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Muslim Voices Against Extremism

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On Tuesday April 21,2015 Peace Islands sponsored a panel at Quinnipiac University titled, Muslim Voices Against Extremism. The Distinguished speakers were Dr. Timur Yuskaev, and Mr. Neset Ulusal. The room was filled with images from the 16th century, signifying the birth of Prophet Muhammed, which was on the 20th of April.

Muslim Religious coordinator Ulusal started the panel mentioning the displayed pictures. He continued by showing an article from the Washington Post titled,’ Why Don’t More Moderate Muslims Denounce Extremism’. Usual said, ”If it is what you are looking for you will find it.” Ulusal showed and quoted condemnation statements after 9/11. Mr. Ulusal mentioned Fetullah Gulen being the first Muslim scholar who publicly denounced the 9/11 attacks. After displaying a few more condemnations after the 9/11 terrorist attacks by Muslim scholars he said, “The Muslim community does denounce terrorism however it is not shown by in the western world.” Ulusal continued his talk by providing the audience with proof on Muslims critiszing terorsim. Mr. Ulsual took the audiences attention to a specific point of the denounces he showed. Most of the comments had transitions such as, “..Despite our strong oppositions..” “Terrorism is bad but” According to Ulusal this was not the proper way to condemn terrorism.

Mr. Ulusal continued his discussion Jihad.  He mentioned, Jihad is the excuse for terrorism, however in the Quran does not mean resorting to the use of force and shedding of blood as misunderstood by some people. Terrorists believe they are performing jihad, bombers think they are going to heaven, however according to some Muslim scholars they will go to hell. Mr. Ulusal concluded his panel discussion by saying; the extremists or terrorists are not considered martyrs.

The panel continued with Dr. Timur Yuskaev. Dr. Yuskaev stated, “If you actually look at the number of terrorist acts by Muslim it is not as significant. For example in Europe the last big terrorist attack was by separate atheist group in Europe.” Dr. Yuskaev also added,” When you actually check the statistics the Muslim terrorists are only a small percentage.” He mentioned, after 9/11 Muslim organizations have developed a habit of immediately denouncing terrorism. If you want to find it you will be able to find the immediate condemnation. When the topic is extremism politics get involved which makes it even more complicated. Dr. Yuskaev concluded by saying, “On 9/11 Islam was hijacked also. Quite often we feel as if we were hijacked with the terrorist events.Extremism and terrorism are one of the current global threats to humanity and Islam is nowhere near accepting such brutal actions”

The events moderator Dr. Seyma Aslan concluded the discussion with a personal experience. She was at work thinking about printing nametags for the event. She thought it would not be morally right without getting permission from others because it was for personal use not for her job. She ended by saying, “the teaching of Islam does not allow me to print with out permission but we are here to discuss if terrorism is associated with Islam.”

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