I’m Simply Running Out of Ways to Defend Islam

As I sit here overwhelmed with feelings of frustration and sorrow following yet another tragic shooting in this country, there aren’t words to describe my disgust. I refuse to believe that this is the “new normal” for us here in the United States, but it’s also hard to deny the fact that these shootings now seem to be happening more frequently.

One of the most frustrating aspects of this attack is, yet again, it was perpetrated by an Islamic radical. It’s like I said on Facebook almost as soon as I heard the news:

At some point we have to come to the realization that Islam is a problem. It’s not a coincidence that the vast majority of terrorist attacks committed in the world are done by Islamic extremists.

I’ll use the South Carolina shooting as an example. While you can’t blame all white people for the act of one vile animal, you also can’t deny that racism is still a very real problem.

Well, the same goes with this shooting. While not all Muslims are to be blamed for yet another terrorist attack seemingly carried out in the name of Islam, you also can’t deny that Islam, and the increasing (and growing) radical aspects of it, are very real problems.

I consider myself a fairly open-minded person; someone who doesn’t just feel negative feelings toward someone (or a group of people) without a valid reason to do so. But I’m just running out of ways to defend Islam.

As badly as I want to stand in the face of some right-wing radical who’s proclaiming that Islam is a violent, hateful religion and tell them that they’re an idiot and nothing but an ignorant jackass – I don’t know if I can say that and still honestly mean it.

I used to – without hesitation. I’ve always stood against prejudice, bigotry and intolerance. But with the increasing violence in the Middle East (at the hands of Islamic radicals), Boko Haram slaughtering innocents seemingly every day all across Africa and the increasing number of “lone wolf” attacks we’re seeing carried out throughout the world – how can I honestly sit here, as someone who believes in facts over emotion, and continue to say Islam has nothing to do with it?

The world is filled with various religions, and some people do in fact carry out horrific acts in the name of religions other than Islam. But it’s undeniable that the vast majority of terrorist attacks – for decades – have been linked to Islam.

And I really just don’t know what to say anymore.

So, what’s the “solution”? To be honest, I’m not sure if there is one. The only thing I can think of is Muslim leaders, and non-violent Muslims around the world (hundreds of millions of them), are going to have to start taking a bigger stand against these attacks. Simply condemning them publicly isn’t working, nor is it enough. We need Muslim nations to take the lead against radical Islam – but they’re not doing that. At least not in ways that are making much of a difference. 

Muslims have to want – and demand – actual democracy. They have to build nations not ruled by the Quran, but by basic human decency toward everyone regardless of gender, religion or sexual orientation.

As long as Muslims continue to flock toward nations founded, built and driven by Islamic rule – none of this is going to stop. Sadly, far too many continue to do just that.

Before you start calling me anti-Muslim, just understand that I’ve reached a point where I really don’t know where to go or what to say anymore about this subject. It’s hard for me to keep saying “it’s not Islam, it’s just the bad guys” when these sorts of attacks are becoming more and more frequent and are almost always tied to the same religion.

When I see videos of hostages being beheaded by ISIL, hear about 145 people killed (including 132 children) in a Pakistan school suicide bombing, read about hostages being murdered in Australia, a satire newspaper where writers were brutally gunned down because of a couple of cartoons, 28 people dying in Tunisia, the continued acts of violence all throughout the Middle East and the countless atrocities carried out by Boko Haram in Africa – all in the name of the same religion – how can I keep defending it from those who spew hatred toward it?

I want to, I really do – I’m just not sure if I know how to do it anymore.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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