What does it mean to be Muslim? Who are Muslims? Are they the only ones in shopping malls wearing veils, or are they the ones who are randomly being searched at the airports? These are constant question people wonder as they are constantly stereotyping the Muslim religion without even knowing they are consciously doing it. It is not Americans fault that this is an instinct, as most of us grew up fearing their religion due to 911, but now there is a new group called ISIS. Before the next generation begins fearing the religion, advocating the TRUE religion, and Muslim lifestyle needs to shine through.
YouTube video “#NotInMyName: ISIS Do Not Represent British Muslims,” sponsored by Active Change Foundation, sparked much debate to Muslims all over the world. In this video, Muslims react to the ISIS actions stating that “#NotInMyName” does ISIS represent British Muslims? The video has over 200,000 views and began to promote the hashtag, which originally gained popularity through social media Twitter. The debate began between other Muslims who disagreed with this idea. Comments for this video are “disabled,” as said on the YouTube page. CNN online discussed the video, interviewing founder and CEO of Active Change Foundation, Hanif Qadir and he stated that with this we can be one step ahead of ISIS by be active on social media and making everyone aware of the situation.
The New York Times, came out with an article discussing the debate and quoted the opposing views, via Twitter. “@yafavoritearab responded to #notinmyname: “Don’t expect me to apologize for ISIS. I actually deserve an apology for your narrow-minded stereotype of me.”” Later through the disagreements via Twitter, another hashtag was made in mocking the #notinmyname, #Muslimapologies, apologizing for Algebra below a picture of the Persian mathematician who founded the concept.
When searching for a public apology from the Not in My Name campaign, there was no statement that could be found. Instead the supporters made a statement: “The campaign was not intended as an apology for Islam, but rather to express outrage over murders and other violence committed by groups like the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.” Mehreen Faruqi, a Muslim living in Australia, wrote an article on The Guardian, expressing his own personal views on the topic. “Why do we feel the instinctive compulsion to distance ourselves from Isis’s crimes, when we know we’re not responsible? Let’s look at the root causes of violence instead’ Faruqi said. His views express how many Muslims feel, via his comments from many Muslim readers agree with his article.
Shortly after the spark of #NotInMyName, President Obama had his speech at the United Nations. Obama said “more effort had to be made to expose, confront and refute the ideology of radical groups.” He added, “Young people across the Muslim world, you come from a great tradition that stands for education, not ignorance; innovation, not destruction; the dignity of life, not murder. Those who call you away from this path are betraying this tradition, not defending it.”
After concluding the information found from credible online sources, I have concluded that the #NotInMyName is a false representation of the Muslim community. I disagree with the hashtag and agree with the Muslims who are not defending the trend. The spark for this awareness is beneficial for the public to be aware of what is happening within ISIS, but it should not be made to stray the public away from all Muslims. NPR quoted Jonah Blank, former staffer at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, stating “They’re claiming to represent all Muslims everywhere — they have declared the establishment of a new caliphate.” The public needs to be aware, though ISIS is claiming to represent Muslim’s that does not show any sign of authority that they are a true representation of the Muslim community. If #NotInMyName wants to inform the public of the situation, Muslim’s should take pride in who they are, where they originate from, and how ISIS does not define themselves, their community or their religion.
ShyAnne Swedensky MWF 12-12:50pm