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Want to Help ISIS? Hate a Muslim

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 17/11/2015 Leslie Marshall
PARIS ATTACKS © Pierre Suu via Getty Images PARIS ATTACKS

It seems every time there is a terrorist attack, at least since 9/11, the world blames Islam. But the ones who feel the sting are the Muslims worldwide.
Members of ISIS are named "radical Islamists" rather than the murderers, thugs, bullies, organized criminals, they truly are. But why blame the bully when you can blame an entire religion, and more specifically, over 1.6 billion people worldwide?
I am sick and tired of innocent, law-abiding, peaceful Muslims being blamed for the acts of ISIS, who are clearly not of any religion that follows the commandment: "Thou Shalt Not Kill."
Since the attacks in Paris on Friday, there have been numerous attacks on Muslims worldwide.
Mosques in Ontario, Florida and Paris were attacked and vandalized; a Muslim home in Florida was riddled with bullets; people inside a Portland mosque were threatened; a Muslim student at UConn received a note blaming him for the attacks in Paris; Muslims are being refused service by a woman who owns a hair salon in England, and the list goes on.
And while we sit back and watch racists chant slurs and messages of hate directed at Muslims, acting like the terrorists who we claim are our enemies and who we vow to defeat, those we are at war with -- ISIS -- appreciates our help with their recruiting.
Governors in 27 U.S. states are refusing to take Syrian refugees.
And anti-Muslim sentiment is even used for political gain. GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump has proposed closing all mosques in a nation built on religious freedom.
Alienating Muslims here and throughout the world through hatred increases the isolation that ISIS desires when looking for potential recruits.
Just look at who ISIS targets in their recruiting: Study after study, article after article, shows ISIS preys upon lonely individuals who feel isolated and want to belong to something -- much like gangs when looking for new members. Keep in mind, one concern in France is how disenfranchised many Muslims feel and how their segregation leads to isolation and an inability, or lack of desire, to assimilate. These are the exact types of individuals ISIS seeks. And they want our help to gain more.
If the European Union and the United States refuse to take the Syrian refugees, one by one, they'll return home. They'll be cold, hungry, angry, and ISIS will be there to provide blankets, food, and a shoulder to cry on. If you're hungry and the devil gives you a sandwich, you'll follow him. So ISIS wants us to turn the refugees away. That will enable them to beef up their army quicker and form a larger caliphate in Syria as they desire.
But their blood-thirsty lust for power goes beyond Syria, as we see in Iraq. They, unlike the Taliban, have global aspirations, worldwide domination if they feel it's within their grasp.
So what happens if Muslims in the United States, the United Kingdom, throughout the European Union also feel disenfranchised, feel they do not belong? Well, ISIS will be there to help pick up the pieces, and we'll only have ourselves to blame.
Instead of hating Muslims, we need to get to know them in the communities where we work and live. Inclusion of these people, rather than demonizing them, their culture or their religion will be one way we can truly combat ISIS.
Sure, it's easy for those of us who aren't Muslims to see ISIS are the bad guys, the enemy. But today, to those Muslims who were spit on, shot at or victims of burned mosques... who are the bad guys, the enemy?

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