Jordan’s Queen Rania believes ISIS needs a name change. During a talk with Huffington Post Editor-In-Chief Arianna Huffington at the WorldPost Future of Work Conference, Queen Rania dismissed the religious intentions behind the extremist group’s gains in Iraq and Syria. She claimed that the fight against ISIS is not a fight against Islam, but against a group that is attempting to revert our way of life back to a more primitive era.
“What the extremists want is to divide our world along fault lines of religion and culture. A lot of people in the West may have stereotypes against Arabs and Muslims. But really what this fight is, is a fight between the civilized world and a bunch of crazy people who really want to take us back to medieval times,” Queen Rania said. “Once we see it that way, then we realize that this is about all of us coming together to defend our way of life.”
One proposed method Queen Rania has for convincing the public to view the battle against ISIS in her more enlightened way is by removing the first ‘I’ from the group’s name. “I would love to drop the first ‘I’ in ISIS because there’s nothing Islamic about them.” She claims that the group uses Islam, and the West’s perceived campaign against the religion, as a recruiting method. She believes the battle would be more effective if Arabs and Muslims led the war against the group, along with the support of the international community.
Queen Rania, an influential leader of an Islamic country, made several valid points in her talk with Huffington. It is important to recognize that the extremist views of ISIS fighters do not coincide with the views of all Muslims around the world. Members of the Muslim community certainly should help in the effort to stop ISIS, either in literal combat or through social media propaganda. Yet ISIS is still inextricably tied to religion. Islam is not just a recruiting method for the group, and dropping the first ‘I’ would be little more than a symbolic move by the West. It’s important to make the distinction between ISIS and the millions of peaceful Muslims around the world, but it’s also important to recognize the role that Islam plays within the extremist group.
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