Addressing Challenges to Islam

Category: Asia, Faith & Spirituality, Life & Society Topics: Islam Views: 5037

Recently, over 900 or so Muslim scholars and theologians gathered at Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital, to ask a simple question: what is the role of Islam in the era of globalization? 

This was a star-studded occasion with many prominent religious and political figures from over 70 Muslim countries across the globe. The participants heard 22 papers and sat through some 36 hours of debate spread over three days. 

One theme ran through most of the papers and much of the debate: the Muslim world, ridden by internecine feuds and conflicts with the West, is in deep crisis. It was clear that most participants regarded the Muslim world as a victim of injustice, misunderstanding, and unfair propaganda. Many lashed out against the "Islamophobia" that is supposed to be growing in the West with tacit encouragement from powerful lobbies in Washington.

Each time it was necessary to take a clear position; for example on terrorism and suicide bombing, the delegates weaseled out with the help of demagogic pirouettes.

Despite some attempts, notably by Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammed, at focusing the debate on concrete issues, the conference drifted into the uncertain seas of obfuscation where conspiracy theories make waves and dead souls assume the captaincy of phantom vessels.

The central question posed by the conference is both valid and in need of urgent treatment. The so-called "global world" is a Western, mainly American construct, in the shaping of which Muslims have played no part. 

In practice, the "global" idea could go in many different directions, a better one of which is becoming an instrument for providing the economically and militarily weaker societies with the means not only to survive but also to strengthen their identity in the context of a pluralist world. 

Islam should look into its historic, cultural, and intellectual resources to find, and use energies needed either to offer an alternative model or to become an active participant in developing the one proposed by the West. The choice is not between being an object of globalization or its enemy.

Verbal rejection

The mere verbal rejection of globalization, while accepting all its imperatives in practice, is a sign only of intellectual laziness. To try to challenge it by violent action, without competing with it in the field of ideas, amounts to decadent formalism, of which we saw an example in the September 11, 2001, attacks by Al Qaida. 

There we had action presented as a substitute for thought in the manner of Voltaire's bug. (That bug, annoyed by the tick-tock of the clock, committed suicide by jumping at it, stopping the "infernal machine" for a fraction of a second.)

Any serious debate on where Islam is today and where it needs to be tomorrow must start with an end to the demagogic blame game. Some speakers put the blame on the usual suspects of modern Islamic mythology: the Crusaders, the Orientalists, the Imperialists, the Zionists, the Communists, the liberals, the secularists, and so on. 

They did not realize that by identifying any of those usual suspects as author of the Islamic predicament they were absolving generations of Muslim intellectual and political leaders of their share of responsibility. 

They were not prepared even to discuss the tragic failure of such supposedly "Islamic" systems as we have witnessed in Iran, the Sudan and Afghanistan (under the Taliban) in the past three decades.

Others, including Mahathir, introduced a new whipping boy: the ulema (theologians). But they ignored the fact that the ulema have been as much the victims of despotism in Muslim countries as any other social stratum. Saddam Hussain's system was not created by the ulema.

The Iraqi dictator killed thousands of clerics and virtually destroyed the theological centers of learning in Iraq. The Taliban were semi-literate peasants who slaughtered the traditional ulema of Afghanistan. Even in Iran, the ulema have suffered more than any other social group.

Today, there are more mullahs and students of theology in prison in Iran than any other social group. As for the Sudan, the ruling military junta has never allowed the ulema any share in power. A case could be argued that the tragedies the Muslim world has suffered in the past 150 years were a result not of any action by the ulema, but of despotism in which the military, the self-styled peddlers of Western ideologies, such as nationalism and Communism, and sections of the urban middle classes, were in the driving seat. 

The ulema may come up with any number of ideas and concepts that one might find wrong, weird or even dangerous. But the way to counter them is in the marketplace of ideas.

Once we have set aside the blame game we should acknowledge the existence of politics, economics, and ethics as domains distinct from that of theology. This does not mean atheism, or even secularism, as some self-styled defenders of Islam claim. 

Nor does it mean that theology cannot, or should not, make its own intellectual contribution to those domains. What it means is that political, economic, and ethical issues cannot be defined, analyzed, understood, and answered in purely theological terms.

The denial of those distinct domains has enabled despots and demagogues of various ideological shades to invent a theopolitical discourse that prevents any rational discussion of the problems the Muslims face today.

Theopolitical discourse

Once we have set aside the theopolitical discourse we could acknowledge the distinction between Islam as a faith, and Islam as an existential reality. This would enable us to subject Islam, as an existential reality-that is to say the way it is practiced and lived-to rational and systematic criticism aimed at discovering its weaknesses and suggesting ways to correct them. In that way any critique of the way we live as Muslims can no longer be condemned as a critique of Islam as a faith and thus presented as a religious dividing line.

The tragic irony is that classical Islam did recognize the existence of domains distinct from theology. It was this recognition that enabled several generations of Muslim scholars to dig into the Greek, Persian, and Indian philosophical and cultural heritage in order to enrich Islamic thought.

The theopolitical discourse that is designed to limit freedom of thought and expression in the Muslim world is a new phenomenon developed by a small number of militant thinkers influenced by Western totalitarian ideologies, especially Communism and Fascism.

In that sense, the challenge that most Muslim peoples face today is a political, rather than religious one. It is perfectly possible for Muslims to develop a modern and democratic society in the era of globalization. But to do that they have to understand that religion is part of life, not the other way around as the theopolitical discourse suggests.

The confernciers of Kuala Lumpur, probably afraid of incurring the wrath of demagogues, missed an opportunity to lead the debate in that direction. 

The writer, Iranian author and journalist, is based in Europe. 


  Category: Asia, Faith & Spirituality, Life & Society
  Topics: Islam
Views: 5037

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Older Comments:
TO Amani,
Salam Alaykum,
there are beautiful Tafsirs that can expalin to you, your doubts(example: Ibn KAthir, Sayyed Quttab,..etc) you can find some of the tafsirs in, to my Knowledge , Allah mentions Mohammed (pbuh) in the Quraan but Mohammed has heaven names ( Ahmmed, Mustafa,...etc) these are the names that are mentioned not Mohammed. To the other comment, it is not many people appointing but it is Allah who is appointing, in Arabic they use the word We because he is greater than 'I' i.e greater than any creation. In french they can use vous ( 'you' for group of number of people) to a single person instead of 'tou'(for single) when they want to show a sign of respect.

To toby,

I am amazed at your statements, you do not have the slightest idea of what Islam is and its history. I have seen your posts in this website,and although I am encouraged at the fact you came to visit a Muslim website, I advice to read more about what Islam teaches and the history of Islam.

I am shocked by your understanding of history, especially living here in the USA. May I remind you that the native Americans in this country and the whole continents of the Americas have been massacred to almost extinction by your fellow Christians and with the direct support of your clergy from many denominations. The continent of Africa has suffered a great deal since the Christian Europeans ravaged their lands and their people. The aboriginis of Australia have been almost extinct all due to cruel hunts from European Christians. Muslims have been massacred, their bodies desecrated by European Christians for centuries. It is hard to find a people or a nation that has not been attacked by European Christians, yet you charge Muslims of being bloody?

Please, travel more around the world and learn first hand from the natives of those countries of what your fellow co-religionists have done around the world.

Salaam Alaykum

It is important to look at Toby's case, he is either arguaing for the sake of argument ( the Qur'an states not to waste your time with them) but if he truly feels this way about Islam than it is our faults for not representing the truth, what He talks about is unfortnualty is set in some of the minds of some moslims who forgot that Allah is the most compassionate the All Merciful. We can not live our lives with ruling with justice only like some muslims or former puritans a do, blowing up the world thinking that Justice is all important. If Allah ruled by total justice we will all go to hell! it is only from his Rahma that we go into heaven. If Allah gives mercy to all his creatures you have to respect that fact but no! there are some of us who don't understand Islam and say only moslims go to heaven, they forgot that the Qu'raan said to the new Moslims that they should call themselves Moslims only and not Mumins (beleivers) at fist. We are not Christians in the means that we go to heaven only if we accept Jesus as our lord and saviour because Allah brings any of creatures to him if he wants to, so to those Moslims thinking that they are the only ones going to Heaven, their arrogrance fills the air with a stink that poisions the minds of the youth! how dare you belittle Allah! any one can beleive in Allah if he reads to Qur'aan or not. Islam has been misrepresented for so long that even our prophet is called a false prophet! you either accept the truth, represent, love all your moslim brothers and sisters whether they are sufi, sunni, shia ( most of them follow the sharia and Aquida) . Our time is coming and no one should act with violence! we wait like everyone else is waiting, we have no Khalifa to call on Jihad so don't claim yourself to be one and declare it verilly Allah is all seeing and all Knowing.

and I ask Allah to cover my sins from this conversation.

I disagree with top on idea that the politics is the problem not relegion, I don't think there is enough people who truley want Allah in their lives. I clearly disagree with him that one should not rotate there life around God, if he meant that God=relegion. I know that Iran has strictt rules but from my understanding from the information I recieve from the News which I don't vompletly beleive is that the younger Iranies want freedom from God, the rather live in illusions than except the diet that has been prescribed for them. I do agree that the Ulammah have to 'chill' and let the flow go by allowing there minds to journey to the core of the soule where the Rah of Allah is found, basically alot of them have a lack of inner wisdom.

For Toby....."The one true God is Jehovah whose name was written in scripture.." - FYI, Muslim believed in One God (ALLAH). Same God as Adam, Abraham, Moses and other prophets b4 Muhammed. ALLAH is arabic word meaning to GOD. The unique of this name is when someone mention ALLAH, everybody knows - the only one GOD (no other GOD but ALLAH). But when someone mention god, its does not mean to one god - its universal. GOD in Christian (trinity concept) GOD in Hindu (more than one god). ALLAH having 99 names. Evidence? - take a look at your both palm. U will see the sign of like this = /I (left) + I/ (right). This is Arabic number that mean, /I = 81 + I/ = 18 equals to 99.(Pls check on your own what His other names).

"If you believe in the scriptures you have to believe in His name that He called Himself" - Muslim only believed on the original and authentic scriptures. Which scripture is authentic for u? Gospel? In the Early centuries, only a few of the vast numbers of Gospel were proclaimed official, or canonic by Church. In spite many points on which Church dont agree has been ordered to be concealed; 'Apocrypha'. Then are u really sure you are base on authentic source?

"..Muhammed may have had some good ideas.." - mmmm I think u r not do a study on who is he? Pls make your research now base on muslim books not from what u read inside your paper or your book.

"Those who follow after God will progress spiritually and wealth. The US has done this for years.....But even America has begun to fail in its moral values.." - What u mean by this Toby? If US really follow after God then your moral values should not be affected. But currently, church accept Gay as your preacher because Bible did not mention Gay is wrong.Did God bring this problem to u? This problem created by your people. Whoever changed the scripture then problem will rise one by one because u not follow what the truth of God said.

If donno nothing about true of Islam, pls find it ou

I have a problem which disturbed me for many years which is , in the Holy Quaran there is no Aya which stated clear that ALLAH gave himeself( that is speaking for himself ) Moham.that `i give you this prophecy',surely NO at all, while from 10-14 Surat Taha(20)Allah said to MOSES that `i gave you the prophecy,also in the Surat Al Aaraf 7:144 Allah speaks for himself,
Question is, why NO any ayat states that "Mohammad i give you this Prophecy".
In 2:97 Gibril faced the mohamm,but why Allah not speaks for himself for this serious issue of appointing his prophet?.
In 4:79,the first word of this aya means, there were many people who participated in appointing Mohammad to be a Prophet, Also at the end of this Aya ,allah was there for witnessing,so here the Question is, the main activity of allah is Appointing his prophet or Witnessing people selecting Mohham?
Please help me to clear this doubt.


Toby, it's not Jehovah, it's YHWH. The J is like a Y and the v is like a double-U, as pronounced in German. Also, you might consider softening up on the vowels, in order to pronounce it more "Semetically" - if one's Germanic heritage might permit one to do so - and I may not know much but I might know that much.

Thanks for your earlier comments on the "blood atonement" stuff. Would you say you have any opinion on the concept of Elohim - that you might feel like sharing?

Peace be with you
--Yahya Bergum

Whoa Toby! You really need help, man.Get out of that basement for heaven sake.

Muslim used to be wealthy and prosperous under the rule of caliphs especially under Umar Abdul Aziz.What was the European did that time? Chased the evil witches? The Jews? In their usual favorite position, clinged on the (who ever rule the country) garbs.

btw, get your jehovah out of here before somebody flame you.


Asalamu Alaikum,
I loved reading the article. It was just another confirmation that Muslims throughout the world will continue being leashed and gaged for eternity by the demagogues of their respective countries, despotic leaders and sheepish Ulama alike. I still do remember what I was told by a friend of mine while we were debating the topic of the socieltal decay which many of our Muslim nations have been immersed in for centuries now.

He stated that one Arab leader advised that in order for any other leader to stay in power and have his people do what he tells them to do is to drive them hungry. In other words, he said, "if you want your citizens to follow you, do what you do to your dog, and that is always make them need you for food. This way, you will never have a problem." Obviously, this is what we see today throughout the Arab World especially. Our masses are being manipulated and pinned against one another; besides, they live in sheer indigence while they float on seas of oil and gas.

It seems that everyone desires to acquire as much of the survival elements as possible while being oblivious to the big dangers around them. Materialism has utterly blinded almost every one of our Muslim brothers and sisters although we do know that people in the West suffer all sorts of problems in spite of their wealth. I believe that the problematic matter here is not one of religion; it is social and cultural. People have drifted away from their true beliefs. They have become intolerant and most of all insatiable. I believe that too many "hands spoil the broth"; and that is exaclty what the Ulamaa are doing. Everyone of them is interpreting our faith the way he sees fit under the big control of the country's leader or leaders. The solution is closer than we think; however, we keep choosing to make it diffcult of access.

I believe that the corrupt leaders must go today before tomorrow and the Ulamaa do their job right or leave. Enough of hypocrisy.

Parves brother and my muslim bros and sis,

AsalaamuAlaikum, yes what you suggested inorder to bring unity is true.... We badly need an islamic state (islamic khelafat) where all muslim countries will be one, regardless of the difference in their languages,nationality,skin colour,etc etc.... under Islamic teachings. The ummah really needs that and I hope one day Insha'Allah we will be able to establish it.
It is not easy, but insha'Allah by the help of Almighty Allah we can do it. It is upon each and every individual muslim to participate in this effort. We must educate our families, friends, communities to leave the small differences behind and join each other and love each other for the sake of Allah(swt) and His deen (religion) Al-Islam. We must start from now. So lets be like brothers and sisters and forget the differences we have and get united and hold firm the rope of this beautiful religion Al-islam and be united.

Walikum Salaam
Your sister in Islam

Toby must be on some serious crack to think Islam is a backward religion. Sounds like a typical trailer park denizen hopped up on armegeddon fantasies.
Get it straight loser, you're the one whose backward, thats why you're hated the world over for murdering innocent men, woman and children in the name of your imperial objectives.

To Muz,
The one true God is Jehovah whose name was written in scripture long before Muhammed wrote the Quaran. In Exodus 6:3 He calls His name Jehovah. He was not known as Alla. God also called Himself the I Am. I Am That I Am He told Moses. If you believe in the scriptures you have to believe in His name that He called Himself. Muhammed changed scripture for his own benefit just like so many other false prophets through the ages. To truly live a holy life we have to go back to the beginning and follow God's rules and not some one who comes along centuries later and suddenly has a NEW revelation from God. Muhammed may have had some good ideas but most of them he stole from the original writings of the prophets and then added some words of his own to attempt to make it acceptable. He was just like John Smith of the Mormon church. He did not accept the Jews and therefore started his own religion in the guise of holiness. He may have been sincere in his own mind but he greatly erred from the truth of the one true God who is Holy. God embraces all humanity but has strict rules as to acceptance in the family of God. He says to be Holy as I am Holy. How is islam holy according to the Qaran? It inspires men to take innocent blood which is contrary to the original law of God. God is a very strict God and does not permit men to stray from His law without suffering the consequences. I have stated many times that history and the scriptures are the very proof of a Godly nation. Those who follow after God will progress spiritually and wealth. The US has done this for years (not necessarily our government but its citizens). The churches of America have done more to advance the principals of Gods love in its missionary programs than any other country.
But even America has begun to fail in its moral values, but I pray God Almighty will still save a remnant, as He always did in times past, to carry on His Holy work. If Islam ruled the world all non-believers would be killed.

The quotes "we should acknowledge the existence of politics, economics, and ethics as domains distinct from that of theology" very much explain the basic understanding of the author regarding Islam. The domain, politics, economics and the ethics is well defined in Islam. These have already been tested in the anvil of history. The evils of man-made political, economical & ethical thinking have started to come and the world will see that it will not make a long history. The downfall of Communism is not a distant history. At it's invent the people like you considered it to be the best arrow in their posseson. The situation may have been worsened due to misunderstanding the Islamic The Quran/Philosophy and the Islamic Tradition(Hadith), hence, the muslim community may be blamed. But you can not blindly certify the European think tanks and put all blames on Islam. Thanks

I read this article with an open mind. I was thinking that this author had some direction to give to the faliures of the ulema in KL. But it was disappointing in the end he betrays himself.
We need to go beyond discussing what is wrong and start thinking of taking small steps.
First thing is of course Unity unless we at least start towards this we cannot begin this journey.
Im not talking about the unity of heads of state etc. We have seen that we cannot expect much out of them.
We need unity of masses. We can agree on common steps that we need to take so that all muslims around the world foucs on that regardless where they are. For obvious reasons these cant be outright political reasons.
First we need to ensure that the Religon is free from the state. I think we can all agree on this.
The ban on head scarves in Turkey, The egyptian govt requrieng all the mosques to give the same govt approved kutba in Juma. We need to organise a popular movement against this attacks on Islamic Identity.
Im welcome to suggestions on this. Lets start here.

Especially to Toby from USA,

U said,"...The word of the prophets teaches us to live in peace with all people for all men are God's creation and therefore are to be judged by God.." .- U r correct! but, How we can live in peace when some people didnt believe on TRUE PROPHET and TRUE GOD then try to ruin and manipulated the truth to untruth? This the people who r caused the problem not the believer. Think about it!

"..The law has the authority to take life not some idiot individual who says he is a servant of alla.." - Yes, but What suppose to do when law (man made) not FAIR to those individual? and What must they do when nobody listening to their problem except muslim?.. your suggestion pls.

"God created all men and He alone has the right to judge." - 100% CORRECT!

"Islam should stop trying to terrorize and rule the world.." - who was tried to terrorize and rule IRAQ/Palestine now?. "..and learn that God is the true ruler of our lives.." FYI, muslim already know it since 1400 years ago. Anyhow which god u refer too? Which GOD?

"...Only those who truly live according to God's teachings will be allowed into God's presence.." also 100% correct but how sure u are already lived in the true belief and according to God's teachings? How Sure U r the servant of the true God?

Dear Toby, my advise to u is Study the truth of ISLAM first, then u will know WHO IS RIGHT and WHAT IS WRONG..........(hopefully the truth of light upon with u)

It is nice that the author seems to sincerely want to improve our situation. I wish to side, however, with those who say that serving the cause of Allah should be our first priority. Insha'Allah I will have correctly phrased the preceding sentence before submitting this comment.

Islam speaks for itself. It is a backward religion that has no place for modernization. It refuses to live in the present but only in the past. Progress is a part of life in which God intended. He wanted man to prosper spiritually, in health and in wealth. Islam promotes poverty except for a chosen few. It also promotes violence against all non-muslims and therefore threatens world peace. Islam has no place in the future of the civilized world unless it learns the true meaning of peace. Christians or Zionists are not threatening Islam, Islam threatens all other religions. Muslims live in peace without prejudice in the US and other countries, but Christians in a Muslim nation are constantly threatened by idiotic muslim extremists who have no faith in alla or the one true God, Jehovah. Islam is a religion of no respect for the word of God and only use it to promote hatred for other religions and wish to eradicate them from the world. This is not in the word of God at all. Not even in the writings of the prophets which Islam pretends to embrace. The word of the prophets teaches us to live in peace with all people for all men are God's creation and therefore are to be judged by God. The only time we are commanded to take life is when someone sheds innocent blood. The word says his blood will be required at man's hand. The law has the authority to take life not some idiot individual who says he is a servant of alla. He is only a criminal and therefore destined to hell fire. God created all men and He alone has the right to judge a man according to his choice of religion, Christianity, Hindu, Islam or other. Islam should stop trying to terrorize and rule the world and learn that God is the true ruler of our lives. God will have the last word and if men are judged according to their deeds then Islam extremists will not make Heaven. Only those who truly live according to God's teachings will be allowed into God's presence.

as-salaamu alaykum,

we are reactionary instead of being proactive. we only respond to western pressure and we need to take the iniative to control our own lives. we cannot do it while disunited. Brotherhood-that is what is missing today and what made us strong in the past.

i disagree with the author that some disciplines are not within the bounds of the religion. they are within but not subject to the religion. these disciplines form a part of Islam. the author falls into the trap of seperating and the dividing the life of the Muslim into competing divisions that will conflict. the more appropriate approach is to see all of them as a whole and complementary.

The author offers valid points, but makes many comments that do not support Quran. Of course there are direct actions, as well as conspiracies, targeting Muslims throughout the world. For instance Bush is recommending one of the most well-know Islamophobes,Daniel Pipes, to a council on "Peace". In the U.S. brothers are being detained on 'secret evidence' and organizations that do charity work are being targeted as 'terrorist groups'. But what are Muslims doing about it? Muslim do not have to all agree on how it will be done, but we do have to stand unified on something, and that is Allah, Quran, and Prophet Muhammed (saw). We are only talking, we are not doing anything about the conditions we are in. We blame others (non-Muslim) or we blame each other (Muslims) but either way we are not doing anything against the imposition of 'globalization' (western ideas). Allah does not change the condition of people until they change what is in their hearts. There is no area of life that Islam leaves out. Islam is political, economic, etc. We have to begin to talk about what that means without condemning Muslims and rejecting any views on Islam that don't match our own. There is room for ijtihaj (Islamic reasoning) but we have to start from the place that Islam is the solution to all our problems.

More blame peddling. This guy reminds me of Irshad Manjit. The cocksure outspoken girl who regularly appears on TV saying that The Quran makes no sense, is anti-women and should be discarded.

Everyone is to blame. Some more than others but nevertheless all have a share in the bull. However, reiterating this point over and over again is one of the problems.

To Osmanli Bin laden is most likely a highly decorated CIA agent. The Taliban are most likely yokels and farmers who have no idea how to govern a country. Zionist are idiots and dimwits but they have one thing going for them, the entire muslim ummah is dumber than they are. From the ulema to the politicians to the students to the teachers to the preachers to the parents. All are tricked and lured away from the important things in their lives for material junk, egotism and/or superficial appeasement.


Assalam u Alaikum.

When the author states that political, economic, and ethical isssues cannot be analyzed and understood in purely theological terms, he goes totally against Islam. In Islam, there is no seperation between theology, politics, economics, and any other wordly field. When our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) established an Islamic society in Madinah, he did not differentiate between them. To this effect, the Holy Quran contains commmandments that pertain to what would be called 'non-religeous' fileds in Western thought.

Then, the author states that religeon is only a part of life (a Western sentiment), and not the other way round (life is lived to please the Lord, and every act is an act of worship for a Muslim - as Muslims would believe).

The problem with the arguments the author presents is that he is speaking from a Western context. What he states is completely against Islam, as outlined above. It is unfortuante that like many other 'intellectuals' that write on the Muslim world, he does not present soloutions to their problems based on their geo-politico-religeous traditions (Islam), but based on what the West thinks is the best for Muslims. should be ashamed for presenting this article as a soloution to Islam's problems. This kind of article is exactly one of the problems and challenges faced by Islam today. We should seek soloutions to our problems from Islam, not from some other ideology that may have points that go completely against Islam and what it stands for.

May Allah forgive us all. Ameen.

Wassalam Alaikum.

Everyone knows what the problem is - no REAL practical answers have been forthcoming to date. Nothing works better than an Islamic system, yet nobody has yet suggested a framework for utilising this system in the current world climate.

i would have to differ with the author when he says that muslims 'have to understand that religion is part of life...'

muslims actually believe that a supreme, irresistable, one, god IS their life and the other dogmas (political, social, financial, traditional), albiet human, may serve humanity as long as the benefits are spread equally to all the people of the world and not exclusively to a particular nation, region or a race.

i fully agree with the author that this 'golden mean' values have been usurped by despots and the blame has to fall on muslim masses' intellectual inertia and confusion among ulema.

I made my conclusion when this "muslim" writer dismisses so called "conspiracy theories" and says "Al-Qida" did the 9-11 attack in the same sense that the USA media is peddling. The real conspiracy theory is that there is a world wide islamic conspiracy to murder innocent americans, using 1/2 rate cessna pilot,nudie bar going "fanatic muslims" because they "hate their freedom". Ridiculous right?, yes, but that's what they forced down the throats of the all people in this world, including some naive ignorant muslims.
PNAC, the frontline NEOconservative "think tank" made their declaration of war against islam in 1997. They declare war on iraq back then and further "democratization of the mid-east" These despotic indiviuals that signed this "declaration" are now in the top position in W-Bush's government. The openly declared that a "catalysing event like a new pearl harbour" was required for this impirial mobilization. So can the author tell me if Bin Laden works for PNAC?

Forget about what Zionists or imperialists wants Islam to be, or how harsh they are towards Islam, I don't understand one thing from these shcolars and ordinary Muslims that we have all the time to watch the conspiracies and discuss. However, we are not interested to do anything to change the situation. Bush is bad. Zionists are doing something inside the room. Hindus are planning against us. We are embroiled in the bad works of others and it is easy. We don't want to commit ourselves even for a minute to change. I am sick and sick of these Muslim manufactured conspiracies theories. Get over with that now.

Shuja Syed

I guess Mr. Taheri just isnt raking in enough dough from peddling his poorly written books designed to appeal to the ignorant masses of the West who just cant wait to their grubby little paws on yet another anti-Islamic publication.
If anybody read Taheri's book released within days of 9/11, they know what I'm talking about. Simply stating the obvious about Iraq's former dictator and somehow pinning the blame on the oppressed is nothing new to these people. Maybe he forgot that Malaysia's prime minister is himeself a dictator who imprisons his opponents.
Taheri's usage of the usual buzz words like democracy is ofcourse to appeal to the same people who are currently involved in invading defenseless 3rd world nations for their resources, installing dictaors ar their whim and removing them as such.
Has Taheri at any point mentioned the ideology which truly threatens world peace and stability today ? Has he dared to question Zionism or say the neoconservative fascists consisting primarily of militant terrorist Jews who owe no alligence to any nation but to the idea of an illegitimate state stretching across the Middle East ? Certainly not. This is part of the blame game, blame the oppressed.
Muslims should simply blame themselves and follow ignorant post-modernists whose vague and blanket statements should be the norm, yes? The sad fact is that Taheri does not possess the fortitude to address the real causes of the problems facing us today today. But I guess its harder to sell books when you speak the truth. Imagine that.

A brave, courageous analysis of the ills besetting Islam.