Ramadan is the 9th month in the Islamic calendar, and is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting, during which you only eat after sunset and before sunrise. Ramadan isn’t just fasting from food, it’s also a fast from bad deeds. It’s supposed to make you self-conscious and self-aware.
Muslims are also instructed to refrain from sinful behavior that may negate the reward of fasting, such as fighting except in self-defense. The irony therefore is that at the start of this year’s Ramadan (26th May), Da’esh, also known as Islamic State, called for ‘all-out war’ against The West. Ramadan is a time of the Muslim year when particular focus is put on prayer, purification and charitable acts. And yet here is an organisation, that claims to be acting in the name of Allah, encouraging it’s followers to wage war against the rest of the world during a period when they’re supposedly meant to be being charitable and loving.
The reason for writing this short blog is provide one of many bits of evidence that suggest that Islam is nothing to do with Da’esh. People make derogatory remarks about Islam, some suggesting that the Quaran encourages this kind of behaviour; it absolutely does not. In fact when it comes to a biblical text encouraging immoral behaviour, the Christian Old Testament (in contrast to the new testament) is fairly extreme. The Quaran does not encourage or sanction the behaviour that we are seeing from Da’esh. Attempting to set fire to a mosque after the Manchester attacks shows what our perception of Islam has become. There are those that believe the nature of Da’esh is the nature of Muslims. This is made worse by our referral to Da’esh as ‘Islamic State’, the word ‘Islamic’ seeming to give them some credibility as an organisation endorsed by Islam.
But the clearest example has come recently. A CNN article lists the attacks claimed by Da’esh that have occurred during this year’s Ramadan. It hasn’t actually finished yet, but so far Da’esh have killed hundreds of people around the world in the name of Islam, during the month when as a Muslim you’re meant to be loving and charitable. That shows one thing, Da’esh and Islam are very different. As a society, we should hate Da’esh. They have made it their mission to spread terror on our streets by attacking us. But we shouldn’t hate Islam, nor should there be any anti Islamic sentiment as a result of the attacks.