Islam is derived from the Arabic root "Salema": peace, purity, submission and obedience. In the religious sense, Islam means submission to the will of God and obedience to His law.

Takfiri is a Muslim who accuses another Muslim of being an apostate. The accusation itself is called takfir, derived from the word kafir (infidel), and is described as when one who is, or claims to be, a Muslim is declared impure.

Pilgrims to Mecca are worshiping around the Kabba, the cubical stone structure covered with cloth, which stands in the middle of the Masjid al Haram. the Grand Mosque. Muslims revere the Kabba as the House of God and direct their prayers toward it five times a day.

Islam as a religion and civilization made its entry onto the world stage with the life and career of the Prophet Muhammad ibn Abd Allah (570 632) in the western Arabia. After his dealth, a series of successors called caliphs claimed political authority over the entire Muslim community. It was during the period of the caliphate when Islam grew into the worldwideg religious tradition.



Islamic or not

There is a self-imposed mental block with most Western news organizations and many politicians, including our president, when they speak about terrorism emanating from the Muslim world. They either never use word associations such an Islamic terrorism or if they do use the word Islam in their speech, it must be followed by the mandatory add-on sentence “otherwise peaceful religion”.

We can find positive and negative sides to any religion, but no other religion gets a clarification that it is peaceful the way Islam does. So far, In the 21st century, Islam is not a peaceful religion as many of its adherents preach violent jihad against the rest of the world. Muslim extremists commit acts of terrorism on every continent from the Americas to Australia and no country is immune from it.

Many major cities around the world have already experienced the horror of indiscriminate slaughter of innocent people and with unprecedented increase in the numbers of new jihadi recruits we can only expect more of the same down the road.

Islamic calligraphy Unfortunately what the Islamists want we cannot give them. Their goal is to have the entire world living under the umbrella of Islam and following the Sharia rule of law. Welcome to Islamic Caliphate where every man is a holy warrior and every woman is there to serve him. They come from all over the globe from racially and culturally different societies that have one thing in common. That one thing is the religion called Islam.

Yet, our president, many politicians and media outlets avoid to use the word Islamic when discussing the violent acts perpetrated by some of its followers. The reason, the White House spokesman provides, is to avoid legitimizing extremist organizations like ISIS as being the representatives of the religion.

 That’s been quite puzzling since U.S. Government Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations listed on U.S. Government website provides a list of current terrorist organizations ninety percent of which are represented by Muslims and at least dozen of them have a word Islam as part of the organization's name.

Most of these organizations are based in the predominantly Muslim countries, Islam is their religion, they commit terrorist acts, or in case of ISIS mass killings, in the name of Islam. They are getting financial and moral support from Muslims around the world but but we can not call them Islamic?

 One of our biggest enemies in the world is Iran who also happens to be one of the worst polifelators of terrorism in the Middle East. It’s official name happens to be “ Islamic Republic of Iran”. Since we would not consider the Iranian mullahs in charge to be the best representatives of their religion do we call them a Non-Islamic Republic of Iran or Pseudo-Islamic Republic of Iran?

During the 20th century almost half of the world has fallen under the rule of communist regimes, yet nobody called them anything other than who they really were. Most people and official representatives of those countries were proud to call themselves socialists or communists, as calling them anything else would have been silly.

There was something within a communist ideology that attracted a mass following even though those regimes were responsible for the deaths of millions of people with additional millions imprisoned and brainwashed. Something about the message of all people being equal struck a chord with poor and less fortunate. It all looked good on the paper, but not in practice.

Most communist countries are no longer communist because they could not deliver on their promises of better lives for their people, who could only look to the capitalist west with envy and despair. Communism eventually went bankrupt both morally and financially. But even a thousand years from now in the history of the world they will be rememebred as communists.

The way the Islamist organizations like ISIS operate is very similar to the way the communists were able to control the masses. They know very well that fear works wonders, and use the grotesque violence as a tool to subjugate people living under their control. You would think that beheadings and similar atrocities would turn many followers off, but incredibly it does the opposite, it attracts a lot of recruits from all over the world, even non-Muslims.

ISIS has what Communists never had, an access to the Internet with the tools like Facebook and Twitter amongst the others. Unfortunately for many Islamic apologists the fact that the Internet is widely used for propaganda purposes kills the myth that only dumb and uneducated join the ranks of the ISIS killing machine. If anything al-Bagdadi, the self-appointed emir, could easily write a self help book called Jihad for Dummies.

When Western politicians stress that Islam is a peaceful religion and the terrorist acts are committed by a tiny fraction of their respective communities, one cannot help himself, but cringe the way you would when someone tells an outright lie and everybody knows about it. Do you mean that trillions of dollars spent by U.S. alone on the security of this country and wars in Iraq and Afganistan were is just to defend ourselves against few terrorists.

What about additional billions that being spent today by other countries to fight ISIS and other radical groups in the Middle East? All that financial and military firepower to fight a tiny number of jihadists? Many Middle East experts say that radical Islam can only be defeated by other Muslims. If that’s the case, then we are not helping the moderate Muslims to fight the radicals by not calling the problem by its real name.

Even the Saudi Arabia’s main daily publication, Arab News, has no problem with a word Islamist. Just enter the word Islamist into their search engine and you’ll have countless hits with titles like “Muslims increasingly worried by Islamist extremism” or “Kurds battle Islamist militants closing in on Syrian town”. If Muslims themselves have no problem with the word, then who are we to tell them otherwise?

Nobody really knows the real number of Muslims who support the radicals and even if they knew do you think any official would have the guts to say it publicly. Today these tiny fractions may look insignificant only to ignorant and blind. By now, radical Islam has spread all over the world and when you add all the terrorist organizations and their supporters up they do not look so tiny anymore.

When prophet Mohammed arrived to the city of Medina around 622 A.D. it was predominantly populated by the Jews. When they refused to accept Mohammed as a messiah and offered resistance to his followers the response was brutal. Mohammed’s army besieged the Jewish enclaves in Medina and had them surrender. All the men, apart from a few who converted to Islam, were beheaded, while all the women and children were enslaved.

If the above sounds familiar, it's because it is very similar what Islamic State did to Yazidies in Iraq just a few months ago. It was a conversion to Islam or death. Most men and boys were killed, while women and the young girls were enslaved and used as bonuses for ISIS fighters.

It is quite possible that ISIS only sees in Islam what they want to see, namely violence and intolerance, and they are ignoring the positive parts of the religion. They are not the first ones in the history of humankind to take out of religion only what suits them. The fact is though that ISIS and others are trying to emulate the behavior they learned from history of Islam at it’s inception and no amount of word juggling of the current U.S. Administration and other politically correct entities is going to change that.

ISIS is just the latest, most successful and best organized of all the radical Islamic groups today. They have a lot of brothers in arms around the world like Al-Queda, Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Boco Haram in Nigeria and Al-Shabaab in Somalia just to name a few. Blood flows wherever these people show up. It’s not uncommon for these groups to kill off the entire villages who have done nothing wrong to them. A lot of times there is no rhyme or reason behind those killings except to spread a fear and show that you have a stomach for mass murder.

But the problems in Islam are a lot deeper than the killings of non-believers because most of the victims of their intolerance are other Muslims who oppose the radicals or practice different version of Islam. Welcome to Sunni vs. Shia religious war that is almost 1400 years old. Throughout the history those confrontations would erupt with one side or other winning the battle, but not the war, because that war is still being fought today. Each side gets financial and moral support from the major regional powers.

The roots of the conflict go back to the days of prophet Mohammed. After conquering the Arabia and unifying most of the local tribes under the flag of Islam, in 632, Mohammad made the first Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. On his way back to Medina, he and his entourage stopped at a pond called Ghadir Khumm where, he appointed his first cousin and son-in-law Ali as the executor of his last will. This major event is seen by Sunny Muslims as signifying a personal and family matter, while Shiites believe that ceremony signified the passing of the torch from Mohammed to his cousin Ali.

Unfortunately after Mohammed passed away this issue was left unresolved and the feuds between supporters of Ali and his detractors resulted in two civil wars and the killing of the Hussein, Ali’s son and Mohammed’s nephew. The result was division of Islam into two main branches, Shia and Sunny. As noted earlier, this division has not been peaceful and on many occasions, one side does not accept the other as a true Muslim.

It is no coincidence the ISIS is hell bent on conquering Iraq and Syria. They are the protectors of Sunny islam, operating on the territory where major battles between two branches took place back in 680 A.D. Their battle is the continuation of the battle of Karbala where Hussein was killed. And yes, during that battle over a thousand years ago the heads were chopped, mass killings took place and people were enslaved.

These events are the integral part of the history of Islam just as the wars between Catholics and Protestants in Europe are the integral part of the history of the Christianity. If we just said that those wars in Europe were fought by religious extremists without mentioning the word Christianity, nobody would know what we are talking about.

Did you know that in many Middle Eastern countries with Muslim majority you will hardly find churches, Hindu temples or synagogues. In Saudi Arabia you could not practice any other religion but Islam. Non-Muslims are prohibited from entering the Holy city of Mecca.

The politically correct person would argue that it has nothing to do with Islam and would be wrong because it’s based on the following verse from the Quran: “ The idolaters only are unclean. So let them not come near the Inviolable Place of Worship”.

Since the government and religious authority of Saudi Arabia are the overseers of the Mecca and Medina, would you then say that Saudi Arabia does not represent Islam. If they don't then who does? Who determines what is Islamic and what is not? Is the U.S. president to act as a judge ruling on who is a real Muslim and who is a pretender.

His allies, the Saudis, spent billions of dollars bankrolling the west hating madrassas and spreading the Wahhabi brand of Islam throughout the world. Many really peaceful mosques cannot successfully compete with ones that are sponsored by the petrodollars of our allies. Their ideology is not very friendly to other religions, but every U.S. president in the last fifty years calls Saudis their friends.

All of these mincing the words exercises are probably very confusing and even laughable to most Muslims. It is probably even more confusing to the non-Muslims, who see in the news a stream of violence being committed in the name of Islam and at the same time being told that people who committed those acts are not real Muslims.

 How then the next time we meet a Muslim can we determine if he is a real one or make believe? Asking him that question would be insulting and in a very poor taste. So maybe those who propagate a “not Islamic” theory post a web page on the Government website with instruction on how to recognize a real Muslim so the ignorant ones amongst us have some point of reference.