ISIS has grown exponentially, their recruiting efforts are unlike any other terrorist organization. They have the ability to make teenage girls want to leave their homes and escape to a foreign land to help with their fight. But, what is their fight really about? Spreading their version of ‘true’ Islam? Ridding the world of ‘evil’ and ‘infidels’ and ‘non-believers’?

As a Muslim living in The United States, it is really hard for me to understand what it is ISIS is really trying to achieve. They have hijacked my religion by twisting the words of the Quran so that they fit their own personal needs.

Since ISIS was created, they have killed more Muslims than any other group of people. They have purposely laid out attacks with the sole purpose of murdering innocent Muslim civilians who do not follow their form of Islam. They are destroying and bombing ancient mosques and places of worship for Muslims if they do not fit their standards of worship.

The United Nations has released a 26-page report that describes in detail the ways in which ISIS has killed fellow Muslims. Beheadings, killing of women that object to ISIS’ policies, and Sunni Muslim clerics who refuse to swear allegiance to ISIS.

ISIS’ mission is not about ridding the world of non-believers and infidels. ISIS does not care about any religion, whether you are Christian, Muslim, or Catholic. They want no one to speak up to them about their actions, the biggest group of victims to ISIS related attacks are Muslims. If ISIS believes a Muslim is not following their form of the religion, then they behead that person. To ISIS, everyone is an infidel and a non-believer unless they are following their standards of the religion.

It hurts me as a Muslim to see innocent people being targeted for their beliefs, using Islam as their reasoning for hurting innocent people. Everyone should be free to follow what they want and do what they want without fearing for their lives. But what hurts me even more, is witnessing my religion and true followers of my religion being murdered by people who believe that they are not true followers of the religion.

The Holy Quran states “whoever slays a soul, unless it be for a manslaughter or for mischief in the land, it is as though he slew all men; and whoever keeps it alive, it is as though he kept alive all men” (5:32 Surah Al-Maida)

We are all fighting the same battle, both Muslims and non-Muslims. Once we allow hatred and fear to take over our emotions than ISIS ultimately wins. Their goal is to bridge the divide between individuals of different faiths, we must not allow them to win and come together and prove that tolerance and acceptance will always prevail.