Apologists often wash their hands off the bad elements of Islam ... quoting how they're not the true muslims. But they still are "a Muslim problem" and need to be handled from within. Just saving the name of Islam won't work.Over the last few months, since the horrific attack on Charlie Hebdo, passionate arguments have been made about how it’s unfair to target the Muslim population in France (and Europe in general) and that it’s not a Muslim problem. There appears to be somewhat of a ‘hand-washing’ attitude that some of the commentators have taken. To suggest that the attack on Charlie Hebdo and similar attacks elsewhere have nothing to with Islam and Islamic fundamentalism is simply a hand-wash and a gross misrepresentation.
No one should forget how religion behaved when it was the know-all and be-all of human society. For centuries, religion quashed freedom of speech and expression and had a totalitarian grip over society. Now, that the virtues of science and enlightenment have transgressed into the jurisdiction of religion, religion has suddenly become so touchy. Since it has had to cede so much authority and space in society, it has been engulfed in a sense of victim-hood. And nowhere is this sense of victim-hood more abundant than in Islamic societies.
Apologists often wash their hands off the bad elements of Islam ... quoting how they're not the true muslims. But they still are "a Muslim problem" and need to be handled from within. Just saving the name of Islam won't work.
Yes, there have been incidents of Christian fundamentalists bombing abortion clinics in the US and Hindu fundamentalists protesting movies and paintings in India. But it just has to be said that they do not pose an existential threat to international peace and also the social dynamics of the countries they operate in. They are universally condemned and legitimate support is almost entirely absent.
However, Islamic societies seem to be antithetical to that. They appear unable to cut the lifelines off these fringe groups. Fundamentalism seems to be becoming the mainstream (or at least the mainstream voice). In poll after poll, an overwhelming majority in Muslim countries support instating Sharia as the law of the land, which prescribes, amongst other things; death for apostasy, death for adulterers, chopping off hands of thieves and not to mentioned, the systematic subjugation of women as inferior beings. There is also the death penalty for insulting the prophet, which is exactly what the Kouachi brothers executed in Paris. In other words, they have tried to impose Sharia in France.
This is fast becoming the trend in Islamic societies with tacit approval of Muslims, from Pakistan to Bahrain, Iran to Egypt. There are massive demonstration on the streets of Cairo in support of the Muslim Brotherhood and demanding the ousting of the liberal, former military chief, President Sisi. Friday sermons in Mosques by local Imams are filled with religious hatred towards “the other” and encouraging people to enter into Jihad for Allah.
And these aren’t just the Mosques in the so-called ‘Muslim’ countries, these are Mosques in our midst. The Saudi and Qatari governments are pumping billions of dollars to propagate the ideas of Wahhabism and Salafism into our societies. Madrassas, supposedly sites for imparting education and morality, have become the seed bed for fundamentalism and violent Jihad. From the Sharia Police on the streets of Paris to the Islamic Defence Group in London, from the nascent caliphate of ISIS in Mesopotamia to the ‘caliphate clubs’ in Sweden and Spain, this is a pernicious trend that has come to define Islam in our times.
Now, apologists will claim these developments to be one-off nut jobs, not representative of the entire community. There is some truth in that. I have many Muslim friends who are equally liberal and open to discussion and change. The problem is, they are too afraid to speak out. They fear violent reprisal and thus are never heard. And that is exactly why it is a “Muslim Problem” that has to be fought from within.
It doesn’t help the fight against these radicals, when we sit in comfortable television studios or in the safety of our homes and say that it has nothing to do with Islam. It has everything to do with Islam and it has to be recognized. Al-Qaida and ISIS do not recruit in the name of Bin Laden or Baghdadi. They recruit in the name of Islam and Jihad.