Most Americans have probably never heard of Waleed Aly. But the handsome Muslim newsman is a big celebrity in his native Australia. Aly is the host of a very popular show, “The Project.” He also co-hosts Network 10 News.
Aly addressed the Paris attacks on his TV show, and called on people around the world to refuse giving ISIS (or as he refers to them, “ISIL”) what they want: a war between Muslims and non-Muslims. In a brilliant commentary, Aly explains — often using words taken from ISIS leaders and the publications the group uses to spread its propaganda — that the terrorists want non-Muslims to hate, not just ISIS, but all Muslims. He says that one of the goals of ISIS is World War III, which they see as the final war before the apocalypse.
The commentary begins with words that might amaze some in the wake of the brutal murders in Paris. “ISIL is weak,” Aly says. “I know it doesn’t look like that right now, but it’s the truth. And they don’t want you to know it.”
Aly goes on to point out that the terrorists don’t want westerners to know that the territory they control was seized from “weak enemies.” He says they also don’t want the public to know that they are being devastated by air strikes, and that they recently lost a large chunk of the territory they control. Aly states that one goal of the group is to get you to fear them, and that they don’t want you to know that “they would quickly be crushed if they ever faced a proper Army on a battlefield.”
Aly’s wife, Australian academic, and Muslim convert Susan Carland, has also been speaking out against ISIS. In her own excellent commentary, Carland has this to say:
ISIS are no friends to Muslims, by any stretch of the imagination, and so it’s really important that we never fall into the trap of thinking this is about Muslims against other people or anything like this.
This is about a very, very problematic group that is trying to set themselves up against the rest of the world, and to say that all Muslims are with them, nothing could be further from the truth.
Society tearing itself apart is actually one of the intended outcomes of terrorist attacks done by ISIS; this is what they want. ISIS have openly spoken about wanting to eliminate the grey area; they want a world that is black and white, that is us and them, that is good and evil as far as they define it.
A flourishing, pluralistic society is the last thing ISIS want to see and so, in times like this, we all have to make the choice about whether we retreat into fear and anger and blaming or whether we actively choose to come together and say we will not allow this to pull us apart because that is part of the goal. It is a political tactic that is part of their approach and we can never let those be the people who define us as individuals or as a community.
Just days before the attacks last week, Carland announced that she would be donating $1 to UNICEF for every hateful, anti-Muslim tweet she received. By Friday morning she announced she had already donated $1,000. Since Friday evening, that total has probably risen astronomically.
Here is Waleed Aly’s commentary on ISIS, via YouTube:
Featured image via YouTube screen capture