ISIS Crosses a New Line with Its Attack on the Prophet Mohammad Mosque as Eid al-Fitr Nears

victims of baghdad bombing

The Islamic State has committed all kinds of atrocities especially after it proclaimed itself as a worldwide caliphate with total control over the religious, political, and social lives of all Muslims. It has killed countless civilians and even had suicide bombers detonate themselves near local mosques and other places of worship for Muslim minorities. IS has also defiled Ramadan, the Holy month for Muslims, by attacking enemy nations as Eid al-Fitr comes. This year, however, IS reached a new low after it attacked a place held sacred by all Muslims. A day before Ramadan’s conclusion, suicide bombers attacked near the Prophet Mohammad Mosque in Saudi Arabia’s City of Medina. This particular mosque is considered the second holiest place for Muslims.

The Attack Shocked Muslims the World Over

ISIS extremists refer to themselves as Muslims though they follow their own Sharia Law based version of Islam. Their version is considered by many as the archaic and barbaric as it brings back slavery and gives women next to no rights. In fact, Islamic State’s version of Islam allows women to be sold and bartered. Despite the glaring differences, they are still calling themselves Muslims so many expected that they also respect and revere the holy places. As it turns out, the terror group does not care about such holy places as even Prophet Mohammad’s Mosque was not spared.

Long-term Aftermath of the Attack

Studies have shown that though most Muslims denounce terrorist attacks, there are some who remain apathetic and there are even some who find suicide bombings justified because the perpetrators truly believe they are carrying out jihad. The attack on the Prophet Mohammad Mosque may change these. Now that the terror group has stretched its destruction to one of the holiest Islamic places of worship, it may cause many of extremist group’s sympathisers to turn on it. Muslims are known for their dedication to their faith and attacking their holiest places means attacking the Muslims themselves. Many Muslims will likely take the attack as a declaration of war by the terror group.

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This Ramadan, the worst fears of many Muslims have come to life, as attacks spiked during the holy month in Muslim regions. Many blame the attacks in Iraq, Bangladesh, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia on the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Read More…

The Attack can Backfire on ISIS

Terrorism thrives on dividing people and feeding us with hate. The attack on the Prophet Mohammad Mosque may actually cause the reverse. Many Muslims have already joined in the fight against ISIS and more will likely following after the senseless attack. ISIS is already losing ground and has lost several key strongholds in the past year. More and more countries have joined the fight and a future where IS gets cornered is finally foreseeable.

pray for baghdad victims

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This is not the first time that the West seems to have shrugged off massacres in predominantly Muslim countries. But the relative indifference after so many deaths caused by the very groups that have plagued the West is more than a matter of hurt feelings. Read More…

The world, especially Muslims, are still reeling from the effects of the attack on Medina but it is not hard to foresee that when everything settles down, ISis will have more enemies than it had before. ISos is a pest that needs to be eradicated and each person denouncing its acts of wanton violence and destruction, the closer we are to finally ridding ourselves of this plague.

How Brussels can Start Its Road Towards Healing

tourism in brussels after the attacks

Healing is never easy especially if the cause of the wounds is something as tragic and senseless as the Brussels Terror attacks. The coordinated attacks involved two suicide bombers who detonated at the Brussels Airport and another one that detonated at the Brussels Metro Station. The former killed 16 while the latter killed 18. A total of 270 people were also injured in the attacks. The bombings prompted the Belgian government to raise the highest terror alert level and lockdown not only the airport and metro station but also tourist hotels in the city. The city was virtually paralyzed, stranding thousands of people. So how can Brussels and its people recover from the tragedy? One of the areas the Brussels government should look into is its tourism. Before the attacks, the capital had a booming tourism industry. Each day, people from at least 40 different nationalities walk its streets.

tourism in parisEuropean tourism plunges after Brussels and Paris terror attacks

Holiday bookings are down throughout Western Europe after two terrorist attacks in four months alter the perception of safety on the continent.

Immediately after the Brussels bombings, hotel occupancy in Belgium plunged to 25 percent, down from 82 percent the night before, the Wall Street Journal cites STR, a company that tracks hotel industry data. Read More…

1. Rekindle Tourism

One of ways for Brussels to get back on its feet is to bring back the tourists. Not only will the tourists provide income to city so it has more resources to spend in the restoration, seeing the streets filled with happy tourists will also lighten the mood and help the survivors forget the pain and fear caused by the tragedy. But will Brussels be able to regain the trust of tourists? The best way is to convince tourists that they will be safe in the city. Show them that the government is on top of things and will not let anything like the Brussels attack happen again. So how exactly can Brussels make tourists feel safe again?

2. Safety First

The government should evaluate its current safety and security standards and make any changes and fixes necessary. After making sure that the entire city is actually safe, the next step is to tell people about it. It should conduct a comprehensive information campaign about the improvements in security measures and protocols. It should also include any lapses the previous protocols had and how such lapses were addressed.

3. Constant Communication

The government should be open to the public about everything it is doing. People should know all that is going on until the terror alert is lifted and things finally go back to normal. Lack of communication will just lead to doubt and anxiety. Communication also tells the people that you are doing something about the issue. Also issue frequent reminders on how people can keep themselves safe.

4. Proper Timing

The government cannot just begin promoting its tourism anytime it wants. It must first make sure the city is truly ready to accommodate tourists or it will just further damage its reputation. Make sure everything tourists wanted to see and do before is available again. Also ensure that the citizens are ready to mingle with tourists again.

Muslim Leaders Denouncing Terrorism

muslim condemns terrorism
One of the glaring complaints against Muslims after the 9/11 attack were about accusations that Muslim leaders are staying silent when it comes to terrorist attacks. Weeks and even months after 9/11, people continued to send written mail and emails to newspapers and other publications complaining about the lack of condemnation from Islamic leadership. There were also those voicing out the same complaint through phone-ins on radio shows. There were actually numerous fatwas and other statements from Muslim leaders that condemned the attack on innocent civilians that claimed the lives of almost 3000 people and brought injury to more than 6000. These fatwas were simply paid little attention by mainstream media.

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Today, Muslims are finding other means to make their denouncement of terrorism more apparent. They share their sentiments in social media and other online forums. Muslim leaders have also started making denouncements via live television. Atif Fareed, the president of the American Muslim Community Center cites below notable instances showing that Muslims are also joining in the global war against terrorism.

  • In 2011, Pew Research conducted a study in which Muslim Americans were asked how much Muslim Americans support extremism and 64% said they believe extremists get close to zero support from Muslims in the US. This means that almost 2/3 of Muslim Americans believe that their community is loyal to the United States.
  • In 2010, Pakistani Politician and Islamic Scholar Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri issued a Fatwa denouncing terrorism. The Fatwa was backed by the Al-Azhar University of Cairo, Egypt.
  • In 2008, Jama Masjid Trust, an influential Muslim, caused 9 Mumbai militants who were responsible for the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks to not be given a Islamic burial. He explained that anyone who can commit such atrocious acts should not be called and treated as a Muslim.
  • In 2007, Pew research conducted a survey on Muslim countries that revealed that more than 92% of Muslims believe that suicide bombing in public places cannot be justified.
  • In 2015, majority of Muslim leaders all over the world expressed anger over the November Paris terror attacks that killed 130 people.

Atif Fareed believes that all of these public denouncements of terror acts prove that terrorists do not represent Islam. Therefore, Americans should stop pointing their anger to Muslim Americans each time a non-Muslim country gets attacked by terrorists. Muslim Americans are your neighbors and we should be working together in helping our great nation improve and in combatting the global threat of terrorism. Fareed has also called upon mosques and Muslim centers to accommodate non-Muslims who simply want to know more about Islam.

muslim against terrorism7 Times Muslims Denounced Terror

Tuesday’s deadly terrorist attacks in Brussels, which killed more than 30 people in three explosions at the city’s airport and a metro station, are at once shocking and sickeningly familiar, the latest in a horrifying line of violence that includes the terrorist attacks in Paris last November, and stretches back to the September 11 attacks in 2001. Read More…

Show Unity Amidst the Worst Attack in Belgian History Urges Atif Fareed

unite against terrorism

The supposed to be a peaceful observance of Holy Tuesday turned into a scene of carnage and destruction when three suicide bombers detonated themselves bringing death and injury to people around them. Two of the suicide bombings were carried out at the Brussels Airport in Zaventem while the third one was carried out at the Maelbeek/Maalbeek metro station in Brussels. The three suicide bombers took with them the lives of 31 others while also causing injury to more than 300 people. The attack is considered the worst ever in Belgian History.

In this photo provided by Georgian Public Broadcaster and photographed by Ketevan Kardava, injured women are seen in Brussels Airport in Brussels, Belgium, after explosions were heard Tuesday, March 22, 2016. A developing situation left a number dead in explosions that ripped through the departure hall at Brussels airport Tuesday, police said. All flights were canceled, arriving planes were being diverted and Belgium's terror alert level was raised to maximum, officials said. (Ketevan Kardava/ Georgian Public Broadcaster via AP)Why are terrorists drawn to Belgium?

After the Paris attacks, Belgium’s importance for global terrorism has become even clearer. Its geographical location is just the first of many reasons.The reasons why Belgium is attractive to terrorists are diverse. Read More…


Reason of the Attacks

The Islamic State (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the deadly attacks and claim that they are in retaliation for Belgium’s military support against the Iraqi Civil War. Belgium has been steadily sending jihadists to combat ISIL in the still ongoing Iraqi civil war. Belgium has the most nationals, in relation to total population, fighting against ISIL. Belgium’s efforts against terrorists have been internationally recognized. CNN referred to Belgium as a hotbed of the jihadist ideology that the holy war should be fought against terrorism and not against anyone else. The Wall Street Journal, on the other hand, referred to the country as a jihadist-recruiting hub for those who want to fight terror.


unite against terror

Attacks Were to Divide Us

Atif Fareed believes that the Brussels attack was perpetrated by ISIL not just to get back at Belgium but also to create a rift between Muslims and people of other faiths. Belgium is a country where Muslims, Christians, and Hindus live in harmony and mutual respect for one another’s religion and culture. Belgium is also a place where people of various nationalities can mingle and have fun. In fact, the more than 300 victims of the terror attacks were people from more than 40 different nationalities. Fareed believes that ISIL hates every place where people of different religions can coexist and live harmoniously.


Honor the Victims by Staying United

Atif Fareed thinks that staying united in standing up to terrorists and denouncing acts of terror is the best way to honor the memory of those killed by the bombings. Letting the attack divide us will not only disgrace the victims, it will also mean letting the terrorists win. We should follow Belgium’s lead. We are all brothers. Our religions may be different but we are praying to the same God regardless of what we may call Him. We should sort out are differences. There is only one enemy and that enemy is terrorism.