Muslims wish to promote peace, not violence

Posted on Oct 5 2012 - 12:29pm by Lacey Russell

On Sept. 11, Muslims across the Middle East re- acted to a YouTube trailer for the anti-Islamic movie “In- nocence of Muslims,” pro- duced by Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, by burning the U.S. flag, shouting anti-American chants and storming U.S. em- bassies in Sudan, Germany and the United Kingdom. Rather than resorting to violence in response to the video, however, the Muslim community in Oxford aims to inform the public of the peaceful nature of Islamic culture. Adham Hagag, president of the Muslim Student Asso- ciation at The University of Mississippi, said he believes that although Muslims in the Middle East have the right to be upset, they should express their discomfort in more pro- ductive ways than violence. “You can’t make something right by doing something wrong,” Hagag said. Along with the violence in the streets, an Egyptian cleric announced it a religious right to kill any person associated with the video. April Fuller, a recent con- vert to Islam, saw the reac- tion as inconsistent with her faith. “Our duty as Muslims is not to kill, it is to spread the word of Islam peacefully,” Fuller said. “They acted out of anger, and because of those actions, Islam has not been displayed correctly.” Hagag said he hopes the violence in the Middle East will not reflect negatively on peaceful Muslims in the U.S. “We don’t think about re- acting violently like they did in the Middle East,” Hagag said. “We think about getting the government to make leg- islation that would keep peo- ple from insulting others.” James Pasley, a geology se- nior who lived in Cairo for five years, observed that gen- eralizations are problematic in characterizing the nation. “People will stereotype and say that the entire nation is burning American flags,” Pasley said. “That’s not true. “You’ve got a few morons who burn American flags. (The) majority of Muslims are kind and generous peo- ple, but the news will always play on the people who want to kill everybody.” Members of the Muslim Student Association at Ole Miss plan to dedicate a week in November to promote Is- lam as a faith of peace. Pasley advises students to keep an open mind about the Islamic culture. “You don’t have to under- stand every culture, but you do have to understand that every culture is different,” Pasley said. “Because if you assume that every culture is the same, you assume that everybody is the same, and you’re already wrong.”