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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Muslim group: Islamic State doesn’t represent religion

The Muslim Student Association will host “ISIS: an Un-Islamic State” Thursday to discuss conflict in Iraq and how it should be perceived from an Islamic perspective.
The Islamic State group, formerly known as ISIS, has gained international attention this year for its advancement throughout swaths of Syria and Iraq. Because of this, Thursday’s discussion will focus on how the group is completely separate from Islam.
Anwer Ahmed, accounting professor and the faculty advisor for the Muslim Student Association, will give the lecture. He said the Islamic State group does not illustrate Islamic beliefs and should not be associated with all Muslims.
“They’re killing innocent people — they’re killing journalists, so obviously they have a gross misunderstanding of Islam,” Ahmed said. “The point of my talk is actually to show that they’re violating core principles of Islam.”
Ahmed said the Islamic State group violates the core principles that no one may be forced to be a Muslim and that life is sacred. He said the Islamic State group has violated both of these in its attempts to establish itself.
“ISIS doesn’t represent Muslims and the teaching of Islam,” said Hussein Hussein, bioenvironmental sciences senior and vice president of the Muslim Student Association. “We aren’t allowed to kill innocent people and hold others hostage. Our religion is the religion of peace and was sent as a mercy to mankind.”
Hussein said it is important to establish the difference between Islam and the Islamic State group because it gives all Muslims a bad connotation.
“It is important to establish ISIS as an ‘Un-Islamic State’ because they’re misrepresenting all the peaceful Muslims around the world,” Hussein said. “Why will one percent of Muslims go around killing and create a negative image of the rest who are peaceful? It is time to stand up against them and show everyone we aren’t part of them.”
Ahmed said the Islamic State group is using Islam as an excuse for its violence.
“My personal thought is that this has nothing to do with religion, this is more like a political power grab,” Ahmed said. “People saw an opportunity to gain power and they basically tried to get it because of the weakness in government or gaps in power. It’s a group that’s trying to exploit religion for their own political purposes.”
Hussein said he hopes people will leave the event with a better understanding that the Islamic State group is an exception, not the rule.
“All we want to do in this event as the MSA is to educate our fellow Aggies [on] what we truly represent and not be grouped with ISIS,” Hussein said.
Ahmed said any student who wishes to gain another perspective should attend the lecture.
“Anybody who’s curious about what’s going on or seeing this conflict from an Islamic perspective, a Muslim perspective, should come,” Ahmed said. “Whatever [ISIS is] doing, their actions have nothing to do with Islam and that’s one key point that I would like people to understand and take away.”
The lecture will be from 8:30-9:45 p.m. Thursday in MSC C2406 B.

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