This past weekend, a savage attack by terrorists on Iran's Revolutionary Guard during their military parade to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the eight-year war with Iraq in Ahwaz left approximately 24 dead (including children) and 60 wounded. The responsibility for the attack was claimed by both the Islamic State and the Ahvaz National Resistance, whose goal is to seek a separate state in Khuzestan Province.
The majority of the victims in this cowardly attack were Muslim, and the terrorists who perpetrated the assault also professed themselves to be followers of the Islamic faith. Therein lies the unsolvable paradox of citing a terror group as having a religious basis — how can it be that a religious follower of Islam carries out such a devastating assault against those who are considered to be fellow Muslims?
How is it possible for Muslims to profess their faith in God, and then turn around and slaughter their own people, their spiritual brothers and sisters in religion? For that matter, how can any so-called religious extremist profess themselves as followers of their religion (which abhors the very notion of violence, especially against the innocent), and then commit such heinous actions?
This is not the first time that such an atrocious act of violence against Muslims has been carried out by these so-called religious extremists. Indeed, the entire campaign of Daesh (I refuse to call them ISIS because they do not have any religious basis to their wanton destruction and deserve no verification) has been against the mostly-Muslim population of Iraq and its surrounding countries, highlighted by mass executions of the brave men who choose to stand against them and the heartbreaking enslavement of the women and children that are left in their wake.
Boko Haram, for all of its professed adherence to the Quran, bans Western education despite our Prophet (SAW) demanding that the Muslim community seek knowledge from far and wide, no matter the distance or methodology of that knowledge. Other religious terrorist organizations and hate groups such as the IRA, the Westboro Baptist Church, and The Lord's Resistance Army claim to be followers of Christ, but no holy book I know of would advocate for such horrific acts of violence that these groups inflict upon the innocent.
Neither our Quran nor their Bible allow for the consistent breaches of compassion and mercy upon their neighbors in favor of nothing less than unrestrained bloodshed in order to achieve political control and subordinance from those whom they conquer
It is for this reason that I believe that any terrorist that tries to justify the words of a holy book and a religion of Peace, be it Islam or Christianity, is an utter fool devoid of even the most basic understanding of the love that their religion spreads amongst a community. The Quran itself claims that there is no compulsion in religion — therefore, no one can be forced to follow the tidings of our Prophet (PBUH) without their own consent. The Bible claims that to love others more than oneself is the sure sign of Christian faith, so hatred cannot possibly be justified in the eyes of Christian extremists.
For this reason, it's time we stopped calling terrorists religious because if they were to actually heed the tidings of their faith, they would not be terrorists.