Conventional wisdom tells us that Muslims who commit acts of violence are acting on their own impulses and for their own complex and misguided reasons. Yet I don’t think this is the whole story. What is missing from the complete picture is the inconvenient truth that by waging jihad and murdering civilians, as occurred in the attacks in Paris and on the beaches of  Tunisia, these individuals are not actually operating outside the boundaries of Islamic tradition.

My own experience with self-loathing came as a nagging feeling which initially I could not name. The lack of a name to that feeling translated into the lack of a definition and lack of recognition. It simply became ‘that’ feeling, whose voice should be silenced at all costs before it grew louder and threatened the integrity of my faith.