Islam is not the enemy

Sharing experiences – Santiago Campos

During our week in Malaga at the training ‘Islam is not the Enemy’ I’ve acquired, through the clever application of the Erasmus + structure, the means to critically approach a topic as delicate as islamic radicalization. Not only that but we dealt with the prejudices surrounding Islam that have developed because of the application of the Sharia law, i.e. the more aggressive and violent use of the religion, making Sharia law not islam itself but an alternative application independently responsible for the crimes some tend to associate with Islam.
Islam as such, transcends the religion. It’s not only people but a culture. One that was pervaded all other cultures. Hindsight, Mexican gastronomy is heavily inspired by food developed within the Islamic culture.

Most importantly, we (during our training and participation in the project) realized how easy is to fall into strong, but rather mistaken suppositions. Through debates, games, and personal activities we challenged our misconceptions regarding any sort of people so that we could later manage to create a critical assessment of the way we view Islam with the goal of separating it as a religion from the people believing in it, as they are common individuals with more than a religious identity that develop their lives in many other contexts. Most of them never having anything to do with extremism, most of them actually being as common as any other individual.
Finally, as the Belgium team, we come back to our home city of Brussels with the desire to spread our new critical tools to prevent, at our individual level, any type of stigma we see and catch on its way to offending an innocent citizen. Additionally, as a Latin American Association, we’re happy to have partaken in this training as it does give me and my team new tools to reconsider the stance of other stigmatized groups in Latin America, e.g. the migrant caravan.

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