WATERCOOLER: What did you think of Waleed Aly's ISIS speech?



I LIKE Waleed Aly very much but I disagree with him when he says ISIL are weak.

In an episode of the Project on Monday, Waleed said ISIL were weak for taking credit of those terrorists not associated with it directly.

But I disagree. I believe ISIL are quite strong because the global caliphate, their cause, has been adopted by those Islamist terrorists who wished to inspire fear in disbelievers.

While ISIL have claimed responsibility for the terrorism in Paris, Waleed said it hadn't yet been proven whether the attack was co-ordinated by the group.

Even if it turns out Isis was not responsible for that incident, the goal of claiming the attacks was the same - to intimidate.

It doesn't matter about the association to ISIL, it matters about the motivation of the individual committing the atrocities.

The convictions these guys have is pretty strong. There's no room for existential self-doubt when about to commit mass murder.

So I think we should begin debates questioning the religious ideals which are motivating these murders.

This madness, which has consumed the world, can only be defeated with the secular idea of free speech.

All religions and religious motivations should be subject to critique and nothing should be off limits.

There is nothing sacrosanct in this world, not even a god.

If we are to push past and to really exercise tolerance, let's tolerate some questions about religious systems, every single one of them.

I really think something as simple as this is the answer.

It's not about coming together, it's not about goodwill, and it's about finding truth.

While Islamic terrorists believe they are on the path of truth and righteousness, let's counteract it with some rational debate which critiques the very seed of their ideas.

Until we do this, ISIL and the other terrorists who try to bring to a head the global caliphate by inspiring fear, will remain strong.

Every ideology, whether religious or political, needs a question mark against its name.

Free speech shines a light on what works and what doesn't, every time.

It's the freedom to question, to scrutinise, to criticise and then to cast as invalid the ideas which don't make sense.

Freedom of speech makes no exception for hurt feelings but does not allow one to physically harm others, which is a criminal offence.



ALMOST everyone has seen Waleed Aly's segment on Islamic State - the original video has had over nine million views and is now the second highest trending topic on Facebook; beat only by the attacks in Paris.

What Waleed has managed to do is create a much-needed conversation, and has made a very good point in his argument - driving all Muslims away from the West gives Islamic State exactly what they want.

Islamic State can only grow in strength if the Western World leaves Muslim people feeling isolated, and that they have nowhere else to turn to.

IS teaches its followers that the Western world hates Muslims and should therefore be crushed.

By writing a prejudiced comment against Islam or sticking a hateful bumper-sticker to the back of your Commodore, you are backing up those claims.

I agree completely with Waleed when he said the Western world should be proving ISIL wrong by accepting Islam in our communities, because why would anyone want to become part of a society that disrespects and even incited hatred against them?

The more we show that we are accepting of the Islamic community and furthermore supportive of the Muslim people, the less strength ISIL's claims have, and the less powerful they will be.

Now is the time for everyone to educate themselves about true Islamic teachings and the relationship between Islam and the west, because the war between ISIL and the rest of the world is one that is based on intolerance and ignorance.

We are only fuelling that deadly fire by remaining ignorant ourselves.

It is easy to voice a strong opinion or fly a flag and put up a brick wall against other perspectives, just as ISIL leaders are doing right now, but a lack of information leads to fear out of ignorance.

I cannot stress this enough; the traditional teachings of Islam do not encourage violence.

Not all Muslims are terrorists and not all terrorists are Muslims.

By believing all followers of Islam are dangerous and should be feared, you are helping your enemy - you are giving them strength.

Do you want to help stop IS in a way that will be much more useful than putting a French flag over your Facebook profile?

Show your acceptance and tolerance for the Muslim community.

Coming together locally, nationally and globally, no matter your religion or beliefs, is the best thing we can do to stop ISIL.

This is an important note.



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