Salon: Reza Aslan (does not) perfectly explain what Islamophobes are getting wrong about ISIS


Although members of the terrorist group ISIS are technically Muslim, argued religious scholar Reza Aslan in a speech at the University of Toledo last week, that doesn’t mean that Islamophobia is even a little bit justifiable…

…“If you want to place the responsibility for ISIS on Islam, that’s fine with me– as long as you also credit Islam for the people who are fighting ISIS. For while it is true that ISIS are Muslims, it’s also true that so are the tens of thousands who are battling them, and the tens of thousands of victims of ISIS. They’re all Muslim too,” he concluded.

“If you want to blame religion for all of the bad things that religion does, fine. As long as you are willing to credit religion for all the good things religion does.”

What good things? Who is fighting them? I will agree that Kurds are an exception. But I cannot think of any other Muslim group in this category. In Iraq, we have Shi’ite militias fighting ISIS in Iraq. It seems that while they are not in the same category as ISIS they are not exactly fighting by Geneva rules.

An excerpt from a report from the Financial Times (but reprinted at AINA, so you can read the whole thing for free):

It was a trip he took often, a 90-minute drive from his mansion on the outskirts of Babel province to the capital. But something went wrong around the time he was stopped at one of many checkpoints in southern Baghdad. Exactly what transpired remains unclear, but the night ended with Qassem Jenabi, a prominent Sunni tribal leader, his son Mohamed and their five bodyguards dead, their bullet-riddled bodies dumped next to their car. Nearly $7,000 in cash was untouched, and Mr Jenabi’s nephew, a member of Iraq’s parliament, was let go, as if the killers did not want the international attention that would come with murdering an elected official.

“The militias did this,” said Salman Jumaili, Iraq’s minister of planning, who was among the thousands attending Jenabi’s February 16 funeral service, held amid tight security for fear Isis militants would dispatch a suicide bomber. “The Iraqi armed forces and volunteers are fighting Isis. The militias, the extremists, are fighting people like Sheikh Qassem.”

With a combination of US-led air strikes, revamped uniformed security forces, Iranian-backed Shia militias and others joining the fight, Isis is slowly being pushed out of Iraq, most recently in Tikrit. But the dirty war against Isis is transforming this oil-rich country into something akin to a mirror image of Isis’s sectarian vision, in ways that could have an impact for decades.

To be fair, the Shi’ites are very angry and I cannot blame them. ISIS has been ruthless towards them. But the overall picture is bleak.  

Aslan is a notorious apologist. Gluttons for punishment can listen to his whole speech:

As for Salon, they publish the rants of moonbat Brittney Cooper: her latest was on “The Unholy Trinity Of White Supremacist, Capitalist, Heteropatriarchy.”

unnamed-6Iraqi security forces in Tikrit after pushing Isis out of the city with help from Shiite militiamen