Questions about Islam: Threat to the West?

Category: Americas, World Affairs Topics: Islam, Islamophobia Views: 6976
6976

Question: I recently heard Islam characterized as the next major threat to "Western" civilization, the new Evil Empire that will succeed Communism. Sounds like a major oversimplification, but could you comment on it?

Answer: At the risk of oversimplification in the other direction, I would respond that, alas, every society needs its Evil Empire. When no obvious candidate fills the bill, we will conjure one up in the vain hope that somehow it will make us feel better about ourselves. During the past couple of decades there has been much talk about "resurgent Islam," fueled by such events as the Iranian Revolution, the Palestinian Intifada, and the ascendancy of the Afghan Taliban. Books with titles like The Islamic Bomb: The Nuclear Threat to Israel and the Middle East (1982) raise the specter of some sort of nuclear conspiracy, as though Islam represented a unitary political will intent on world domination. In fact, "Islam" is nothing quite like the various "isms" one can realistically imagine bringing political and economic resources to bear on some global or even regional objective - capitalism, communism, colonialism, imperialism, or - on a smaller scale - Zionism, for example. 

On the other side of that coin, neither is "the West" anything like a unified secularist bloc of political, economic, and cultural determination, set adamantly against the real or imagined religio-moral fervor of "the East,".

Still, it is much easier to construe the world as neatly defined opposing forces than to come to terms with the common humanity that underlies all our differences.

Muslims are on the whole just about as susceptible to these kinds of generalizations as non-Muslims, however, and are often co-responsible for perpetuating the sweeping dichotomy. In short, Islam as a religious tradition is in no way a threat to world peace and order. On the contrary, it is as important a force for maintaining peace and order as any other tradition.

Excerpted from 101 Questions and Answers on Islam by John Renard. The author holds a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from Harvard University and is a professor of theological studies at st. Louis University.

To buy this book please click the following >>


  Category: Americas, World Affairs
  Topics: Islam, Islamophobia
Views: 6976

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Older Comments:
H.A. FROM YATHRIB said:
Kevin Murphy is very funny. It's time to "fly" plane thru Kevin Murhpy's comment.

Sorry...I did not mean to scare Kevin Murhpy. Why should be afraid? He is from so called the "LAND OF THE GRAVE". Of course, it's self-delcared, exactly as Israel is a self-declared Jewish State, exactly as the USA is the best country in the world. (SSSSSHHH.. it citizens eat out of trash cans). In Yathrib (the real land of the Braves), no humans eat out of trash cans, not stray dogs do...

Very sad Country with very sad group of people...
2006-03-24

FRED FROM UK said:
Kevin Murphy, the more pertinent question is what are American war criminals doing in Iraq? What are "jihadis" doing in Iraq you ask? I think its obvious why. To kick you out.
I just saw pictures of the 11 member Iraqi family your monsters massacred, including children not even old to walk. You mass murdering thugs ..are the real terrorists of this world. ..
2006-03-22

KEVIN MURPHY FROM USA said:
wondering why mainstream Islam is not doing enough to stop the Jihadists? i and i believe that they are not because if they were i think the so-called 'war on terror' would be over...and isnt this really an Islamic civil war to begin with? why are not Islamic countries not offering to send troops into Iraq to help stop the flow of Islamic fighters from Syria and Iran into a fellow Islamic country that desperately needs there help? i dont see exremists christians blowing up Arab restuarants. the Islamic world needs to evolve out of this being stuck in the 9th century.
2006-03-20

YAHYA BERGUM FROM USA said:
Considering who is supplying the West with most of its energy, casting Islam in the role of "the next great threat" seems like a questionable strategy. Perhaps the real threat would be those who endeavor to do so, as long as we are taking the time to assess threats to homeland security.
2006-03-19

ZINEDINE FROM MOROCCO said:
Salaamu alaikum,

Dear John Renard I am sure you know that Charles Martel, aka (Charles the Hammer)ruler & leader of the Franks, had become the first westener that united Western Europe. In fact according to many historians Western Europe has established its distinct "identity" for the first time & became Europe because of him. He stated an ongoing tradition of creating an imaginary enemy to unite an imaginary nation after defeating general Abderrahman small & disorganised army in the battle of Tours near Poitiers. From that day on until today the West keeps reinventing its imagined identity & its imagined ennemies.
2006-03-18

MICHAEL FROM USA said:
I am a Muslim and an American and the pure truth is that Islam is a threat because Americans thrive on power and money, if Islam were to take the majority of the population the Government would loose much of there power and the extremely wealthy would loose most of there money. Islam brings people to truly rule themselves accordingly and peacefully, also Allah teaches us fair trade and fair work. That would mean no more Chinese sweat-shops for Walmart, Nike, Chrysler, ect.
2006-03-17

HUDD FROM CANADA said:
When will the Western paranoia be healed of its illogical fears? Poor stupid western politicians,trembling in their overpampered sheltered way of life trying to create demons out of thin air. As the great Spanish painter,Francisco Jose de Goya y Lucientes said:"The sleep of reason produces Monsters." I would paraphrase that,"Disregard for humanity creates terrorists." What an unlucky lot. But anyway, Muslims are living in the West and they cannot be isolated and brainwashed. Not today, they were in the past when they were brought here as black slaves or before that the existing Muslim native tribes were wiped out by the very Christian whites. White people in the Americas in their majority, believe that Islam in these places begin with the modern immigration from Muslim countries. In Canada, Ontario, the first Canadian born Muslim was Cassim(Qasim) Love in London Ontario in 1855. His parents came from Scotland. The first mosque in UK was built in Cardiff in the 1600's. Names like Ishmael Cawson, Jonas Love are some of the British founders of Western Muslims,some of them have emmigrated to the new world. They didn't create the impression of the nowadays Muslims because they were British as culture although of Islamic faith. In north America home grown terrorists killed more Americans in a year than alleagedly Muslims in the history of USA including 9/11! Yeah,I'm talking about gansters,drug-dealers,mobsters and all the human trash that pesters both USA and Canada! Muslims are pacifists. They do not undermine their country or government if their rights and dignity are respected. However if USA is at war with any nation, Muslim or not, she might expect retaliations in forms of terrorism. That has nothing to do with Islam but with national o0r independence struggle. Let's face it, the Islamic world don't need or want our Western democracy. Not because it was wrong or right. Reason for that is simplier: It's not Islamic.

Peace!
2006-03-17

RAUF FROM CDA said:
Salaamu.
West threat to Islam is more like it-atleast from the ongoings in the Middle-East. As Muslims we must all hold our heads high - very high for the love we have for the rest. Our meaning is "PEACE". I as a Muslim will not mean harm to anyone-because that is what my religion teaches me.
Further proof lies in the fact that many are coming into the fold of Islam - from West and East! If it wasn't for the goodness of it none would consider to live by it.
Let us rejoice in this wonderful gift bestowed upon us.
I wish peace to Muslims and non-Muslim. It is the teaching of my prophet(pbuh).
2006-03-17

MAUROOF FROM CANADA said:
i agree to mr.muslim islam is not a threat . its like mink coat so warm .try it please .then let me know.
2006-03-16

A MUSLIM FROM USA said:
assalamo alaykum

My friend Islam in not a threat even to its strongest enemies. Islam and Muslim do not fear anyone on this planet not even nuclear threat will work against Islam. But yes islam is a threat to those evil people who are spreading corruptions and killings on earth such as Chechnya, Afaganistan, Iraq, palestine, North korea, etc. We know that forces of evil are invading these islamic countries and plundring its wealth and killing its people.

Those who call Islam as evil are in fact evil themselves. I invite to those evil people to read Quran and the biography our beloved Prophet Mohammed (SAW/PBUH - my family, my parents and 1.5 billion soul of the muslims be sacrified upon him). If those evil people read these books they will see a threat and insecurity if they are evil and they will find peace and security if they want to follow the straight path.

Soon You and I or our children will see peace once all the forces of evil such fake democracy, communism, monarchies, anarchies and all other man made ISM which opposes Islam will be destroyed and Islam will prevail and peace will be established on earth.

God says in the Quran (meaning) that " the forces of evil plans and God also plans and God is the master of all the planners". You will see this God Willing (insa-allah)

Read Quran and be successful and peaceful.

Wassalam
2006-03-16