Whether it is in the news, by our Government's leaders or on social media, we are being told every day that Islam has nothing to do with terrorism. President Barack Obama has gone far enough by saying that 99.9% of all Muslims are peaceful people looking for the same things we are. The vast majority accepts this belief, most including non-Muslims. However, is this true that 99.9% of all Muslims are on our same path? According to activist and practicing Sunni Muslim Raheel Raza, this is not the case at all.
In December of 2015, the Clarion Project, a news organization dedicated to Muslim issues, posted a fourteen-minute documentary exposing shocking scientific polls showing evidence that a vast majority of Muslims across the Middle East and Asia have radical ideas that can affect western society. In this documentary, Raheel Raza explains "When there is a disease or a virus, it can't be treated unless you identify the problem. So we have to call it what it is, and it is violent, radical, extremist Islamism."
Raheel Raza on Real Time with Bill Maher
After the terror of the recent Orlando attacks, I immediately thought of this documentary that the Clarion Project published after the San Bernadino attacks in December of 2015. Like many others, I refused to believe that terrorism and Islam have zero relations. I recall sharing a video by Professor Reza Aslan saying that those who relate Islam and Terrorism are simply "stupid". After watching this documentary, I saw the facts and learned that it is important we have an open and fact-based conversation . It is vital to point out that we are talking about Islamism and not Islam itself. Speaking about the actual religion of Islam is a theological debate that people can discuss at a later time, in this video and article, we are talking about a radical ideology that has spread across the western world.
The link to the YouTube Video is at the end of the article.
I will not go in depth into every detail about the documentary because I believe it is vital for all to watch it. By the Numbers gives an incredible fact-based explanation about the ins and outs of radical Islam that are almost impossible to ignore. The short film explains the backbone of Islamism in one pie graph, Jihadists are the first and in the middle, this is the group known for bombings, shootings, and killings in the name of Islam. Second in the circle is Islamists, those who work within governments to spread Sharia Law across all nations. A notable Islamist party is the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, which supports death upon the LGBT, women always being servants to men, and the killing of those who leave the faith. The facts become more troubling as she explains of the American Muslim organization CAIR showing ties to radical beliefs related to Hamas, a militant terrorist group. Due to this, the United Arab Emirates wrote CAIR as a terrorist organization, on the list includes ISIS.
Saleem Ahmad, the leader of "CAIR"
The scariest numbers are in the last stage of Radicalization, known as Fundamentalists, people who are assimilated into society, yet hold views about women, gays, and religion that can be considered extreme and dangerous. In 2013, The Pew Research Center interviewed thousands of Muslims in different countries, the information they received was shocking. On average, 79%-86% of people in Jordan, Egypt, and Afghanistan believe those who leave the faith should be executed. She goes on to state that 27% of Muslims in the countries surveyed thought the murder of apostates is justifiable, this equals 237 million Muslims worldwide.
Pew Research Center's polls on the Death Penalty for leaving Islam in Muslim majority countries
Lastly, an important aspect Raheel Raza states is the possibility that political correctness about Radical Islam can be deadly. She reports that during the San Bernadino attacks, many neighbors of the two terrorists noticed suspicious activity, but did not report it due to the fear of racial profiling. A similar incident occurred in Orlando when the shooter tried to buy multiple weapons and a bulletproof vest from a store. The owner refused to sell him the products, he then notified the FBI but was immediately dismissed due to the belief that he was "racially profiling."
It is not just Raheel Raza's By The Numbers that is not sticking to the status quo, with recent documentaries like The Honor Diaries. In this documentary, multiple women of the Muslim faith express the issues and atrocities of women's rights in Muslim-majority countries, documentaries such as this have been dismissed as "Islamophobic" by CAIR, which Raza notified as "hilarious" since she is a practicing Muslim. Others, such as Khurram Dhara, an American-Muslim Lawyer, states in a recent Prager University video, "The truth is, there isn't much that can be done by any government, not even stricter gun control laws, to eliminate the possibility of a radicalized lone wolf reeking havoc".
Dhara's video on Islamic Terror
Movie Poster for The Honor Diaries
For myself, I stand with the facts and statements of the many brave Muslims that are represented in this article. The reality is painful to hear, but it cannot be ignored. We still are at the beginning of admitting the problem, and once we all realize this issue, change can ensue. Yes, it is true that a minority of terror attacks in the US are by people with relations to Islamism, but that does still not mean it is a threat to us and the world, may it be in attacks such as San Bernadino, Ottawa, Sydney, Madrid, Paris, Istanbul, Boston, Jerusalem, Tunis, New York City , and now, Orlando. It is absolutely true that peaceful Muslims do exist, but as Raheel states, a certain percentage does not fit this narrative. Not only that, but it trivializes the many problems people face who are under Sharia Law. This can include women in Saudi Arabia who cannot drive, Malaysian Female Soldiers who must go through a " virginity test", the banning of LGBT pride parades in Turkey, the chopping off of a hand for someone condemned as a thief, an imam in Orlando expressing that gays must be executed to show "compassion", or the thousands of young girls across the world who suffer from genital mutilation for bringing "dishonor" to their family . Many who deny this issue state that any religion can be turned into a corrupt ideology, may it be the IRA in Northern Ireland with Catholics, Radical Buddhist Monks in Myanmar, or the KKK here in the States. While this is true, this belief, however, is flawed because millions of Catholics and Buddhists across the world do not believe in fewer rights and death to women and the LGBT. The facts are here; it is a hard conversation to talk about, but it is time that we all must work together to bring change.
The full video of By the Numbers
For more information, visit the Clarionproject.org