An Open Letter to “I”SIS

not in my name

First thing’s first, pick a name (may I suggest neo-Kharijite?). Seriously. But leave Islam out of it. Because, between you and me and the rest of the world, we kinda all know you have no idea what Islam is. It is so obvious. We’ve all seen the pics of you attempting to pray and getting it all wrong. You don’t even know the basics.

ISIS praying wrong

Every scholar known to the modern world has thoroughly refuted you (find some here). And those logical hoops-set on fire like in the circus-you jump through to get the answers you were looking for — they burnt to singes a long, long time ago.

Secondly, in case you haven’t heard, you are fuelling the Islamophobia industry. That’s right, the hideous things you do in the name of Islam without the consent of Islam, are giving these wretched people a reason to exist and make lots of money making people hate Muslims world-wide.

So thanks, but no thanks, for dividing people, for holding the world hostage, and for making the lives of the 99.99999999999999% of Muslims miserable.

extremist hadith

The Islamophobes seem to think that if it is extreme, it must be Islam. Something I am sure you are familiar with. But really, can you just think about proving them wrong, and learn what Islam really is? Please refer to the link here if you choose to accept this challenge.

Penultimately, and this is directed at the youth who find “I”SIS appealing: Get A Grip. I know you feel rejected and like you have no place because it kinda sucks to be a Muslim right now (mostly because of what “I”SIS is doing). I understand. I am right there with you. It does suck.

But joining the group that is making it suck-y to be a Muslim is kinda counter-intuitive. It’s like joining the gang that is harassing your family. I know you are still dealing with puberty and that sucks too, but think about using your angst-y energy to do something that will actually help people like joining or starting dawah projects locally, helping the homeless, or getting involved in interfaith bridge building in your city, or maybe just read a book.

But in the meantime, know that it isn’t always going to be like this for you. Why ruin your life just cause you feel rejected and awkward and pissed about the mess the West has made in the rest of the world? It really isn’t going to help if you join forces with the devil.

My friend Omar Hammami took that path. You may know him as Abu Mansoor Al-Amriki. He joined al-Shabab in Somalia for all the same reasons you are thinking about joining “I”SIS. Guess what? It didn’t turn out so great for him. He realized, too late, that they had nothing to do with Islam, and everything to do with political greed and corruption. And when he spoke out against them, they murdered him.

Take a hard look at his story because. If you continue down this path, his fate is your fate.

Lastly, and back to you, “I”SIS, I know that I cannot understand the social, economic, and political situations that you have had to deal in the Levent. I can understand that the situation in your region has been extreme to say the least. And I do understand that the West has totally made that happen.

What you need to know is that hardship is not an excuse to do evil. InshaAllah, Allah, is not gonna be like: So, you murdered, raped, and oppressed countless of my honored creation just because they didn’t believe in some things you believe in. Oh, but you had a rough life? Ok, that’s ok then.

I can’t put words in Allah’s mouth, but I am thinking that is not gonna happen.

Some guidance from the one you claim to worship.
Some guidance from the one you claim to worship.

No one suffered more that the Prophets (may God’s peace and blessings be upon them), and they were the most merciful and soft-hearted human beings. They sought peace and built communities. They didn’t associate with people like you. Think about it, if you can. If your Islam is making your heart hard, if it is making you a compassion-less person who seeks out division, you are doing it wrong. Very wrong. I leave you with this cartoon that pretty much sums things up.

convert of die

If you are Muslim reading this and you agree that the actions of “I”SIS are detestable and far from Islam, please share this on the social media platform you prefer with #NotInMyName

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19 thoughts on “An Open Letter to “I”SIS

  1. Awesome post, I think this should be shared as far and wide as much for it echoes the sentiments of all Muslims who are in some or other way paying for the ISIS nightmare mission. I don’t use any other social media though… would you mind if I reblog it with original credits to you/Islamwich with the title #NotInMyName. Let me know and thanks again!


      1. Done, feel free to check it out and off course it is wonderful to collaborate from time to time with you. Certainly not in our name!


  2. Reblogged this on The Human Lens and commented:
    Certainly #NotInMyName. Please read the wonderful blog by The Human Lens’s collaborative supporter and Islamwich’s Theresa Corbin on the growing menace of ISIS.
    “So thanks, but no thanks, for dividing people, for holding the world hostage, and for making the lives of the 99.99999999999999% of Muslims miserable.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, not to throw a wrench in here, but Muslims are always saying the nastier adherents of their faith ” are not Muslims” and so do Christians and so do Jews and ,I’m assuming ,so does everyone else …so it’s fair. But, honestly, as a philosophical question…how do you know if a person is Muslim or not? Isn’t that up to ” God” ? I guess if you are discussing the organization as a whole you may have a point… but organizations aren’t ” people” (unless you happen to live in post-“Citizens United “America, a bit of legal insanity if there ever was one) …they’re just a group of people. Nobody knows what all those people are. My Marine soon to be son-in-law is Muslim and he doesn’t know either. But if it,unfortunately, comes to it and he’s deployed and has to engage them in combat, too bad. They’re toast. Says he’s not going to worry about the state of their faith. That’s their problem , not his.


    1. I agree. Saying that people are not of this faith or that because we disagree with them is getting into the “No true Scotsman fallacy”. It isn’t up to me to say whether they are Muslim or not. That is up to God alone. That is why I don’t say they aren’t Muslim. However, I can, without a doubt, say that what their organization does -as their policy- throws them out of the realm of Islamic. There actions have made it very clear that they, as a group, have no right to claim Islam because they do not know the first thing about Islam. And if they do then they intentionally go against it. Thank you for your comment and allowing me to make this clear.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for your explanation. I thought it was like that. I wasn’t planning on going further into this but you’re a deep thinker and ,as I an unable to get to the website you reference in the article due to it being temporarily ” down”, I’ll have to just go by your own words. I suspect this goes way beyond ” you don’t pray right”, ” you feed the Islamaphobes “, etc. for you.
        You do a good job of drawing the connection between oppression and extremism. People who feel they are being treated fairly and are, as my kids say ” fat and happy and ain’t got no time for that mess” are not likely to be interested in militancy. ( Militancy, which can be in many forms both peaceful and not, in and of itself as a defensive position in time of need, when the community is NOT fat or happy ,isn’t necessarily a bad thing when welded intelligently by an oppressed minority).
        I personally think there is more to ISIS than just reactions to the West, although that is probably the spark and a healthy chunk of the fuel. We have messed up royally there and probably will do so again if we continue down Stupid Road. Having a future family member who will likely be one of the first pieces of cannon-fodder in there, I have a dog in that fight and a reason to hope it doesn’t happen. A folded flag in a pretty case off the coffin containing whatever bits of him she gets to bury in Arlington is going to be a poor substitute for a husband as far as my daughter (and any possible children )are concerned.
        Let’s take Islam out of this for a moment and substitute ‘ America”… perhaps a bad analogy ,but useful for a dialogue between two ” Americans”. America is ” supposed” to be the land of ” freedom and equality” but we both know the history, which the Constitution and the interpretation thereof permitted ,and is just as real as any ideal. We had to have a civil war to get rid of slavery in this country…even though the Supreme Court had multiple chances to abolish it.
        It’s not the way we like to think of America, but it IS an America we cannot deny and, in fact, it’s better if we don’t …if we really plan on dealing with issues beyond having an African-American president. America may have enemies outside, but a lot of the problems in this country are of our own making , sometimes due to people clinging to some romanticized vision of a glorious past that never was. Like the confederate flag-waving white supremacists down the street. I think they claim to be ” Christians” ( the history of Christianity being a right mess, too, and not exactly always living up to its reputation as a ‘ religion of love’… but I don’t think I need to get into that) but a lot of people consider them very American…and they honestly are…just not ones that follow my interpretation of “America”. They can actually say whatever they want and it is legally protected so long as it isn’t connected to any direct crime against my family ( good luck proving that). There used to be thousands of KKK ( an organization that considers itself very American )legally marching down the streets ,even in Washington, 80 years ago. They were socially acceptable in my grandparents time and I wouldn’t be surprised if they are again for a while as the white majority in this country faces its ” twilights last gleaming”.

        I think ISIS is a complex creation born partly out of the meddling the Western powers have done for almost a century now,but also, to be honest, partly because there was nasty stuff home-brewing there long before the West stuck its nose in. …ergo…the killing of other Muslims as well as gun-waving at all things ” western”. They seem to consider themselves the valiant defenders of something “Islamic”. It’s convincing enough to make them willing to die for it instead of engaging in the other forms of interfacing that you suggest. (Anti-Muslim people stick Muslim history and quotes from the Quran up in my face as ” proof” ISIS is ” Islam” all the time but I don’t necessarily buy their interpretations and you’ve probably heard them all so I won’t bore you). I guess the question is : is this organization ISIS truly ” not Islamic” or does it represent a genuine part of Islam that is perhaps difficult to face and cure,but must be, by Muslims ( Disclosure…my future SIL thinks it’s probably the latter for reasons of his own ) as are the issues confronting Americans, Christians….or my own community, to be honest…etc.?
        Thank you for your thoughts.


      2. Very good question and profound thoughts. I wonder why it is your SIL to be thinks the latter. The Islamophobia industry has done such a good job that they have even Muslims doubting their own faith. I land firmly in the former camp, that “I”SIS is truly not Islamic, having done extensive study in the area. While there are some things in Islam that are flexible depending on time and place and approach to the subject matter; the code of conduct during war, the principle of freedom of religion, and the demand for good treatment of fellow human beings are firmly fixed within the doctrine of Islam. And “I”SIS (and their ilk) has violated all that has gone before them in terms of religious texts, interpretations, scholarly thought, etc. It is funny that you mention the quotes people rip out of the Quran and historic events in Muslim history because this is straight out of the extremist play book on both sides. Taking quotes and events that are taken out of historical and textual context to prove what they author set out to prove in not exactly an objective or scholarly approach. You are wise to withhold judgement. “I”SIS is familiar with this approach, they find something in the Quran that says “Kill them” even if it says before it “Don’t” and after “if you do, you have no right” they will take what they are looking for (namely the “kill them” part) and leave the rest. It is the same subjective approach corrupt men have taken toward religion since, well, forever. It is of the utmost importance that we take away the legitimacy of Islam from these kinds of groups because without it they have no leg to stand on (they never had, but the illusion needs to be destroyed). Please, if you want more concrete info on the topic of how ISIS is wrong and not Islamic, watch this speech by this famous American Muslim scholar. This was as vital part of a month long education program in which I took part.


      3. Thank you. Very briefly, My SIL to be doesn’t doubt his faith, but he says if he did he wouldn’t need the Islamophobes for that… other Muslims who would do the trick. Being from a family which contains more than one sect ( and where there was occasionally killing on all sides for not being a “real Muslim”) he won’t likely be a man to make that charge for any one or any group. His issue was that everything has a dark side with legitimate , if twisted, roots ( as I said before…slavery in the US was upheld by both Christian Scripture and the secular law for a long time and no one could say the people who believed in slavery were not Christians or were not quoting Scripture and interpreting it as was valid for them at the time, embarrassing as it is now) and if you label it not-you you run the risk of just not dealing with it honestly.
        I did watch the You-Tube ( lol! Felt my SIL could have given parts of it even though he’s a soldier, not a scholar) and the good Dr. actually echoes my SIL’s feelings at about 1:08.
        Thank you for the dialogue.


      4. Thank you for taking the time to watch the video, and for the dialogue. I must say it is very refreshing to speak with someone so logical and open minded in this day and age of fear-mongering. I wish you all the best, and hope that things overseas will settle soon so that your future SIL and you daughter do not have to face the hardships of war. Don’t be a stranger.


      5. Thanks…I hope peace will prevail,too, since he will likely almost always be deployed forward….that’s the ” blessing” of being your average bicultural ,bilingual grunt in a war zone. Hopefully that will save lives on all sides,but it also involves possibilities you and I don’t want to contemplate especially if ISIS is in the mix.
        But right now it seems their only concern is laughing and putting dimes on the names of the relatives and other invitees they think will boycott the wedding ( always a joy with these multi-cultural, multi-faith events and a different issue entirely )and thinking of possible names for their future little ” Muttlims”. ( “Brandi” , it seems, is definitely out.)
        Have a great weekend.


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