Slaughter the beast with art & laughter

Try to beat a well-fed beast and you will fail. Let’s not try to beat the beast with what it embraces. Fear and hatred cannot be used to force surrender on those who celebrate terror. Instead, corner IS by giving them what they fear most. The ingredients for happiness, ambition and free thought.

It is astonishing how many times a week I hear or read messages of people urging Muslims to condemn terrorism or to speak up against IS. By telling Muslim’s to speak up, they are urged to break the silence. But are they really silent? And if so, do they carry more responsibility to speak up against terror than any other member of the global community?

Syria is currently experiencing the worst humanitarian crisis we have seen since the second world war. Half of Syria’s original population – over 11 million people – has either died or was forced to find refuge elsewhere. In December 2015, UNHCR recorded 4,390,439 registered Syrian refugees, of whom the majority is Muslim. Not to mention the refugees originating from the neighboring countries. I think it is fair to state that Muslims are victimized most by this civil war of which IS is one of the cruel actors.

With that in mind, try to listen to the messages you may not expect to hear. There are many sounds of condemnation, protest, fear and disgust coming from our Muslim fellow citizens as a reaction to terrorism. Maybe even more so, since they are the ones experiencing the negative labeling as a result thereof. But let’s for once and for all free ourselves of the strange idea that a Muslim and a terrorist hold any similarities. Happy, prosperous people don’t voluntarily join killing sprees. So let’s not pretend to miscomprehend the fact that IS is rubbing its hands in glee at the mere idea of islamophobia tightening its grip around ‘the west’. The tighter it gets, the happier IS gets. They expect ‘the West’ to blame Muslims in the aftermath of an attack. IS places their bets on the idea that Muslims who feel rejected, cornered and hated are more easily recruited.  So let’s not try to beat the beast with what they embrace. Fear and hatred cannot be used to force surrender on those who celebrate terror. They can only be cornered by giving them what they fear. The ingredients for happiness, ambition and free thought.

But still many people feel the urge to demand public condemnation of terror from our Muslim fellows.  I dare to say that the silence is not caused by the lack of response from the Muslim world, but by the mere failure of some people to listen to the Muslim majority. Social & traditional media speak loud, but unfortunately, many people tend to listen to the sounds that confirm the opinion they already had.

Those are exactly the ingredients or sounds many people fail to hear.

#MessageToISIS uses art to speak out against terrorism & extremism

“No longer can we stand by, letting these animals hijack our faith. It is time for all of us to speak out and show them that they will be defeated. This event was all about empowering young people to take a stand against extremism through the creative medium of art. The work produced by the participants and their engagement shows [that] young people welcome an outlet to speak out against ISIS, who prohibit and destroy any form of individual expression.” – Hanif Qadir, founder of The Active Change Foundation

In Islam when referring to the Prophet the acronym PBUH (Peace Be Upon Him) is always used as a suffix as a sign of respect. - Artist Farah teaching a #Messagetoisis workshop

In Islam when referring to the Prophet the acronym PBUH (Peace Be Upon Him) is always used as a suffix as a sign of respect. – Artist Farah teaching a #Messagetoisis workshop

message

Countering IS with humor 

When Iyad El-Baghdadi – Arab Spring activist – translated part of the IS leader’s speech on Twitter it triggered a rain of response by the online Muslim community. Here is part of the translated speech followed by the online reactions.

(…)

@iyad_elbaghdadi Sorry. Got a master thesis to defend next week

For more responses also read ISIS recruitment has met his match: laughter – by Global Citizen

For those who are not convinced and still want to hear Muslims condemning things. Here is a little overview of those condemnations.


Thank you for reading. We would love to hear your thoughts & comments.

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