Monday, November 23, 2015

Terrorism has No Religion


Software: Adobe Photoshop CC 2014 32 bit and Microsoft Word to create images and blend them together.
Dimensions: A4
Influential artist: Naji Benaji (contemporary political cartoonist)

Islam in Arabic derives from the root word “Salam” which means submission or surrender to the will of God and obedience to his law, peace and safety, and that is what Islam is all about. Islam is about Muslims coexisting with everyone and all other religions, however, unfortunately, due to the power of media and hypocrite politicians, the image of Islam promoting peace and love around the world has been distorted and taken into another level of terrorism. Islam has been associated with terrorism and violence due to the attack of some extreme groups and individuals who have labeled their crimes under the name of Islam. ISIS, Islamic state of Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIL, The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, is creating a worldwide massacre under the name of Islam. 

Due to their murderous acts, many westerners and people around the world believe that Islam and Muslims are all terrorists, which has created fear of Islam and Muslims. According to Dr.Belinda Espiritu’s article, "Islamophobia", fear of Islam and Muslims has intensified with the 9/11 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York, the Taliban’s fundamentalist proscriptions and restrictions in Afghanistan, the Charlie Hebdo attack in France, and the emergence of the self-proclaimed “Islamic State group (ISIS) which allegedly shows videos of the beheading of their prisoners who are more often journalists.” Islam is a religion that is not forced upon others, and does not promote war especially not a war to force Islam (Espiritu). Moreover, if a war is to happen, there are certain rules to be followed to minimize the damages in the area unlike what ISIS has been doing by destroying mosques, churches and murdering innocent people.

 After the Paris attack, this topic occurred to me, how Islam and Arabs are the first victims of any violent attack, even though the Beirut attack was a night earlier. Furthermore, an Anti-ISIS exhibition led by many artists who have depicted great pieces of art portraying ISIS actions in vivid pictures that are worth a million words. One of these artists who influenced me the most is called Naji Benaji , a contemporary political cartoonist currently living in Casablanca, Morocco. He has drawn a great picture in the art exhibition which shows how ISIS is currently brain washing the public and replacing their brains with massive bombs (Binaji).

The message that I am trying to portray in the image I made, is that any murderous act or violent behavior shown in the media under the name of Islam is definitely not Islam. Those extreme groups could be anyone but surely of no religion because no religion promotes murder, and terrorism has no religion. They are trying to erase and diminish the message of peace in Islam by depicting this dreadful image of Muslims upfront on people’s screens making them forget the love, serenity and the greatness in Islam. 

My name is Shaden Rushdi, I am currently a senior majoring in Marketing in the American University in Dubai, hopefully graduating by Spring 2016. 


Binaji, Naji. Anti-Isis Art Exhibition. 25 May 2015. 19 November 2015.
Espiritu, Belinda. Islamophobia and the “Negative Media Portrayal of Muslims”. 3 April 2015. 19 November 2015.

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