When I filmed myself burning the Islamic State’s flag I was condemned by Muslims everywhere. The death threats I received from some Muslims were too numerous to count (I’m still receiving them on a semi-daily basis). Why? Because the ISIS flag contains a sacred symbol in Islam: the Shahada (or “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet,” which is meaningless). So?
The fact that the ISIS flag has the Shahada on it is completely irrelevant to the message I was attempting to convey. The flag could’ve had anything else on it, even the image of Isaac Newton, and I would’ve burned it just the same.
By far, however, the most common criticism I received from Muslims was, “That is a symbol of Islam. It doesn’t belong to ISIS.” Well, I counter, this is the image the Islamic State chose to represent them, so if you’re going to be pissed off at someone, be pissed off at the group that stole it from you.
In any case, I think I’ve come up with a solution. Using my rudimentary photoshop skills, I’ve removed the Shahada from the ISIS flag and replaced it with a message about ISIS on which we can all agree. I take back the Islamic flag and return it to non-violent Muslims. In its place, dear ISIS, please adopt this flag instead: