Western policy and extremism inducing radical Muslims

Category: World Affairs Topics: Western World Views: 2502

Ubud, Indonesia - Western foreign policy and a tendency among some Muslims to impose their idea of truth have been key factors in the the rise of radical Islam, Muslim writers say.

"Islam is about peace and submission. But there are certain realities that we cannot hide from," said Ziauddin Sardar, a Britain-based writer best known for his book, Why Do People Hate America?

"There is a certain radicalisation of young Muslims not just in Muslim countries but also in the Muslim population in the West," Sardar told a writers' conference in the Balinese resort town of Ubud.

"One reason for it is Western policy, what's happened in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Chechnya. (Millions of) Muslims are very young and they feel very angry and hurt by the perpetual death and destruction in their society."

Muslim writers do not, however, pin the blame for the rise of Islamic radicalism only on Western policy, but say the Muslim world's failure to engage with the Western world is a key reason for the differences and misunderstanding.

Dina Zaman, a young Malaysian Muslim writer, who is compiling her provocative column "I am a Muslim" into a book, said moderate Muslims also need to engage with conservative Muslims to bridge the gap.

"Western policy and prejudice are a reason. But also we've been taught from young, Muslims vs Kafirs, Kafirs vs Muslims. When you have this concept of the other you're opening a whole can of worms," said Zaman, one of about 100 writers at the festival in the cultural capital of Bali.

"If we keep perpetuating these myths, we're walking on a time-bomb," she said. "When you believe that your perception is right and the other is not then how can you discuss?"

Sardar and Zaman were among many Muslim authors seeking to demystify Islam at the Ubud festival which was started three years ago to help the recovery process from the 2002 Bali bombings.

A number of Islamic militants were convicted in connection with the nightclub bombings that killed 220 people, mostly foreigners.

"Literature is a way of healing wounds," said Janet De Neefe, the organiser of the Ubud festival. "Last year we had a session on terrorism. This year we have one on Islam. It's such a misunderstood faith. We're addressing all the issues with grey areas."

Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim nation and most people follow a moderate form of Islam. But a radical minority has become increasingly vocal in recent years in the country, which has seen several major bombing attacks in addition to the 2002 incident.

Indonesian poet Acep Zamzam Noor said the Islam taught in the country's Muslim schools or pesantrans was a moderate form which used different ways such as poetry to teach children about God.

He said if there was a clash it was between the moderate and extreme way of teaching Islam.

Others said one reason for the yawning gap was the fact that a certain section of Muslims was trying to impose its idea of the truth on the rest of the world.

They said violence, especially suicide bombings, was against basic Muslim principles because Islam forbids despair and Allah is always merciful and forgiving.

"We've acquired a particular notion of truth which serves us in a particular way. Trouble is that some Muslims think they own the truth. The idea of owning the truth is the crux of the problem," said Sardar.

"If you believe you have the perfect truth and you believe you have the right to impose it on others, then there's a problem. This notion negates the very essence of Islam."

 

Sugita Katyal writes for Reuters.


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  6 Comments   Comment

  1. fardeen from India

    The best way to know if Islamic teachings are moderate or radical is simply to take a copy of the holy Quran and teaching of the holy Prophet and go through them. Every one seems to be talking about what was printed here and what someone wrote there, but no one wants to present what the Quran actually has to say by taking references from the book as a whole and coming out with what actually is present in it. Why the goose chase? What has any one to loose after all? It is a request for all the readers Muslim and non-Muslim to go through the Holy Quran or its translation in any language you know and come to its understanding. Not that I want to impose my views on the non-Muslims but since ever one wants to have a talk on Islam why not start from the source from where all the fundamentals start?

  2. fardeen from India

    Undoubtedly there is an increasing feeling of hurt not only among the Muslims but also the non-Muslims around the world for the death and destruction of millions in the Muslim countries due to the foreign policy of the so called West. Like the large majority of Muslims who do not agree with the 9/11 or 07/07 bombings or with that ideology, same way many nom-Muslims feel the pain deep in side for those oppressed Muslims. The reason is simple; any human being with common sense and respect for humanity and fear of God will never accept such acts. Moreover, the war on Iraq which every one seems to forget was biased on a pact of lies related to WMD (weapons of mass destruction). All the while the Western leaders were yelling on top of their mouths about it (WMD). In the end, all the lives, money, resources, environment and what not lost for what! A pack of LIES !!! Now why would any human being not feel the pain when blood is spilled of innocent woman and children and men... all for a pack of lies! The only thing the Western leaders will do is say "We made a mistake" as always. And the other leaders of the world will just fold their hands and node their head as always. Now this is the real thing that angers not only Muslims but even non-Muslims who in their heart have the desire to seek the truth.

    The best way to know if Islamic teachings are moderate or radical is simply to take a copy of the holy Quran and teaching of the holy Prophet and go through them. Every one seems to be talking about what was printed here and what someone wrote there, but no one wants to present what the Quran actually has to say by taking references from the book as a whole and coming out with what actually is present in it. Why the goose chase? What has any one to loose after all?

  3. Riza Khalilullah from usa

    What many people call radical Islam is a belief that the Holy Quran is the very Word of Allah (The Creator of everything).This the very essence of a Muslim's belief if he does not have this he is not a Muslim. Every true Muslim believes that Islam is the only religion acceptable to Allah (God). He, however is not allowed to impose what he believes on anyone else. (La ikraha fee deen) verse 256 surah Al Baqara of the Quran. There is no compulsion in Religion.

  4. MOHAMMAD SYED from USA

    Islam is based on the Holy Scripture, Qur'an and the teaching of the Prophet Muhammad. These two sources do not teach that you go and kill people and destroy life and property. Those who are doing such terrible acts are not following Islamic teachings.

    I believe the cause of the current problem is not what is being taught in Muslim schools rather a group of people who have taken upon themselves to use violence as a means to achieve their (misguided) goal. Their actions are neither helping Islam nor Muslims and must be condemned by all.

    In this article Ms. De Neefe is quoted saying about Islam, "It's such a misunderstood faith." Ms. De Nefee, this statement is deliberately used by opponents of Islam to deceive others about Islam. Islam is a very simple religion for anyone who wants to know. To further clear this point, is Christianity and Judaism and other religions are very well understood by others? Is that the reason that any of those religions is never called a misunderstood religion? This "misunderstood" word is specially often used and repeated by "experts" on Islam.

    Mohammad

  5. Nasir A from US

    Islam was misunderstood by many, as a terrorist

    religion without any regards to the people and

    how they felt and upset.

    The media and US govt is at fault along with

    the Zionist govt viewing Islam and Muslims

    hate America and their State. People never

    brothered to think why they hate?

  6. Brian Hammond from UK

    Its funny how through Hollywood movies the US and UK portrays themselves as heroic icons for all that is right, honourable, courageous and good but their policies not just towards Muslims and Islamic countries but towards all who cannot defend themselves from naked US/UK aggression and greedy ambitions such as the poor forcefully displaced inhabitants of Diego Garcia, expose the true and brutal, indeed fiendish and monsterous in nature, of the US and UK and their Western allies, underscored by the rivers of blood gushing from the scores of children and babies slaughtered in Iraq by these Western trolls. Cowardly, lowly murderous thieves, cut-throats and rapists, who would sell their mothers if they could, best describes the US/UK/NATO coalition. Their collusion and shameless complicity in the massacre of civilians, currently in Afghanistan and Iraq and previously all over the world, from Japan to Vietnam, from Panama to Chile, will be remembered by generations to come. In 10 to 15 years a strong coalition of oil producing Latin, Islamic and certain Eurasian countries will mature both economically and militarily to the exclusion of the US, UK and Europe. Western economic sanctions or threats will become laughable. Military options for these previously world power lepers will no longer be an option and every country that is currently paraded as a pariah nation as per the Bush/Blair/NATO agenda, will be fairly capable of delivering a similar nuclear payload or more to any member of this Western alliance. And I do believe the change has already begun.