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What can peaceful Muslims do to help stop terrorism – the Hub?

Updated on January 18, 2015

Two months ago I posted this question and received several responses. My intent was to find out why high level Muslims, such as Imams, were not publicly denouncing terrorism done in the name of Islam. Recently, responses to the question have picked up and we have at least two Muslims involved in the discussion. The discussion is intense but respectful. Like most questions, the comments took varying directions that are still related. I am providing a link for anyone who might be interested in reviewing past comments. http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/126749

My ignorance displayed

I was scolded for asking such an ignorant question. To some my question implies that all Muslims are responsible for the actions of Muslim extremists. To others it is an insult to suggest that Muslims being killed daily have some influence over those that are killing them. Others asked why Christians are not held responsible for murderous atrocities performed by the KKK, killers of abortion doctors or those who shoot up schools or theaters.

World leaders minus the United States

Media chooses what we read, see and hear

Media chooses what news to elevate. On January 7, 2015, two masked gunmen slaughtered staff of the French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo. Twelve people were killed. Eleven were wounded. This act of terrorism brought the world together. On January 11, 2015, thousands gather at Place de la Republique to show unity against this murderous evil.

In contrast, Boko Haram killed more than 2000 and displaced more than 30,000 on January 14, 2015. This horrible tragedy received little attention in the news. The President of Nigeria, ironically named Goodluck Jonathan, gave condolences for the lives lost in Paris and did not mention the terrorist takeover in his own country. What about those 200 school girls who were kidnapped and have not been seen since.

Thousands fill the Paris Public Square

Define peaceful Muslims

When I speak of peaceful Muslims, I refer to Muslims that not only believe terrorism is wrong BUT have a voice: Imams, educators, professionals, those who benefit from western culture, government officials and others who have some influence. Over the past week I have observed many speaking out on CNN. Mrs Pakistan International 2014 said she was compelled to speak because her daughter asked her, "What are the Muslims doing now?" Rep. Andre Carson is a Muslim who was appointed to the United States House Intelligence Committee. One guy is a former terrorist who does profiling and advising for the FBI. There were others that I can remember their names or positions. So.....maybe my question wasn't ignorant but rhetorical?

Imams speaking out, some contradictions

Since the Charlie Hebdo attack, Imams and other Muslims have been shown publicly denouncing radical terrorism. They say that they have always spoken out against terrorism; however, the media chose to not make their denouncements widely available.

Saudi Arabia stood with the world leaders denouncing the extreme way the terrorists dealt with Charlie Hebdo’s satire Now we will see if Saudi Arabia will reflect on its decision to give 50 lashes every Friday, a total of 2,000, to Raif Badawi for setting up a website as a liberal place for public debate. This is an oxymoron!

“Reporters Without Borders program director Lucie Morillon said that Saudi Arabia's behaviour on this matter was hypocritical. ‘Although Saudi Arabia condemned yesterday's cowardly attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, it is now preparing to inflict the most barbaric punishment on a citizen who just used his freedom of expression and information, the same freedom that cost the French journalists their lives.’” Taken from news.vice.com

No concluding paragraph

I do not know how to write a conclusion for this. I bounced around trying to include comments from the original question. I invite comments and healthy discussion. You do not have to agree but please be agreeable. It might be fun to have someone write the conclusion for me.

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    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 2 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Interesting article, Diane. It's amazing what the media displays. I have a friend who is a young college man. He visits my husband and me every so often. One day, he brought up a group of foreigners he met through internship. He asked me why other countries hate us (Americans) so much. I told him we will probably never know the truth of anything. The media presents what they want. We live in America, and "our" media will always make us look like the good guys to us. But, there has to be a reason why the rest of the world hates us so. Is it truly because we are (were) the most powerful country in the world? Is it truly due to jealousy? Or, is it because we are doing things that shouldn't be done? Is it because we have an ego so great that we can't see the truth around us? Unfortunately, we will never know.

    • dianetrotter profile image
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      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 2 years ago from Fontana

      Abby, I have wondered the same thing myself. Even if they hate things about the US, not everyone in the US is responsible for whatever people think. Not all people are rich. There are many poor people; however, statistics seem to indicate that our poor people are well off compared to some people in other countries. I'm surprised this hub is up. I've got to let my commenters know. Thank you for responding!

    • Kathryn L Hill profile image

      Kathryn L Hill 2 years ago from LA

      Diane, they are not calm people. They live in their lower chakras and love violence. Whatever gives them righteous indignation is grounds for brutality: Their high. It's a cultural thing. Its evil and its insidious! Why does it exist? Because they train their children accordingly. The children learn it in their young years when everything in their environment is absorbed as reality. They learn what they live and it becomes part of them. Evil is part of them. They were raised for it.

      What can ANYONE do to change their psyches, once formed?

    • dianetrotter profile image
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      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 2 years ago from Fontana

      I would think mother's would not want their children to become killers; however, the mother's don't have the last say. It's scary when a white kid in Colorado decides to go to Syria to join ISIS. And this is after watching beheadings on television. Thank you for your comments Kathryn.

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 2 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      True, Diane! I guess the leaders of this country (whether they are the rich or political) are our representatives and that is what others see. Most Americans see the Muslim people as all evil because groups like ISIS or Al Quada have hurt our people. Therefore, they are all grouped together unfortunately. It's truly sad what our world has become. I don't watch the news much anymore... maybe once per month. It stresses me so much that I hate that feeling. Before technology, most of the world didn't know what was happening across the globe. I guess I figure if I don't watch the news, then my world is good. LOL.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I am quite surprised that this hub is up and allowed to stand on HP. I will leave that issue at that.

      I think it is known by any good thinker that in fact normal Muslims do decry these types of violence. Their voices just do not make the "news".

    • dianetrotter profile image
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      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 2 years ago from Fontana

      Don W profile image83Don Wposted 95 minutes ago

      dianetrotter wrote:

      Don W, I love it! I just got an email from Hub Pages that I have more than 300 responses to my questions. I am ignorant about many things. That is exactly why I asked this question. I can't understand that there is no accountability for these loose canons. I am amazed that a white kid in suburbia US would leave to join ISIS or that 2 blonde headed teenage girls would go there, get pregnant and then say they want to come home.

      Good for you. If everyone had the honesty to acknowledge their own ignorance on a subject, there might be less spouting of nonsense. I too am ignorant of many things, and like you I admit that. I view that acknowledgment as a sign of strength not weakness. I try to use the means at my disposal to remove my ignorance as much as I can, and one of those means is the world wide web, if you can sift through all the bias, agendas and misinformation. My process goes something like this:

      My first response to a subject is to always, always question the mainstream media's representation of it. The aim of mainstream news outlets is to make money for the shareholders of the corporations that own them. That aim distorts their representation of reality to a large degree. They tend to present events as linear narratives (stories) with a good guy and a bad guy. Reality is more nuanced than that, so unfortunately facts that do not fit the preferred narrative are often discarded.

      My second response to a subject is to always question my own assumptions about it, and the assumptions of others. I find that necessary because I, like everyone else, am capable of bias. If a question like this pops into my mind the first thing I do is examine the question. What assumptions does it make? Why am I making those assumptions? Why am I asking the question in the first place? etc.

      So when I asked myself the same question as you, "why are peaceful Muslims not more vocal in denouncing terrorism?" I also asked myself, "how do I know how many Muslims are vocal in denouncing terrorism? And how do I know how vocal they are?" I encourage you to ask the same questions.

      I also asked myself, "why am I asking this question?" I don't know of any Christians in the Philippines who have vocally denounced the Ku Klux Klan, but that does not make me wonder why, and it does not make me think that Christians in the Philippines support the KKK (which as you know uses Christian symbols and identifies itself strongly with Christianity). So why am I asking this about Muslims? Why is my expectation of Muslims different? Where does that expectation come from? Again I encourage you to ask yourself the same questions.

      Lastly I always look for raw data relevant to the subject. From looking at the news there is a perception that the US and Europe are threatened more by Islamic extremism than other forms of terrorism, and it's easy to assume that to be true. But what evidence is there of that? What does the data say? The data shows this is untrue. Other forms of terrorism are more widespread and more deadly in the US and Europe than Islamic extremism. So I encourage you to look for data, and if the data does not support what you think, by all means question the data, but also don't be afraid to question what you think.

      For me all this adds up to a belief that a question can originate from a spirit of genuine enquiry, but be made up from a combination of ignorance, false assumption, bias, double standards and a false narrative perpetuated by the mainstream media. That isn't a personal attack (if it is then I'm also attacking myself). It's an observation borne from a process that experience has taught me can be very useful: examine the question before looking for an answer. The question itself can tell us a lot. Mostly about ourselves. Sometimes more about ourselves than the thing we are questioning. I encourage you to try it, and hope you accept my comments as positive, constructive criticism, which is how they are intended.

    • dianetrotter profile image
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      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 2 years ago from Fontana

      Hi Eric! Thank you for your comments! Can you tell me why HP might not allow the page to be up? This is another one of my ignorant question but I would like to know. Don't worry about being offensive. I can take it.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      The photo for one thing. And the proposition that any group is less than forthright and doing the right thing for another. No matter how well you have framed the issue it is a criticism. And HP does not tolerate that very well -- to all of our losses. Perhaps they are showing some sort of free speech allowance in the wake of recent events. Perhaps when you posted this it got it under the radar a little bit as the weekend censors seem to be more passive.

    • dianetrotter profile image
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      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 2 years ago from Fontana

      The picture is hard to look at but real. I will consider removing it. I don't understand that comment about a group not being forthright. Which group did I say is not being forthright?

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great discussion on this sensitive matter, and I'm impressed that the discussion is respectful so far. There is no doubt this is an issue that stirs hearts. Hypocrisy in the news? Is it possible? I say that with tongue firmly planted in my cheek. We hear what the news wants us to hear. Forward-thinking people go beyond the news and research for themselves to find "the truth." I'm glad you raised this question. Discussions like this one are vitally important in raising awareness.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Diane, I suggested you framed the issue quite nicely but just your headline begs the question that could be asked more insensitively.

      "Why in the heck don't respectable Muslims speak out against terrorism?" And the insensitive answer would be "because they support them". So we are really just using PC speak to address a sensitive issue. My experience with HP is that that does not prevent censorship.

      I asked a Muslim this question in ruder terms and the answer was "I speak out against terrorism just like you" and he was right.

    • celafoe profile image

      charlie 2 years ago from Planet earth. between the oceans

      Dont remove anything for these liberal supposed Christians

      Dianne, i would ask you to read the evil koran for yourself and understand what it teaches. Then you will understand that your question is invalid. Anyone that reads and understands their book will quickly see there is no such thing as a peaceful muslum. Only those that are trying to hide until the day they know is coming when the call comes to join in the killing or be killed themselves. If they say they are followers of the koran, they CANNOT BE PEACEFUL.

    • dianetrotter profile image
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      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 2 years ago from Fontana

      Thank you Billy Buc! It's been a long time. This Hub started as a discussion on a forum and went well though it was polarizing. It is good when people who disagree with each other can keep it civil. Some things are hard to discuss but must be. Do you think I should remove the Boko Haram picture? I'm thinking of replacing it.

      BTW, that notice you received for 3 years ... I got the same thing for 2 years.

    • dianetrotter profile image
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      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 2 years ago from Fontana

      Hi Celafoe, It's been a while. If the picture is offensive, I have no problem changing it. Reality is often cruel but it enforces the point. I feel Muslims are like anymore else in that each person is different. Muslims have been instrumental in identifying terrorist and foiling many of their plots. Throughout this discussion I have been directed to passages from the Quran. What I read requires steroids to get to the shameless hatred and murder that is taking place. Most of the victims are other Muslims.

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hi Diane, I am glad you are talking about this very important topic. I think sometimes people leave out ideas themselves, as being violent or peaceful IDEAS. To me, this matters because it explains so much. I don't know how to combat bad ideas, other than to encourage people to educate themselves fully, with as least bias as possible (hard when innocent people are being murdered in cold blood, but possible I think in the name of fairness.) Studying up on the topics, AND more than ever not just taking anyone's words for things, will help. I hope that doesn't sound harsh, but I truly think morality, facts, truth, understanding can only help. Thank you for caring so much about this that you are vocal on it. I will think more to respond to more points later hopefully.

    • dianetrotter profile image
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      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 2 years ago from Fontana

      Thank you oceansnsunsets! I didn't expect the emotion when I wrote the question.

    • Kathryn L Hill profile image

      Kathryn L Hill 2 years ago from LA

      I think the United Nations should focus on the methods and ideologies of child rearing for this group of Radical / Islamic / Fundamentalist / Extremist / Terrorists.

      It is an issue of Child Abuse.

      Justice for the Children of these unfortunate parents

      (understatement) who have been indoctrinated with utter ...

      L I E S !!!

    • profile image

      graceinus 2 years ago from those of the Ekklesia

      dianetrotter- The reason the larger media do not report the 200 deaths in Nigeria is due to the fact that it will not bring in money to report it. The media will report events or stories they feel will bring in the most money. For example there were 40 leaders or representitives of nations who shown up in France for a march to show their support for France in their fight on terror and the 12 who died at Charlie Hebdo. Front page news and a lot of money for the media.

      Assume for the moment the event in France did not happen. Do you think for a moment those same 40 leaders or representitives would have shown up in Nigeria for a march to show their support for the people in their fight against terror in their country. It wouldn't happen in a million years. Why, because there's no money that can be made from it as a story- No money, no news.

      It's sad to said, but the way most in government's and media's believe is the level of valve of human life is dependent on where in this world you live unless or until there's a voice of outrage by the common people.

    • celafoe profile image

      charlie 2 years ago from Planet earth. between the oceans

      Dianne, the naievete of most people is going to be the death of them. You are a Christian lady, are there parts of the new testament (the bible of Christianity) THAT YOU DO NOT BELIEVE OR REFUSE TO FOLLOW?

    • dianetrotter profile image
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      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 2 years ago from Fontana

      Thank you celafoe! I try to "not" say what I am because I want to show it. I believe 100% of the Bible and want to show it with my life. Humility is very important to solving any problem because we should be willing to look introspectively. Graceinus and Kathryn it is good to connect with you guys again. I am one of the ones Billy Buc was speaking of ... but I missed you guys!

    • dianetrotter profile image
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      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 2 years ago from Fontana

      I apologize to all who were offended by the Boko Haram picture. Notice that it has changed!

    • dianetrotter profile image
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      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 2 years ago from Fontana

      I deleted the picture of the Boko Haram soldiers. Wow! This is very weird.

    • KU37 profile image

      KU37 2 years ago

      They say "you can't judge a book by its cover." This is a lesson I have learned the hard way many times over the course of my lifetime, but I always forget. When I first saw the title of your Hub, I though to myself, well, let's just say that it's fairly well documented elsewhere what I thought, and leave it at that. When I clicked on that title, little did I know that behind it I would find a woman of surpassing depth, humility and humanity, to a degree I can only hope to emulate. I don't think anybody is going to come up with a more fitting conclusion to your Hub than the one you already have. I fear that this is not the kind of question that is going to reach a conclusion during our lifetimes. I think somebody should try to make this Hub a template for a long series of Hubs that reach out around the globe searching for understanding.

    • dianetrotter profile image
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      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 2 years ago from Fontana

      KU37, I am in tears over here. I needed those words of encouragement more than you know. Thank you for your suggestions and challenges.

    • celafoe profile image

      charlie 2 years ago from Planet earth. between the oceans

      Sorry to see you let the crying heart liberals get you. The picture was truth and truth is only a problem to them that prefer their own desires in place of truth. Unfortunately there are few these days willing to actually pay the price for truth at any cost. Sorry but i will not support the humanists masquerading as Christians, their words and actions expose them and their destructive ways remember the evil koran instructs it adherant to lie to us so that we trust them until its too late, they have cut off our heads. They must be exposed and accepted as the evil so s of satan that they are, not coddled and trusted..

    • profile image

      graceinus 2 years ago from those of the Ekklesia

      dianetrotter- I agree with celafoe comment above this one. If this was my article I would place the photo's back in and don't hid the truth. Let the world see it for what it is. Pure evil. Then maybe something will be done to reveal the kind of people who do this kind of evil. And hopefully something good will be done about it.

      Outstanding article.

    • dianetrotter profile image
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      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 2 years ago from Fontana

      Thank you celafoe and graceinus for your support. I originally posted the pic to show a continuing horrific crime. I am hearing explanations for not getting involved that makes sense. However, we should be just as outraged rather we can do anything about it or not. I'm having trouble comprehending the senseless murder of innocent people. I am speechless right now.

    • dianetrotter profile image
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      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 2 years ago from Fontana

      The first Peshmerga death in Kobani has been reported. I have had Kobani in my heart since I saw them fleeing back in September.

      http://rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/200120153

    • KU37 profile image

      KU37 2 years ago

      I hesitate to enter a debate about freedom of expression here on your Hub Diane, but I think it has a lot to bear on how we in the West deal with "peaceful Muslims". Someone above referred to me obliquely as a "crying heart liberal". Guilty as charged. Way way down somewhere underneath all my whining and debating there beats a heart, and it cries when I hear about Boko Haram. Diane, I think those who so badly wanted to prevent the ideas you expressed so beautifully on this Hub were passionate about that because of their desire to silence your written ideas. They would rather we think just like them, which is to think badly. Or better yet, to remain oblivious to inhumanity in the world, oblivious to your beautiful ideas, and not think at all. Diane's original choice of a very bloody image was a bad one for several reasons. I would suggest that a couple reasons are that it prevents all of us from thinking rationally, and also, anyone passionate enough can use it to hijack the conversation and twist it to their way of thinking (or not thinking).

    • dianetrotter profile image
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      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 2 years ago from Fontana

      KU37, I just can't wrap myself around the idea that I could hate someone enough to kill a completely different person. This morning I read that Sunni farmers who were originally encouraged by ISIS's takeover are now begging for the old Iraqi regime. Their wheat crops are measly and unhealthy or non-existent. The evil that they knew is better than the evil that they now know. So now that they know ISIS has screwed them, can they do anything about it. In addition to being ignorant, I guess I'm also naïve.

    • KU37 profile image

      KU37 2 years ago

      Diane, I think of a quote from JFK that someone recently drew my attention to:

      "Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed--and no republic can survive. That is why the Athenian lawmaker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy. "

      JFK was speaking at a time when people in the US were frightened. They were frightened about the A-bomb, and they could not wrap their heads around the fact that two countries that had become enemies could possibly destroy the whole world with A-bombs. They felt powerless. We were looking at the pictures of A-bombs and Hiroshima up close and in full frightening view. JFK reminded us that we need people like you to be involved and inform us of these dangers. And that there is a time to look away from the photos and soberly discuss the dangers. It's our responsibility.

    • celafoe profile image

      charlie 2 years ago from Planet earth. between the oceans

      What is the scriptural backup for this ,please. JFK was not a Christian., nor was Solon that I am aware of.

    • KU37 profile image

      KU37 2 years ago

      I don't know what Solon was and I don't care. I'm not the sort of guy who feels compelled to restrict himself with orthodox thinking. What would Jesus do?

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