At a time when all news is overrun with acts of terrorism, often perpetrated by someone calling themselves Muslim, the question “Do Muslims Support Terrorism?” is clearly at the forefront on many people’s mind.

Underlying the media portrayal of Islam as terrorism, which is a toxic belief that is taking hold of our collective psyche, a belief that Muslims support terrorism.

As a Muslim, I am against to the idea of someone assuming to know what my beliefs are, especially if I am being associated with terrorism, acts of crime and hatred and even general mistrust. Whenever any act of violence or terrorism is reported in the media, several Muslims I know, and myself, hope that the aggressor is not supposedly Muslim. The fact is that anyone acting in a way that contravenes the principles of justice and peace cannot be called Muslim and normal everyday Muslims do not even recognize such people as part of their community or religion.  There are more than 1.6 billion Muslims in the world spread across diverse regions, countries, cultures, societies and professions. In the United States alone, there were 3.3 million Muslims in 2016, all hailing from several different ethnicities and backgrounds. There is no homogenous “Muslim”, much less a Muslim that supports terrorism in any of its forms.

The proof of this is that a Muslim is an individual who abides by the divine law given by the Creator, Allah, to all humans. And Allah  tells us in the Quran that whoever kills an innocent person, it is as if he has killed all of humanity, and saving one life is equal in reward to saving all humanity (chapter 5, verse 32).  In another place (chapter 17, verse 33), Allah tells us not to kill anyone, and when someone is killed unjustly, his or her heir can demand retaliation or forgive the aggressor. In any case, murder, terrorism and oppression are all strictly forbidden. If terrorism is committed “in the name of Islam”, or if Islam is cited as the reason for violence, then it is time people become more discerning and understand the essence of “true” Islam is completely opposed to this ideology.

As Islam does not condone or tolerate terrorism, the term “Muslim terrorist” is an oxymoron as a Muslim by definition cannot be a terrorist, and it stands to reason that no “true” Muslim can support terrorism or people who perpetrate it. As readers and viewers of mass media become more informed, it is hoped that the terms “Muslim” or “Islam” will not be used in conjunction with terrorism as this association demeans Islam and is insulting to  the community of everyday peace-loving Muslims.