Hey Rupert Murdoch, “Jihadist Cancer”? Really?

Dear Mr. Murdoch,

First of all, as an English minor, I cannot allow that terrible sentence structure to go unchecked. If you’re going to insult billions of people, then do it right: use some punctuation.

Let’s talk about “jihadist cancer.” In regards to recognizing it, Islam is a perfect religion. It is God’s prefect gift to human beings. It doesn’t get colds, it doesn’t catch the flu, and certainly it has not developed cancer. What we do recognize is that there have been hundreds of oppressed and marginalized people who have chosen to use terror tactics and guerrilla warfare to bring violence to the lands that have oppressed them. Unfortunately, they have done so under the guise of Islam.

Islam has never and will never condone the slaughter of innocent lives. We’re talking about a religion that teaches its followers to treat criminals with kindness and to rehabilitate them; a religion that equates killing one innocent life with killing all of humanity. This is something you’d know if you stepped outside. We Muslims have been denouncing violence since the dawn of modern-day Islamophobia.

You cannot hold a religion or a race responsible for the acts of several bad apples. If that were the case, then you’d have to hold Americans responsible for their drone cancer. Hold the French responsible for their anti-Islamic cancer. Hold every single German responsible for the Holocaust. If we’re going to play the blame game then all the players need to be involved.

Now, as far as destroying the aforementioned cancer, what plan do you suggest? Because, if you know how to stop terrorist attacks globally, then we are all ears. Until such a plan comes to fruition, allow me to remind you that this kind of violence also affects Muslims. Terrorists don’t stop to do a poll on everyone’s religious affiliations before planning an attack. Muslim children, Muslim police officers, Muslim civilians have been killed by people claiming to serve Islam.

These murderers are not Islamic extremists. Someone who is truly extreme in Islam would have such a fear of harming God’s creations they’d hardly be able to step outside for fear of sinning. These murderers are just that: murderers. People who have been so twisted and confused by their circumstances that they believe they have the right to take a life. Their claim that their actions stem from religion is invalid.

A well-learned man like yourself has the reach and the influence to bridge the gap. Instead, you’ve chosen to turn a tragedy into an opportunity to further an “us” against “them” mentality. I’ve got to defend both Charlie Hebdo and Islam with every breath I’ve got or I’ll be labeled a terrorist sympathizer. Muslim people around the world — from innocent civilians on the streets of Paris to their counterparts who have never stepped foot in France — all must fear an increase in acts of violence and hatred against them because of opinions like yours. You are adding to the spread of ignorance and you should be ashamed of yourself.

In closing, I want to share with you a snippet of something our beloved Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said to one of his companions regarding taking revenge on someone who had wronged him. In the presence of the prophet, Abu Bakr returned an insult to someone who had insulted him numerous times, and the prophet stood up from his seat. When Abu Bakr asked if the prophet was angry with him, the prophet responded:

“When you took revenge, a devil came down. I was not going to sit when the devil came down.” Sunan Abi Dawud

So who are you sitting with, Mr. Murdoch?

Photo by Monika Flueckiger