associate a Muslim terrorist to
Islam, but they should not associate a Muslim to terrorism (Chavura, 2017).