ISIS Goal Splits Family And Divides Muslims

History is made in moments, often of crisis and uncertainty, and the wisdom with which we meet them. This is one of those moments.

ISIS goal is to split the human family. To divide the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims from everyone else. Those in our societies who sow fear, suspicion and hatred of Muslims  are the best allies the extremists who attacked Paris and Beirut could ask for.

Muslims are almost one quarter of humanity, and 99% are as horrified by the ISIS attacks as everyone else. They have been the greatest victims of ISIS, and have the greatest power to help defeat it. So let’s answer hate with humanity, and seize this chance for transformative change. For all of us – Muslims and Non-Muslims everywhere – to fiercely welcome each other into our one human family like never before.

We Are All One

Sign the global “Undivided” message, add your own, and share the page with everyone – If enough us join now, we can start a global wave of solidarity, and make the pain of these attacks the birth pangs of a more beautiful world. When we get to 500,000 signatures Avaaz will run ads in Muslim community papers and online, as well as key right wing papers that spread fear and division:

The real front line of this war is not just in the dusty towns of Syria and Iraq, but in the media and social media forums where the stories we tell ourselves compete. There is a fraternity of ignorance and hatred and it stretches across borders, in which extremists on all sides work together to drag the rest of us down into their backward world of spiraling brutality.

Our governments will need to increase their vigilance in preventing attacks, and support military efforts to defeat ISIS. But our job as people, and our leaders’ jobs as moral leaders, is to ensure that love, the transformational antidote to ISIS’ hate, blooms between Muslims and everyone else everywhere. THAT would be ISIS’ worst nightmare – it might even give some of the angry young men they recruit cause to hesitate – a chance to see an alternative as inspiring to them as the backward brand of faith that ISIS markets.

At the darkest times, our light as humanity can shine brightest. Human rights were not recognized until after the second world war. The world got it wrong after 9/11, when leaders play into Al Qaeda’s hands by stoking Islamaphobia. This time, let’s be wiser, come together as Muslims and non-Muslims more closely than ever before, and brightly shine the light of the world we’re building:

From a place of love, we might begin to listen to our brothers and sisters among Muslims that have lent ISIS some support. First and foremost those Sunnis from Syria and Iraq, who have been treated unjustly by Iraq’s government, and incredibly brutally oppressed by Syria’s dictator Al Assad. We might begin to understand that when we failed to offer their families protection and relief from the horrors they faced, ISIS offered that protection, and some accepted it. We might focus on learning from this, and offering them a better deal.

With that lesson, we might see the stories of the peoples around the world that ISIS fighters come from. From Chechnya, where generations of Muslim families were horrifically murdered while the world looked away. Or from Egypt, or Algeria, or dozens of other countries, where sickeningly brutal state security police have tortured and murdered countless Muslims who dared to stand up to their venal corruption – something that is a religious responsibility for Muslims.

And maybe then we will understand that while ISIS is a monster that we must defeat, the monster is more than just the group itself. It’s the desperation of millions of people suffering under horrific conditions, and looking for a way out. And the rest of us in the human family, Muslims and non-Muslims, have either looked away, failed to effectively address, or often, backed and supported these horrors.

So let’s seize this moment with wisdom, to bring down the monster we face, the one we all have lines of responsibility for. Let’s see the human family united like never before to defeat ISIS – not just on the battlefield, but in our own societies, in the media and social media, and most of all in the thousands of Muslim communities that live today around the world in fear.  Let’s encourage Muslim and Non-Muslim communities everywhere to embrace each other, welcome refugees with compassion, escalate our pressure on Egypt and other brutal governments to stop brutalizing opponents and creating the ISIS’ of the future, redouble our efforts to achieve a peace deal in Syria, protect at-risk communities like the Rohingya, stop constant terrifying drone attacks on communities, and ensure that the military actions we support are scrupulously careful to avoid traumatizing the civilians who are suffering enough already under ISIS’ boot. If we do these things, we’ll do far more than defeat ISIS, we’ll defeat the misery that has given rise to them, and in a way that takes the human family one wiser step further on our journey together.

With love and gratitude for this amazing community,

Ricken, Luis, Ben, Alice, Rewan, Elana, Mohammed, Steve, Emma and the whole Avaaz team.

Reader Letter To The Silo Regarding Motion 103 And Hamilton Protest Rally

Dear Silo, there was a protest rally held at City Hall in Hamilton this past weekend. The purpose was to discuss or protest “Motion-103 “the motion put forth by one Ms. Iqra Khalid to stop as she sees it “Islamophobia.” For many the idea of “M-103” seems almost redundant as hate speech and any sort of hate crime based on religion is already under the “Criminal Code, The Charter of Human Rights & The Constitution.” Some have opined that Ms. Khalid is grandstanding & perhaps they may be correct.

The protest was as it went peaceful & low key. The police presence was minimal and well placed. Directly on site there were six uniforms, but a bit further back there were two mounted units, and further back out of sight behind city hall were three more mounted units.

The speaker at this event was a Muslim woman who was well spoken and exhorted the crowd with slogans, chants & political sayings, touting the Liberal regime and downplaying the Conservative aspect.It was my understanding that there would be both aspects of this motion represented at the protest, but for the near 3 hours I was present I only heard one side of the story [but] perhaps another side spoke later. I saw on the 6:00 pm news, things turned a bit ugly, and the police stepped in to quell any further incident, so who knows.

For many, it seemed a “ family event,” and I saw a few children there, [but] in my humble opinion [this] is no place for kids. In the “ Vietnam” years when the protest was clearly in many cases, a daily event, there never were any children present, mostly due to the fact protests can at any given time turn from something sedate to an angry, ugly mess, ergo no kids. I for one seriously have to ponder the parental abilities of such an action.

There was a few tables set up, all proffering their political views, the Communist Party, ( the mainstay at any protest), a painting table where you could add your hand to a large almost like paint-by-numbers setup where you could if so inclined could add your hand to it. There was a Muslim table set up and two young men who would engage you in conversation about their faith and handed out books & pamphlets, one of them at the time I stopped by, was engaged in a somewhat intense conversation with a Christian young man. Several people were working the crowd by handing out flyers, pamphlets and flash cards with their message on it. The “ Socialist group”, ever present at any event, was handing out small flyers promoting  worker solidarity,” the Marxist group was there too, handing out flyers to combat racism, the “ No Borders Manifesto,” an 18 point small booklet promoting a “ grassroots movement “ to promote the movement to the “ new world.” There were “ Stop the War Coalition,” the “ Know your Rights,” group & “ Hamilton Against Fascism,” and regarding [this]protest it seemed a well-rounded outpouring that way.

As I said, as protests go it was for the 3 hours I was there a peaceful, almost fun event. Later after things went south and everyone had done their barking and bitching sessions, they packed up their wares, printed material and children, and went home to read the tea leaves of the event and to generally pat themselves on the back for a job well done.

Protests are an integral part of the Canadian fabric and should be allowed at all times. The message I received from this one was that the potential for “ free speech,“ could be quashed possibly if this motion is put into a bill and becomes law. Do we have concern?? Perhaps as many feel we do, and it becomes the responsibility of all of us, to be open-minded, observant of what our government says and does. It falls to us to yes question what they tell us so that democracy as we live it will be ongoing and ever present so that we may all move forward with a proper sense of things for all who live and come to this great country we know it.


James R. Charlton