Lately, it seems that the link between Islam and Violence is being explored ever more vigorously. On the UC Irvine campus, this has taken form in this nasty little article, written by one Jesse Nickles.
Leaving aside the shoddy journalism such an article reflects - one of the letters to the editor covered that adequately I think - let's look at the facts. A recent article published by Counterpunch looked at "The Islamic Threat in Europe: By the Numbers." Out of the four hundred and ninety-eight incidents of terrorism perpetuated on European soil, only one was attempted by Muslims. And that, by-the-by, failed. As Kristoffer Larsson writes, "The Basque separatist group ETA did best (136 terrorist attacks) and was responsible for the only deadly attack, killing two in Madrid." And yet, who is vilified continuously on the telly? That's a rhetorical question - I think we all know the answer.
Muneeb Baig, a UC Irvine student and Muslim Student Union member, responded to Nickles' claims - which to be frank, were completely idiotic - in an insightful article breaking down the basic precepts of his stance. I would recommend you check it out.
IslamiCity also sent out an interesting bulletin regarding this issue, which amongst a wealth of information, also cited this popular ayah:
"O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you swerve, and if you distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well acquainted with all that you do." [Qur'an 4:135]
As Muslims, I understand it is part of our duty in this day, at this moment in history, to explain Islam to a world community largly ignorant and misinformed about our beautiful way of life. But sometimes, especially when transparent bigots such as Nickles speak up, it gets annoying. Why is it that every Sally or Joe who professes to know something - probably because of a five minute Google search on the subject - is given a soapbox on which to preach their views?
Oh wait - look at whose running this country.