Critical Commentary, Muslim leaders: We stand against terrorism

Posted on April 22, 2013 by


Photo Credit: Aaron Tang under Creative Common License

Photo Credit: Aaron Tang under Creative Common License

I will be focusing my critical commentary on an article entitled “Muslim leaders: We stand against terrorism” written by Kevin Eckstrom. The source and link can be found below.

This article draws attention because it is based on the Boston Marathon explosions which is something that is fairly recent, and that is heavily focused on currently by the media. It was easy to locate; as of April 19, 2013, it was the first article to appear on the website. The title also sparks interest by associating two words, “Muslim” and “terrorism”. This seems to be a hot topic, especially in America. However, what sparks the most interest is that these words are not related in they way most people relate (or are taught to relate) a Muslim and a terrorist. Here, the title informs the viewers of a different, positive, approach to the relationship between “Muslim” and “terrorism”.

This article concentrates on the recent Boston Marathon explosions, and its tie with religion, specifically Islam. According to this article, the two men behind the Boston explosions are Muslims. They are originally from an area in Russia, Chechnya. This is a place that has apparently “spawned waves of extremists” according to this article. It also focuses its attention on Muslim leaders that are speaking out about how this event should not be projected onto other Muslims, including American-Muslims.

When one first looks at this article, it is easy to understand the position of the author in the title. Clearly, before even reading this article, it is understood that this author will be presenting the reader with information that supports the idea that the religious affiliation with the two men responsible for the explosions has nothing to do with the Islamic religion as a whole.

This article emphasizes that these brothers were from a place where there is war, and extremist groups are common. This influences the reader to believe that this information is suppose to indicate that the motivation behind this horrible act was not because of a religious tie, but because of the things that these men grew up with and became familiar with.

To support the previous point even further, the author gives us a quote from Islamic Leader Abdul-Haqq, “Just because they say they are Muslim, doesn’t make them Muslim. These are criminal acts, not religious acts.” This backs up the author’s point that this event had nothing to do with the true religion of Islam. According to this article, Islam does not condone violent and terroristic acts.

Even though the author’s opinion is not literally written, he is still presenting his audience with only a single way to look at something because of the information he chooses to share. He presents his opinion by using a neutral, factual tone, instead of bombarding the reader with a bias voice. He expresses this factual tone by using phrases such as “officials say”, “authorities say”, and “This Islamic Leader said”. It is easier to form an opinion and to believe something that comes across as more factual rather than one person’s heated opinion.

Islam is represented in this information in a positive way. Whenever terrorist attacks occur, most people will point fingers to groups of certain people in search of an answer or motivation. Unfortunately, this includes Muslims. With the focus on Islamic leaders stressing that their religion does not condone violence and terrorism, this article helps shape Islam in a positive light. Rather then exposing Muslims as what American society and media sometimes portrays, it shifts our attention to a new, peaceful view of the religion.

This article also shows a way that Islam is like any other religion, group, or classification of people. A point made by an American Islamic leader is that one Muslim cannot be accounted for the whole community of Muslims. This can be applied for all religions and groups of people. This point that the author gives helps to bring out a realistic notion that can be applied to other groups of people, even groups that are familiar in the west.

Over all, I think that this article brings something new to the table. It may not cover other opinions on the matter, but I do not think it needs to because of how the author presents his information in a factual way. I believe that it leaves the reader to think honestly about their opinion without having bias voices from the article influence their ideas. It is refreshing to see this religion portrayed in a new way and defend itself with points that many individuals can understand and apply.

Eckstrom, Kevin. “Muslim Leaders: We stand against terrorism.” Religion News Service. 19 Apr. 2013. Web. 19 Apr. 2013.

Posted in: Islam