The fundamental radical Islamist terrorist group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) is one of the most dangerous paramilitary organisations threatening the Middle East today. But they aren’t just responsible for a number of genocidal atrocities. They’re also arguably to blame for the Western world’s skewed perspective on the vast majority of normal, moderate Muslims. It just goes to show that ideology and propaganda can be just as damaging as physical violence.
Despite this, Western media is just as much to blame for the increasing prevalence of Islamophobia and the extent to which Muslim achievements and positive initiatives are marginalised in favour of further coverage of extremism – a paradigm which plays into the hands of neo-Nazi and white supremacist movements.
This is particularly ironic, especially considering that neo-Nazi groups and ISIS have a lot on common. Both are militant, xenophobic, homophobic and misogynistic, and believe in the inherent superiority of their respective worldviews. Both groups believe in segregation and ethnic cleansing, and both groups use coercion, violence and cruelty to secure power for themselves.
It’s for this reason that it’s so inspiring when bigots end up knocked down a few pegs by someone with a good sense of historical perspective – and that’s exactly what happened this week when a white supremacist dared to challenge Washington lawyer Qasim Rashid, who managed to effortlessly shut down his prejudiced opinions.
Qasim Rashid is a lawyer and a vocal human rights activist and advocate of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in America. He has authored two books on the subject of Islam in the modern world, “The Wrong Kind of Muslim”, and “Towards the Dawns Early Light.” Therefore, he’s exactly the last kind of person you want to get into an intellectual debate with on the morality of Islam versus Christianity.
When a racist troll who had been harassing Rashid over Twitter asked him “Where’s the Christian version of ISIS and every other religion then?” – Rashid subsequently let loose a dizzying diatribe in his religion’s defence, as well as listing a number of atrocities that are solely the fault of Western society or Christianity. Somebody just got served!
This isn’t the first time Muslims have had to challenge xenophobic perceptions of their belief system. Nor is it the first time that their belief system has been championed in the form of viral media.