Islamic Violence: it's Your Fault

Great article here, and look where it comes from: India. India has good reason to be concerned about the rising amount of violence throughout Islamdom. Indeed, India is about 10% Muslim, which is a lot of people when you consider the population of the country is over one billion. How long will the umma keep presenting the same lame arguments? How long will the West keep on blaming itself?

Glad to know they are talking about it:

More Muslims need to realise that Islamist terrorists are not simply “misguided” individuals acting on a whim but that they are people who know what they are doing and they are doing it deliberately in the name of Islam.

Judging from much of the Muslim reaction to the latest Islamist outrage — last month’s attempted bombings in London and Glasgow — the community seems to have talked itself into a default position in relation to violent Muslim extremism. The same old arguments are being flogged again betraying an unwillingness to acknowledge either the scale of the problem or its nature. The fear of making the community or Islam look bad has created a strange silence aroun d issues that lie at the heart of the Islamism debate.

Broadly, the Muslim argument is that it is all down to a host of external factors. Top of the list is the western foreign policy, especially with regard to the Palestinian issue, compounded by the invasion and continuing occupation of Iraq. Then there are social and economic reasons such as lack of education and high rate of unemployment in the Muslim community — again attributed to external causes such as racial or religious discrimination.

In other words: don’t blame us; it is all other people’s doing. We are only the victims. As someone who feels the same pressures as other Muslims, I wish this was true. But it isn’t. It not all other people’s doing. We are not just the victims.

I used the term ‘default position’ as an euphemism. There is a more robustly appropriate term, which is being increasingly used to describe the Muslim position: denial. The view that Muslims are in denial of the extent of the problem and their own responsibility in dealing with it is no longer confined to right-wing Muslim-bashers. Even liberal opinion has started to shift.

Appearing on an NDTV panel discussion last week, I was struck by how closely my two distinguished co-panellists — one in New Delhi and the other in Bangalore — stuck to the ‘default’ position. They kept refer ring to “looming images” from Iraq and Palestine; and to the frustration and “anger” bred by American and British foreign policy. There were obligatory references to social deprivation etc., etc. And as for the three Indian doctors suspected to have been behind the London-Glasgow plot, they were simply “misguided” individuals acting alone.

There was much hand-wringing when the anchor underlined the fact that Muslims had been behind all recent acts of terrorism. Yes, it was worrying. Of course, the community condemned any violence committed in the name of Islam, a peaceful religion. And, indeed, there was need for introspection and discussion. But all this was hedged in with so many “ifs” and “buts” that the whole debate seemed like a huge exercise in denial. At least up to the point where I was cut off because the satellite time ran out.

It is the response of a community that sees itself under siege and is irritated that every time a Muslim does something silly it is expected to stand up and apologise. Add to this the prevailing Islamophobia (it is pretty widespread, make no mistake about it), and it is not difficult to understand why Muslims are in this defensive mood. But how long will they continue to shy away from facing the truth? And the truth is that many of their assumptions about the underlying causes of extremism are flawed. Every fresh terrorist attack chips away at the idea that foreign policy and socio-economic factors are the sole drivers of Islamist extremism, making the Muslim default position more untenable.

Read it all Here.


SocietyVs said…
"It is the response of a community that sees itself under siege and is irritated that every time a Muslim does something silly it is expected to stand up and apologise"

I have heard this from a few liberal scholars in Islam also - this critique about denial - and I think they are right. Why can't they just outright call blame to the individuals that did it - which would be true justice. I only hope and pray the Muslim community can awake from this attitude.
Fletcher said…
What surprises (and discourages) me most is that when I talk to Muslims about the source of the violence (Qu'ranic teachings) they flatly deny it, saying "The Qu'ran doesn't teach anything like that." Then, when I actually show them the scriptures or cite some examples, they tell me "that is YOUR interpretation of our holy book, but that isn't what it really means. Besides the Bible is just as bad" (proving ignorance regarding biblical theology and parroting what's popular without critical thought, but that's an entirely different subject).

So you cite the source and most Muslims deny it, because most people are inherently "good hearted", they don't want or like terrorism any more than I do, and since they are emotionally attached to Islam due to their heritage, they'll just say "it doesn't say that." However, when you demonstrate the source scriptures, they then say (this has only happened to me like three times, not like I know a lot of Muslims) they say that I don't know what I am talking about, and that's not what it really means.

So what do you do?
Abu Daoud said…
Fletcher: There are two things you can do.

The first is to go back to Muhammad and mention the many times in his life when he used violence, slaughter, and assasination to further his own goals. It is difficult for them to say that this "perfect man" was not violent because these stries date back to the earliest days of Islam.

The second thing you can do is show them that they are in fact misinterpreting their book. I tell people, "Look, you don't have the right to interpret the Quran. Those says are over, there is no more ijtihaad. Historically the ummah has interpreted these verses as condoning and advocating violence." In other words you show them historically that their interpretation has no grounds.

Finally, some people simply have an idol called Islam. And they love it much more than they love God. And no amount of truth will help.
Fletcher said…
I'd like to have the chance to try these ideas.

What do you think:

1. Muhammad made up the Qu'ran completely to satisfy his own desires, or

2. The "Angel Gabriel" that revealed the Qu'ran was actually the devil masquerading as an angel of light? (2 Cor. 11:14)

.... or both?

Perhaps both. Perhaps the initial revelations were a result of a combination of Muhammad's seizures and spiritual deception... and later came the "convenient revelations".

You think?
Abu Daoud said…
You are asking great questions Fletcher. I don't have a firm opinion on the origin of the Quran. I am guessin there is a combination of factors involved.

I will post some of the hadiith on Muhammad's first "revelation" and you will see how odd and abnormal it is.

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