'Muslims Condemning Things' Tumblr Answers A Question That Should Be Obvious

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The Islamic State, the militant group formerly known as ISIS, claims that it is restoring the Islamic Caliphate in an attempt to confer greater political and theological legitimacy on itself. Its violent actions, done in the name of an extreme version of Islam, have prompted international leaders and institutions like the Vatican to urge the world's Muslims to explicitly condemn the Islamic State.

Many already have. That's the sharp point being made by the Tumblr, "Muslim Condemning Things," which posts videos, tweets, articles, and other media of Muslims speaking out against extremism.

The description for the site reads, "People are always asking, 'Why don't Muslims condemn terrorism/fanaticism/violence in the name of Islam?' They do. Here's proof."

An editor's note adds, "This site is not meant to be a comprehensive catalog of instances of Muslims condemning violence and terrorism. Rather, it’s a sampling, and one that we hope will convey the idea that the vast majority of Muslims around the world reject extremism, violence and fanaticism."

The call for the world's Muslims to loudly and explicitly denounce terrorism has generated discussion about the potentially problematic nature of that demand. Ali Eteraz, a critically acclaimed author, points out, "The implication is that every Muslim in the world who doesn't engage in terrorism is nevertheless a latent supporter, or enabler, of terrorism because he doesn't make loud proclamations against it."

"This question, 'Why don’t Muslims condemn terrorism,' is one that nearly single Muslim leader, activist, public intellectual, interfaith speaker, has had to answer multiple times, especially since 9/11," wrote activist Hind Makki in a blog post. She added, "Frankly, that question is symptomatic of the larger issue: the default assumption that if you don’t hear a particular Muslim person denouncing terrorism, then that must mean that the person supports terrorism by default and by virtue of being Muslim."

"Muslims Condemning Things" cites specific instances such as Iranian Muslims demonstrating against the persecution of Iraqi Christians, a peace rally organized by a Muslim youth group in the UK, American Muslim condemnation of the September 11 attacks, and many more.

The Tumblr was inspired by "Pictures of Muslims Wearing Things," a blog that shows the diversity of the global Muslim community by dryly cataloging photos of people wearing clothing that ranges from sundresses to army uniforms. The site states, "Former NPR analyst Juan Williams, among other ignorant people, has an irrational fear of Muslims, and thinks you can identify them based on what they look like. Here I will post pictures of Muslims wearing all sorts of things in an attempt to refute that there is such a thing as 'Muslim garb' or a Muslim look."

The fact that Muslim leaders regularly speak out against acts of violence and terror doesn't mean that they are heard. Perhaps "Muslims Condemning Things" will change that.

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