Why Muslims are tired of being told to condemn ISIS ! By Jennifer Williams

Within hours of the attacks in Paris, the familiar ritual began: the calls for Muslims to denounce ISIS rolled in, as they inevitably do after a terrorist attack by a group claiming to act in the name of Islam.

This is a common occurrence, and Muslims — myself included — are tired of it. We’re tired of being held responsible for the atrocities committed by individuals whose actions and beliefs are abhorrent to us and completely at odds with our values and our understanding of our religion. We’re also tired of people acting as if we haven’t already condemned ISIS, al-Qaeda, and terrorism over and over and over, loudly, publicly,“unreservedly,” and in great detail.

It just starts to get old after a while.

Which is why when people on social media began echoing politicians in the UK who demanded that Muslims denounce ISIS, one British Muslim teenager decided he’d had just about enough of that nonsense, and posted this on his Facebook page:


His post went viral. J.K. Rowling and Stephen King even retweeted his post once itmade its way to Twitter. So did a member of the European parliament:

I got in touch with Kash over Facebook to ask what motived him to write that post. Kash — who consistently addressed me as “Miss Williams” — told me:

It wasnt the views or opinions of politicians that made me respond but the views of the general public

when fridays terror attacks happened which were extremely unfortunate there were only 2 opinions on my twitter time line

the first was of people demanding an apology for what happened which was met by either muslims apologising for the acts that occured or the other view, which was my view of muslims asking why we should apologise as ISIS has nothing to do with Islam?

This isn’t the first time Muslims have used social media to express irritation at being told to “do more” to counter extremist ideology and to apologize for the actions of strangers who have perverted our beliefs and who actually kill way more Muslims than they do any other group. The Twitter hashtag #MuslimApologies went viral a while back (with some unanticipated consequences for yours truly), with Muslims using the hashtag to point out the absurdity of being asked to apologize for things well beyond our control. Some were serious, emphasizing the various contributions Islam has made to the world:

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posted by f. sheikh

3 thoughts on “Why Muslims are tired of being told to condemn ISIS ! By Jennifer Williams

  1. I commend Jennifer Williams for writing something pro- Muslim but I would like to ask Muslims who think it is not their responsibility to condemn every act Muslim terrorists commit: Do you feel like expressing your outrage EVERY TIME a Muslim is targeted at the airport, EVERY TIME a Muslim woman is fired from her job because she is wearing a hijab, EVERY TIME a mosque is vandalized? If you answered yes, if you think it is your right to complain about those things, then it is your duty to condemn every act of terrorism some Muslim commits. It may not stop ISIS but it will at least tell the world REPEATEDLY that we are not them and tell ISIS (if they are listening) that we are not with them. It would help more if people in leadership roles in the Muslim world speak out EVERY TIME.

    • Dr. Shoeb has raised some valid questions and concerns. I think the author is trying to make the point, especially in the first two paragraphs, that Muslim organizations has always condemn the ISIS and terrorists attacks both in the past and present, but the drums of ‘demands’, give the impression that Muslims has not done so and most importantly this ‘demand’ inherently assigns a collective guilt to all Muslims even though vast majority of Muslims not only hate ISIS and terrorists but are their victims also. The examples of hate attacks mentioned in Dr. Shoeb’s comments also supports the same’ collective guilt’ that all Muslims, regardless of their beliefs , are responsible for these horrendous act and hence demands of condemnations and even apology.

      The obvious questions are-If a Muslim girl with hijab is assaulted on a street for wearing hijab, are her civil rights contingent upon whether Muslim organizations have condemned terrorists acts or not? Should it not be condemned with no ifs and buts, just like it is demanded for terrorists acts? Should Muslims accept guilt by association and forego their civil rights as citizens? Is condemnation of terrorist acts linked with civil rights or these are two separate issues?

  2. I like to clarify my statements. I don’t think Muslims in general have to APOLOGIZE for ISIS’s(or any other Muslim terrorist organization’s) actions but just offer our CONDEMNATION every time; and not because someone is demanding it but as an outpouring of genuine horror. And yes, an assault on a Muslim woman should be condemned too by Muslims and non-Muslims alike every time it happens. I was asking it to be the same both ways.


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