In light of the terrorist attack in Manchester city today (5/22/2017), I started reflecting on a religion that I call my own. Born in Morocco as a Sunni Muslim and migrating to the US at an early age, neither my family nor myself are overly religious, but we still consider Islam a part of who we are and try to live our lives through the teachings in a spiritual way. I am in no way a scholar of Islam, but I know enough to understand that what you see from a select few is not Islam. Every time a horrific attack of terror occurs I literally pray that it’s not one of us. I am tired of having to explain to people that what they see is not Islam, and what’s going on in the world is because of an ideology created using Islam to control a population by a family consumed with power and greed.
Islam is not like most religions, for one I think it’s much more about spirituality than anything else. You don’t have to follow any religious leader or specific teaching. Islam is between you and god, you interpret its teaching based on not only what you learn but what you believe in your heart is right. We have a saying that “only god knows”, which to me means that you can’t judge any one person for their acts, what they believe, or how they chose to live their lives, it’s between them and god. All you can do is live your life and be the best person you can be.
Muslims don’t pray 5 times a day because we are extreme, it’s because in life you never know when your time will come, and the idea is by praying regularly you are always ready to meet god. Another misconception is that Muslims believe that if you’re not Muslim you deserve to die, well I say to that, it’s all about how you chose to interpret the passage, doesn’t Christianity state that if you don’t accept Jesus Christ as your savior you will go to hell? In the second chapter, it also states if you are not born Muslim and live a good life, you will go to heaven. In truth, Islam is harder on people born to the religion to be righteous then on non-Muslims, and it’s increasingly harder on the wealthy to do good then the poor.
If Islam is so spiritual and righteous, then why the extremism? Again, it comes down to interpretation and intention. It all starts with a man named Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, a preacher and activist who lived during the 18th century. He created a sect of Islam called Wahhabism, which was ultraconservative and extremely fundamental. He believed in the literal interpretation of Islam and considered Sunni and Shiite Muslims and their loose interpretations to be no better than Christians or Jews in their beliefs. Now can you imagine if you had a sect of Christianity or Judaism that interpreted their books literally, there would be no difference in terror? The only true difference between Sunni and Shiite Muslims is a disagreement over the choice of Muhammad’s successor and some political and governing differences.
Living in Saudi Arabia, which was majority Sunni at the time, Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab was shunned for his extreme ideology until The House of Saud (the ruling family of Saudi Arabia) saw that they can use this strict form of Islam to not only control and suppress their people but strip them of the simplest of human rights as well. An alliance between the followers of Wahhabism and the House of Saud was formed, and the beginning of an extreme ideology was born.
Through the years Saudi Arabia would hide their strict ideology, selling it to the masses as a better sect. of Sunniism when in truth it was an ideology born of hate and a way to control the masses. I equate what Saudi Arabia has been doing to what Hydra did to shield in the 2nd Captain America movie. They grew like a parasite or virus within an unknowing host that is Islam and Sunniism.
With their immense wealth through vast oil fields, the House of Saud could afford to spread their teachings across the world. They opened up school not only in Arab countries but European countries as well. They fed on the needs of poor families, by promising to feed, clothe, and educate their kids through their schools. But what these families did not realize was there kids were being used to spread cancer through the world. These kids would grow up learning a false Islam, and they would in turn, turn around and do something horrific themselves or spread cancer further.
When will the world as a whole, and most importantly the Arab world wake up and stand up to Saudi Arabia? Money cannot be worth all of this? You look at what happened in South Africa when the world finally stood up to the Apartheid and said enough is enough, why can’t that happen with respects to Saudi Arabia and their teaching of Islam. Is the world waiting for extremism to get control of a Nuclear bomb before they realize that money, power, and greed is not worth all this? Islam has been taken hostage by an ideology that is used for dominance by the powerful and wealthy in the Islamic world. The world needs to wake up and say enough is enough.