Not In My Name

Using Social Media, Muslims around the world are separating themselves from extremist groups like ISIS with #NotInMyName.

The violent actions of ISIS have drawn the eyes of the world to Islam, and sadly many outsiders looking in do not understand what real Islam stands for. Regrettably, millions of Muslims across the world are beginning to be branded as holding the same extremist beliefs as ISIS, and that is not what they want. The social media hashtag #NotInMyName has since been created to give Muslims a voice against ISIS.

ISIS has famously, or infamously, utilized social media campaigns to promote its philosophy and gain followers. Muslims therefore fear that they will be tarred with the same brush, so to speak, if they air their religious opinions on social media too. However, just like the Osama Bin Everywhere program that was made a few years ago, it just takes a few brave people to make a stand before the rest of the world sits up and takes notice.

Since the #NotInMyName hashtag was created, it has been tweeted almost thousands of times, and reached millions of people. The campaign, championed by the Active Change Foundation, has caught the hearts and minds of many Muslims that fear being ostracized by others because of what ISIS is doing to innocent people. The aim is to show that Islam is a religion, not of madness, violence, or terror – but instead one of love, tolerance, and equality. Many hope that these social media campaigns will prevent the potential of radicalization of vulnerable people that feel marginalized in their country.

Founder of the Active Change Foundation, Hanif Qadir is no stranger to to radicalism and converting extremists to more peaceful perspectives. Hanif Qadir understands the draw that many Muslims feel because he was radicalized as a young man, and became a Muslim extremist. He believed so passionately about the jihadist cause that he even travelled out to the Middle East to join the Taliban. However, he soon realised that the message that he had accepted was wrong, and was doing incredible damage to the Muslim cause. After leaving and returning back to his home country of the UK, he set up the non-for-profit organization Active Change Foundation, which works on teaching young Muslims the truth about jihad.

One of the keys that Hanif Qadir uses to educate young Muslims susceptible to extremism is teaching them about the context of ideas from the Quran. Once a person can understand that writings of particular concepts were created during a different time, they can realize that some aspects do not necessarily apply to the modern world or have different interpretations than we are otherwise used to.

If you want to get involved in the NotInMyName campaign, then all you have to do is to send out a tweet or Instagram with the hashtag “#NotInMyName” to help spread the word of Muslims against extremism.

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