In fact, Washington state’s source for its proclamations about Islam is rather peculiar. The infographic cites “Swedish Nomad,” a published by a “Professional Travel Blogger and Photographer from Sweden.” He is also very much a non-Muslim.
Relying on non-Muslims to explain “true Islam” to the world on behalf of Muslims everywhere is enormously helpful to the non-violent Islamists. These may spout hatred behind closed doors, but they too offer these infographic-themed platitudes in front of the cameras. This distances them from the jihadists and legitimizes them as examples of “true Islam.”
By denying the diversity of Islamic thought and speaking only of a dichotomy featuring true Muslims on one side and ISIS on the other, politicians and government officials homogenize Islam, making it impossible to separate moderate Muslim partners from the dangerous Islamist networks that operate lawfully within the “true Islam” of Western Muslim communities. This obfuscates counter-extremism and counter-terror work and hurts efforts by Muslim reformists to challenge Islamist influence within their own communities.