The attack on Christians in Pakistan and the murder of the missionaries in Yemen has once again refocused the world's attention on the problem of "Islamic extremism" in the Muslim world. These two words are commonly offered as the succinct explanation for every instance of Muslim violence, whether it is the simplistic criminality of Abu Sayyaf or the independence struggle of the Chechen mujahideen. While this conflation of legitimate struggles for self-determination and freedom with acts of terror such as September 11 and Bali has delegitimised otherwise legitimate struggles, it also obfuscates attempts to understand the true causes of the violence and the solutions. The very subjectivity of this notion of "Islamic extremism" means that it is left ill-defined.
The defining feature that distinguishes the Islamic movements from the terrorist organizations is that the latter attacks non-combatant civilians; thus transgressing the laws set down by the Prophet (1) that prohibit attacking non-combatants. Even though some groups that claim to be Islamic may carry out such attacks, and even though there are some scholars who might permit such attacks, the irrefutable fact remains that the Prophet (1) made the prohibition on targeting non-combatants a non-negotiable feature of this religion.
The explanation most frequently offered in the West for such behavior is that of the ideological malady of "extremism". It is, of course, true that there is a strong ideological dimension to the contemporary terrorist groups: they invariably lack a proper understanding of Islamic law and have little contact with the Islamic scholars. However to limit the cause of terrorism to ideology, is to ignore reality.
It is a commonality of most all manifestations of extremist thought that it appears in environments that are politically or economically unstable . Extremist thought, and the terrorist behavior that flows on from it, is a reaction to external factors and not a proactive impulse.
The crucible of extremism is the belief that something is wrong - whether in reality or in perception. Whenever a person finds himself in a situation which he cannot possibly accept, he unconsciously seeks to resolve that situation by reacting in opposition to it. As the driving forces become stronger, so the reaction becomes stronger. If the opposing force is strong enough or escalates far enough, then the reaction may become one of radicalism and violence.
Most contemporary Islamic extremist movements have their empirical origins in the jails of Gamal Abdel Nasser. When the Muslim Brotherhood began making progress politically, posing a threat to Nasser's Arab Nationalist governance, Nasser began imprisoning and torturing the Muslim Brotherhood members and their families en masse. When they were released from prison, often after having witnessed atrocities committed on the female members of their family, many became violent and that violence was initially directed at the police who had been their torturers and imprisoners. These people went one to reject the method of peaceful socio-political reform favored by the Muslim Brotherhood, instead breaking away and resorting to violent means of 'reform'.
As the government cracked down further on the movements, the circle of legitimate targets widened to include anyone who worked for the government, including school teachers and nurses. Finally, the violence escalated to the horrific crescendo witnessed in the 1990s with the murder of the tourists at Luxor; the justification being that a fall in tourism would hurt the government. Ayman al-Zawahiri, right-hand man of Osama bin Laden and widely regarded as the brains behind September 11, is a graduate of this movement.
The suppression of democratic freedoms is a characteristic of most all Muslim countries. In 1992, Algerian elections were cancelled when it looked certain the Islamic opposition party was set to win. The Algerian army, backed by the French, brutally put down a popular uprising, escalating the violence into a civil war that left thousands dead. In the same year, the Turkish army overthrew the democratically elected Refah government when it became apparent that they would not toe the rabidly atheistic line demanded by Kemalism.
The anti-Western sentiment that permeates the Muslim world and the violence that is so often directed at Westerners can only be understood in this framework. As much as the West may impugn the Islamic world for not producing a fully-functioning democracy, such analysis overlooks the fact that the only real opposition to these despotic regimes is often the Islamists themselves. It is only through the military and economic support for the West, particularly America, that these bunker regimes can continue to brutally oppress their people with impunity. For Muslims in these societies, when their governments strangle their freedoms, they see American hands inside Muslim gloves.
The "War on Terror" cannot be won unless war is also declared on the oppression that Muslims endure from their governments throughout the so-called Muslim world. Anti-Western terrorism and sentiment will not abate until Western support and strengthening of these regimes ends. Until then, the world would do well to remember the ominous words of the poet Auden: "I and the public know, what every school child learns. Those to whom evil is done, do evil in return."
Source: A True Word
Commentary. William Pesek Jr. is a columnist for Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are his own.
By William Pesek Jr.
Tokyo, Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- President George W. Bush should be applauded, and loudly, for his about-face on HIV/AIDS. It could just be the most important thing he'll do for the global economy as U.S. president.
On the issue of HIV/AIDS, Bush has impressed me. The world, least of all the wealthy U.S., still isn't doing enough to halt its spread. But there was a message behind Bush's sudden commitment to ``turn the tide against'' HIV/AIDS by tripling U.S. funding to a record $15 billion: He finally gets it.
By Justin Baer
New York, Feb. 4 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks fell for the first day in three. Financial shares led the decline after American International Group Inc., the world's largest insurer, wrote off $1.8 billion to add to reserves.
newspaper, newsweekly, newsmonthly, and college
newspaper and magazine in the world. Extremism and terrorism can only gain a foothold when people are ignorant of the true facts. The United Nations Development Report shows how the greedy, powerful "leaders" in Abab nations are holding down the one thing that will set their people into living happy lives...FREEDOM!!!! The pure Islam of Mohammad is a GOOD THING...he was fair to all his followers and to women. I pray that Islam and the West can become brothers and sisters IN TRUTH & LOVE.
but they do not have Gods law, like we do so called abdulwahab
the kufr will not get such a punishment as violent evil muwafaqeen that do these horrible killings in Allahs name and in the name of the prophet and Islam.
Those who support these ideas will see the fire, change your ways or suffer Allahs wrath. I look forward to looking on your crusader warmongering lot from heaven while you burn for your Haram. Islam is about patience and a soft heart, not violence and revenge. WE must make them stop their actions and protect are own.
To maintain a system where Allah is sovereign it is very important that the judicial system has to be free from those who make laws.
I think that is an interesting comparisan to the Sharia, I like it. I doubt anyone is hiding the Supreme courts roots however, the system was develop out of the Briticsh system which in turn may have been influenced by the Islamic system, therefore I don't think anyone realizes its roots, and I don't think western leaders would be embarassed nor care as to the roots of the system, but again I do like the idea, you cut right to the point
I found your comments on this article and on the comparison of Shurah to democracy to be very thought provoking. I would like to inquire: I feel that in the democratic process the Shurah is emulated visa vis the Supreme Court. Unfortunately for the democratic process, the Courts in the United States have been politicized by the appointments of the president (and the political arm wringing of Congress during confirmation) and have been stripped of their regulatory power. So as the job of the Shurah is to declare potential laws Islamic or Un-Islamic, so too is the job of the Supreme Court to declare laws constitutional or otherwise. This is something the American Government goes to great lengths to hide, especially with respect to Iran, which incorporates this process (with mixed results) in its political system. It would also be embarrassing for Western political leaders to note that one of the cornerstones of Western political function has roots in the Islamic style of governance. Your thoughts?
Don't think of revenge,
As Muslims we avoid revenge but rather fix a problem so that it will not happen again
This is not the Muslim path.
Mohamad PBH forgave the Quareshi
who had commited nameless crimes against himself
and God's people. He forgave them and many converted. But he still tore down their social system and replaced it. He would have fought and even killed the Qureshi if necessary to do this but not for revenge but rather to bring about God's true order.
Think of secular nationalism as an age of ignorance like the Qureshi are job is not to kill them or wreck vengenous but rather to bring God's order and to punish crimes, in order to deter those punished and those who might do the same.
If you cant even express yourself without any respect for others, you're going get knocked down hard. Think it over in your trailer.
The thought of my sweet Muslim sisters, who should be treated with tenderness, love, and be given every comfort for their happiness, instead being gang raped in front of there family and in prison cells, puts me in a state of anger that I cannot put into words.
May Allah provide unlimited rewards to all my sisters who have suffered, I WISH I WAS THERE FOR YOU, TO PROTECT YOU!!!
I can only pray that one day Allah will put me in a place where I will have my vengeance on behalf of my sisters. I will gladly tear apart the bodies of those mujremeen (criminals)......slowly and a small piece at a time!!
If you don't agree with Mr. Hale's opinions then provide a basis as to why he is wrong. This may require a bit of research on your part, but it will work much better than calling him imbred and simply saying he is a racist. If he is wrong about what he says than you are doing him a great injustice by making him believe he is right. When someone insults someone else because of their opinion it makes them think they are correct, since a better arguement was not provided. Noone on here is 100% correct in their opinions, nor 100% in agreement but that is why we talk.
Where were educated little mike ? Bob Jones University perhaps.....or Jerry Falwell's cellar ?
I think this again points to the problem. The real root of most problems in the world are economic, or of leaders trying to impose western nationalist philosophies on people in their lands regardless of ethnicity. The treatment by the nationalist colonials on the Arabs and the treatment of the Jews by nationalistic Germans leads to the flawed idea that you are different and that you are better and that they are oppressing you because of that.
The irrational belief (that I see here from Arabs, Muslims, zionists and Nationalistic Americans are) that you are better, that your culture can do know wrong is snowball like in affect. You will cause those you dislike to like themselves more and hate you more at the same time. This is how Abdul Nasser's prisons gave fire to Islamic Nationalism
And like Amin, I find every government in the Middle East to be a detriment to peace in the world.
Is the solution for the Muslim and Non-Muslim world to separate themselves totally? Segregate the societies completely? Draw a line at a border and say no Muslims past this point, that all Non-Muslims cannot enter? Commerce must stop, foreign aid must stop?