Nabeel Qureshi in USA Today: The Quran's deadly role in inspiring Belgian slaughter
Western recruits for jihad are inspired by the literal interpretation of Muslim sacred texts. This is what we must address.
Americans awoke this morning to another terrorist attack — this time in the Brussels airport and subway. These attacks hit close to home. Many of us have flown through the Brussels airport, just as we have vacationed in Paris and visited San Bernardino. Once again images of the injured flood social media channels, reminding Americans of the ever-present reality that it could have been us. How is this happening? Why are people becoming radicalized, and so close to home? I am concerned how little we in the West understand why peaceful Muslims who live among us are drawn into radical Islam.
As a Muslim growing up in the United States, I was taught by my imams and the community around me that Islam is a religion of peace. My family modeled love for others and love for country, and not just by their words. My father served in the U.S. Navy throughout my childhood, starting as a seaman and retiring as a lieutenant commander. I believed wholeheartedly a slogan often repeated at my mosque after 9/11: “The terrorists who hijacked the planes also hijacked Islam.”
Yet as I began to investigate the Quran and the traditions of Muhammad’s life for myself in college, I found to my genuine surprise that the pages of Islamic history are filled with violence. How could I reconcile this with what I had always been taught about Islam?