By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Professors explanation of why we shouldnt paint all Muslims with the same brush goes viral again
fbb281b41ac5745bca390285e305fffd628debd46c5dbba428b79ecc3d5ac88f
The Paris attacks have caused some critics to make some sweeping generalizations about Muslims and violence. This video explains why they shouldn't. - photo by Herb Scribner
One year later, a professors call to not paint all Muslims with the same brush stroke is making headlines again.

Back in September 2014, University of California, Riverside, professor Reza Aslan spoke on CNN about how the media sometimes misinforms the public about violence in the Middle East and creates sweeping generalizations about Muslims and Islamic believers.

Aslan said in the interview, for example, that the media will often say that "Muslim countries" create and encourage violence, when in reality it's leaders of countries with high populations of Muslims. And in some cases, Muslim-dominated countries dont always encourage violence.

Aslan also said its unfair to call violent actions like female genital mutilation an "Islamic problem" since it happens in Christian countries, too, like Ethiopia and Eritrea, The Huffington Post reported.

These sweeping generalizations, he said, are unfair to Muslims around the world.

"Islam doesn't promote violence or peace. Islam is just a religion and like every religion in the world it depends on what you bring to it," Aslan said in the video. "If you're a violent person, your Islam, your Judaism, your Christianity, your Hinduism is gonna be violent. There are marauding Buddhist monks in Myanmar slaughtering women and children. Does Buddhism promote violence? Of course not. People are violent or peaceful and that depends on their politics, their social world, the ways that they see their communities."

Though it originally aired last year, this video of Aslan has resurfaced and even trended on social media, earning more than 68 million views overall.

This isn't a coincidence, as the video resurfaced after a wave of attacks in Paris last Friday, which left at least 129 dead and 350 more injured. The Islamic State took credit for the attacks, which has caused some backlash and, as Aslan criticizes in his interview, generalizations against Muslims.

The video, Vox reported, serves as a reminder for people across the United States not to make sweeping generalizations about Muslims for the Islamic State.

"It is true that Islam's text and history might shape how a violent and hateful person channels his hate and violence," Vox reported. "But it is not the case that Islam will make people hateful or make them violent. That might not be an obvious distinction to everyone, but it is a crucial one."

Sign up for our e-newsletters