The demonization of Islam

Category: World Affairs Topics: Eqbal Ahmad, Pakistan Views: 13446
13446

Dr. Eqbal Ahmed was born in Bihar, India in 1933. He migrated to Pakistan in 1947. He earned his PhD in Political Science and Middle Eastern History from Princeton. He taught at University of Illinois at Chicago and Cornell University. In the 60's he became known as one of the earliest and most vocal opponents of American policies in Vietnam and Cambodia. Dr. Ahmed died in Islamabad on May 11, 1999.

According to David Barsamain, Eqbal Ahmed was a rare combination of scholar and activist. He not only shared his knowledge with progressive movements for social change but he participated in them. He cared about people and he cared about justice. 

David Barsamian is the producer of the award-winning syndicated radio program Alternative Radio. He is a regular contributor to The Progressive and Z Magazine. He interviewed  Dr. Eqbal Ahmed in August 1998. Following is an excerpt from an interview with him.

Where do you trace chronologically when Islam, Muslims, Arabs become targeted as a threat or an enemy of the West?

This is not a completely new phenomenon... In the tenth century, for the first time you saw a certain notion of demonizing Islam. At that point, it wasn't so misplaced from the European point of view, because Islam was an expansionist civilization, and therefore considered...a threat and a menace. The Crusades witnessed the first instance of demonization along religious lines, that is, demonization of Islam itself rather than of Arabs or Turks... Next you notice it in the period when British and later French colonialist encountered Muslim resistance.

There was the case of the Mahdi, who besieged and killed General Charles George Gordon in 1885 in Khartoum. That particular moment saw a great deal of emphasis on Islamic fanaticism. Colonial battles were never remembered unless a Custer was killed or a Gordon besieged. Millions of people may die, but the memories are of Custer and Gordon.

This third time... in the last 1,400 years that there is this organized attempt to demonize Islam. This time it's more organized and sustained, because the means have changed. Today there is mass communication.

Does this process of demonization come from a shared consensus that is not articulated? Or are people meeting at Harvard and saying, "OK, we have to get together and demonize Arabs and Muslims?"

I don't think there is a conspiracy... Great imperialism needed a legitimizing instrument to socialize people into its ethos. To do that it needed two things: a ghost and a mission. The British carried the white man's burden. That was the mission. The French carried la mission civilisatrice, the civilizing mission. The Americans had manifest destiny and then the mission of standing watch on the walls of world freedom, in John F. Kennedy's ringing phase. Each of them had the black, the yellow, and finally the red peril to fight against. There was a ghost and there was a mission. People bought it.

After the Cold War, Western power was deprived both of the mission and the ghost. So the mission has appeared as human rights. It's very strange mission for a country, which for nearly a hundred years has been supporting dictatorship in Latin America and throughout the world. Chomsky and Herman wrote about this in The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism.

In search of menace, they have turned to Islam. It's the easiest, because it has a history.

It's also the most vulnerable.

It's vulnerable. Its weak... Islamic countries are home to the oil resources of the West. The West has encountered resistance in Algeria, Egypt, among the Palestinians, and with the Iranian revolution-enough to arouse anxiety that Western interests... are threatened. And there is a history of demonization. All these things fall into place. And there are enough vested interests to take advantage of it.

Media coverage of Islamic fundamentalism seems to be very selective. There are certain types that are not discussed at all. For Example, the Saudi version, which may be among the most extreme. Americans hear a lot about Hezbollah and Hamas and groups in Egypt, like the Akhwan.

This is a very interesting matter you are raising... Saudi Arabia's Islamic government has been by far the most fundamentalist in the history of Islam. Even today, for example, women drive in Iran. They can't drive in Saudi Arabia. Today, for example, men and women work in offices together in Iran. Women wear chador, but they work in offices. In Saudi Arabia, they cannot do it. So on the basis of the nature and extent of fundamentalist principles or right-wing ideology, Saudi Arabia is much worse practice than Iran. But it has been the ally of the United States since 1932, so nobody has questioned it.

But much more than that is involved. Throughout the Cold War, starting in 1945 when it inherited its role as world power, the United States has seen militant Islam as a counter weight to communist parties in the Muslim world. During this entire period, the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt was not an enemy of the United States... The U.S. government actually promoted and supported the Islamic regime that is now in power in Sudan. General Muhammad Gaafar al-Nimeiry was allied to the Islamic movement of Sudan and was a friend.

America's two major leverages on its allies in Western Europe and Asia-the nuclear umbrella and economic superiority-had drastically diminished by the early 1970's. The U.S. was looking for new leverages over its allies. They picked the Middle East because this was where the energy resources for the industrial economies of Japan and Europe came from. An established, unchallenged American influence in this Region... could control prices and show Europe and Japan, "We can give you cheap oil. We can make your oil expensive. We hold your economic lifeline."

This was the time of the Nixon Doctrine, namely, the use of regional powers to police the region for the United States. In the Middle East, they chose Iran and Israel. In the Pentagon, throughout most of the 1970s, they were called "our two eyes in the Middle East." In 1978, after having or perhaps because of having taken some $20 billion of military hardware from the United States, the shah of Iran fell under weight of his own militarization. The 1979 Islamic revolution threatened American interests deeply...  materializing in an uglier form during the hostage crisis.              

Within a year, quite ironically, something totally the opposite happens. The Soviet Union intervened in Afghanistan. In Pakistan, an Islamic fundamentalist of a really hardcore variety, the mujahideen  in Afghanistan, takes on the "evil empire." They received billions in arms between 1981 and 1988 from the United States alone. Add additional support form Saudi Arabia, under American encouragement... American operatives went about the Muslim world recruiting for the jihad  in Afghanistan, because the U.S. saw it as an opportunity to mobilize the Muslim world against communism. That opportunity was exploited by recruiting mujahideen  in Algeria, Sudan, Egypt, Yemen, and Palestine. From everywhere they came. They received training from the CIA. They received arms from the CIA. I have argued in some of my writings that the notion of jihad as "just struggle" had not existed in the Muslim world since the tenth century until the United States revived it during its jihad against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

Since then, almost every Islamic militant, including those in Israel, Algeria, and Egypt... has been trained in Afghanistan. The CIA people call it "Islamic blowback."

These are aspects that the American media is not willing to touch on. The New York Times' foreign affairs columnist are neither qualified nor would they want to be qualified to comment on these realities.

"Eqbal Ahmad was that rare thing, an intellectual unintimitated by power or authority...Perhaps the shrewdest and most original anti-imperialist of Asia and Africa." -Edward W. Said


  Category: World Affairs
  Topics: Eqbal Ahmad, Pakistan
Views: 13446

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Older Comments:
UNCLE LOGIC FROM UK said:
Azam, continuing from where I left off, I'd like to add that much of the economic, educational, militant, political, social and diplomatic failures of Palestine are down to the incompetence of the Hamas and Fatah, rather than the Israelis.

I'd also like to point out that virtually non of the suicide bombings have been targeted at Israeli militants, much more at crowded road crossings and restaurants full of civilians.

One thing I'd like to know Azam is what would you (being such a well informed genius) have done about the conflict if it were up to you, Shuja, if you are reading this I just wanna say you are similarly clueless it seems and what would your genius solution be????
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UNCLE LOGIC FROM UK said:
Azam, you are completely deluded. How many Palestinians do you think the Israelis kill, from the way you describe life in Palestine I'd guess you think hundreds of thousands massacred. Now lets see, over the last 8 years 5,000 Palestinians have been killed by the Israelis. Don't get me wrong that is a lot, but not if you compare it to other wars and realise this: The Israelis have a large army and nuclear weaponry and the Palestinians number more than 5 Million so 5,000 is not a very significant portion, if the Israelis really did want to holocaust the Palestinians they could have killed millions within that time. Besides the Palestinians are not that innocent themselves, during those 8 years they killed 1,000 Israelis, 700 of whom were civilians and 120 of whom were children.
They have also killed at least 800 of each other.

And you make yourself look like even more of an idiot by trying to portray the Israelis as remorseless, since when have the Hamas or other anti Israeli groups expressed even the slightest trace of remorse (They once snipered a two month old baby and repeatedly massacred families). The Israeli solders remorse is evident via the high suicide rate in the Israeli army.

You describe the Israeli children as having no toys and most people not even owning shovels, that is totally ridiculous and besides if they barely have enough for things like food and clothing, then where on earth did they find the money for thousands and thousands of guns, or the 970 rockets and 1,200 mortar shells they have launched at civilians in Israel towns and cities since the start of 2007?

You may have seen photographs of Palestinian children doing this, but it's all just an act, they have been exaggerating the damage, fatalities and poverty a lot. They would have had shovels really and the children were not really required.

A lot of the Palestinians troubles cannot be blamed on the Israelis. I can not believe how clueless some people are.
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SHUJA FROM CANADA said:
I don't agree with the fundamental message of the article since the current invasion and demonization of the Muslim lands is perpetuated and supervised by Zionists. Left alone, America will negotiate with Iran and other countires, but Zionists and its media will not allow this to happen. Many problems between Muslims and Christians could be solved far more easily than today, if the influence of Zionists is removed in the middle of the West. That is so unfortunate. Even the Prophet (saw) has foretold us that Christians and Muslims will fight big wars because of the central role of the Zionists or Jewish. Very few people knew that American invasion of Iraq was far more had to do with Zionists of taking over middle east than controling oil. For example, no oil company had supported the iraqi invasion. none. And also, Israeli leaders wanted America to attack Iran since they thought that Iraq is finished for them due to sanctions. Now only Iran remains. I don't completely agree with the article.

Shuja
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ZAFAR MALIK FROM USA said:
Superb choice. Eqbal understood way ahead of time which way the wind was blowing. We should have been paying attention to such warnings long before now but....better late than never.

Thank you for putting this out for Muslims so that they may learn to embrace courageous voices like Eqbal's instead of shunning them.
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ASTRONOMER FROM USA said:
Primacy effect is well displayed by Dr. Ahmed, whose recollection of historical fact is too selectively anti-Western and stated with too much pro-Islamic spin to be taken as serious work by a serious and unbiased scholar. It is quite a serious matter, however, that slanted accountings such as this are used by extremists to justify their heinous acts.

Dr. Ahmed says this of the early "demonization of Islam":
At that point, it wasn't so misplaced from the European point of view, because Islam was an expansionist civilization, and therefore considered...a threat and a menace.

This is a most extraordinary understatement. The first exposure of West to Islam was invasion by piratical Muslim hordes hungering for "booty" (see Koran, Sura VIII, passage 42). These invasions continued for hundreds of years before Europe finally struck back with the Crusades. Before that time, Muslim armies reached the gates of Paris, France. The "Song of Roland" (c.790 A.D.) was an account of the treachery of the Muslim generals and the consequent slaughter of Charlemagne's rear guard. The Crusades were meant to divert Islamic military butchery and usurpation from European lands as much as to reclaim Judeo-Christian holy sites in the ancestral lands of the Jews, lands from which the Jews, too, had been driven by Muslim imperialism. Islamic invasions of Europe continued under the Ottomans, who reached the gates of Vienna, Austria.

Contunually undergoing self-examination since the days of its great war to end slavery--slavery having been introduced by African Muslims--Americans have long been opposed to tyranny of any sort. However good the Communist or Islamic economic schemes may sound in theory, in practice they concentrate power in the hands of a few despots and bring deplorable economic conditons and the quashing of free media--and therefore of truth--and a need to find scapegoats--like America--outside the borders and divert attention from the real culprits. Without oil,
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ABDIRAHMAN SAYID FROM USA said:
People are quick to point the finger of blame @ us Muslims, and most of these people are ignorant buffons like Esther who go on and on about Africa,Asia and Europe not belonging to us. Well there are 1.5 billion of us, why don't you tell me little Miss Crusader Esther were WE DO actually belong to.

PS: The Al Qaida idiots are so stupid that I don't think they know what the Koran is about holistically speaking. Plus they (Al Qaida) are the biggest danger to Muslims right know. For they want to rule us muslims with there simplistic approach to life.
One More thing: I will not call bin Laden a Hitler, but i will call him an evil demagogue worthy of being in the same catagory as the Stalins and Hitlers of the world. But I will not call him a Muslim Hitler, for no one ever talks of a Christian Hitler or a European white man Stalin.
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DELORES FROM US said:
Are we to believe that the ills of the world are created when one is bored with its current victim? And that is why Islam is being demonized?
True, the US and other countries have supported, trained, supplied arms to Islamic peoples in hopes they could defend their country from invasion. But I disagree that Bin Laden came to Afghanistan by invitation of the US. Bin Laden came to Afghanistan with his own intentions and we see where that has gotten the world today.
Interpetations of Islam has caused the demonization of Islam without any help from outside influences.
I am an American citizen and a Christian and I have had to learn to accept the responsibility of the actions of my country and religion. The Islamic people must do the same.
People who live in glass houses should not throw stones. Instead of throwing stones we need to pick up the pieces.
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SIRAJ FROM UK said:
insha allah if we have the quran in our hearts and our nabi (saw) in our sights we shall prevail.
ameem.
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AZAM FROM HONG KONG said:
Esther, I'm surprised by your feelings of "these suicide bombers have nothing to lose"? The truth is what else does the world expect from Palestinian children or so called "bombers" who spend their childhood deprived from a toy, all that consumes them is their fear of murderous soldiers who do not hesitate to shoot at their peers, and to gun down toddlers and school children?

Palestinian children are the most beautiful in this world. But they grow up so fast, and with them their pain and suffering also grows. They become men at a very young age, or the moment they find themselves digging with bare hands for the corpses of their mothers and fathers, and tragically too often, becoming the subject of a recovery mission themselves.


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KERI-LEIGH CAMPBELL FROM NORTHERN IRELAND said:
I am a former politics student of the Queen's University in Belfast. I have always been particularly fascinated by religion and in particular by Islam. I remember watching a television documentary on Channel 4 I think about the greatest danger the world is facing today, all about Islam extremists, and feeling frustrated by the lack of knowledge and insight. Coming from a war-torn country myself, I understand perhaps better than some, how it feels to be persecuted and cast into a mould and de-individualized due to an ignorance and lack of education, even in our modern world. I commend you, all people who move forward to educate the world about the great religion that is Islam. I might have been born a Christian, but that does not mean I cannot open my eyes to a better world. I wish well to those who do the good work and spread the word. Religion has for too long kept people apart. The world should be united, and education is the way forward.
Yours Faithfully, Keri-Leigh Campbell
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KHAN FROM HYDERABAD, PAKISTAN said:
Demonizing Islam ? I do not agree that any one in this world would succeed in demonizing God's religion.
The followers of three major religions namely Christianity, Judaism and Islam worship the one and the same God. Tolerance for the followers of Christianity and Judaism is apparent in the Holy Quran that recognizes both Jesus and Moses as God's messengers. To emphasize that the Holy Quran even goes on and forbids the Muslims from calling the disbelivers as Kafirs (infidels).

If it was not the christians who called Suleman the Magnificient the ruler who re captured Jerusalem from the the Christian without letting the blood of innocent Christians go down the drain in the streets of Jerusalem even after knowing fully well that earlier when the christians took control of Jerusalem they have butchered more than fifty thousand Muslims in Jerusalem in a single day.

The west which is supporting Israel for the attrocities against the palestanians will end up paying a heavy price for assuming that Israel is their EYE in the middle east. It will not be Muslims who will ask West for the price but it will be the cunning Jews who will blind the west. Infact the blinding process have lready been initiated by them.
Its high time that western governments who are controlled by the jews try to free their clutces from them and save their countries which are predominantly Christians because THE JEWS DO NOT EVEN RECOGNISE JESUS CHRIST OR CHRISTIANS AND THEY ARE HERE TO DISTROY THEM.
Forget about demonozing Islam. All Muslims must try to spread the message of peace and tolerance that this great religion advocates to the Christians in the west. Islam will prevail and the God's messaage which is in the holy Quran will stay intact as the Almighty Protector has promised he will protect both his religion his message and its followers.
Praise be to Almighty.,
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THE HETTENA FAMILY FROM USA` said:
If the Islamic/ Muslim world feels they have been "Demonized", why do they continue to support ALL other Muslim's, even ones committing acts of TERRORISM against innocent civilians, all over the world?? We know Mosque's here & most in the Arab world, actually preach that it was th "Zionist-Jews who did the bombings on 9/11, NOT MUSLIMS". If you people want to improve your image & distance yourself from radicals, why has there not been even ONE prominent Muslim come out & publicly call Ben-Ladin what he really is? The MUSLIM HITLER. It has ALWAYS been OUR people, the JEWS who have been "Demonized", I'm very glad to know it now includes YOUR people.
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JEFFERSON FROM AUSTRALIA said:
Assalamu-alaikum,

We hear a lot of Muslims criticising anyone and everyone on the current injustices to the Muslims in the world. At every perpetration of injustice, we criticise, complain and protest.

If I had to comment on the current events and problems, I would have preferred silence to speech.
We are now at a stage where we have to make our own decision. It has become un-necessary to talk
about injustice, infact referring to it is an insult to our intelligence. We should expect no surprises, nor can further veils be lifted. No doubt whatever is happening to us will continue to happen, unless we take the initiative to change it.

We are dealing with powers that are blatantly unjust. And if it continues to become stronger,
it will not be as a result of its intrinsic strength. It will be because of our negligence.

There is no doubt that the task before us is very difficult. But our faith is unswerving. We may have
doubts about our current capabilities, but not our goals. Our efforts should be aimed at justice and truth, as they are Allah's favoured tasks. We should never allow ourselves to be disheartened,
We should believe that Allah's providence which started over 1400 years ago when we were weak and
helpless, will continue to protect us throughout the balance of the journey, until we finally reach our goal.

The world is fast heading towards a new era. All things that until recently, were believed as
unassailable truths, are, today shaken to the very core. The boundaries of the world are also
getting blurred, as are its principles and beliefs.

Many heights have been fallen and many depths have raised their levels. Having risen to the maximum height, things have started falling, and the gloomy night of despair has already reached that limit, after which daybreak is imminent ....


Salaam,

Jefferson
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MOHAMMED YUSUF FROM USA said:
Asalaimu Alaikum;
I heard DR. Ahmed on NPR when he first gave his lecture in Colorado on terrorism. I can only say it was not your typical synthetic fresh air but the original.
You can shout with lies but people can always identify with the truth.
Some people think it is a setback for the muslims for what had happened in New York and Washington but rather an oppurtunity and challange to us all (Muslims). May Allah help us succeed and we will insha Allah.
Keep up the good work.
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SHUKRI said:
Thank ALLAAH that there is Judgment Day,it's
really reasuring at least.
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ALLEN MEYERS FROM USA said:
Demonization suggests that there is a harsh and unfair external perspective of Islam. What a silly notion in the case of Usama bin Ladin! In this case, the demonization is clearly INTERNAL. Unfortunately, the faith of Islam has contributed to the creation of some REAL demons in our world. The nation of Islam must deal with what the faith produces in its most extreme interpretations, rather than simply pointing out that terrorism comes from a small group in Islam. Right now, just calling this situation "demonization" and dismissing it is probably the worst thing you could do if you have any hope for Islam to survive in a fashion that does not simply terrify people into submission.
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AHALI HORMUZI FROM SINGAPORE said:
Islam is certainly being demonized today by the release of the Bin Laden tapes.

He admits planning the attacks on America.

As long as these acts continue to be done in the name of Allah.. Islam and the name of Allah will be associated with evil
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TARIQ KHAN FROM USA said:
The responsibility for the demonization of Islam falls primarily on the corporate media. It is seldom recognized that media employees harbor some of the most prejudiced sentiments. Is it the power of technology that corrupts their imagination? The ability to reach so many people at the same time has a powerful effect. The print media is as bad.
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ESTHER FROM USA said:
I hope you will post this. Every time I bring up this subject you refuse to let others know. We all know about the bombing in Israel that occured Saturday. You know 99% of the Palestinians are ruled under Yaser Arafat. These suicide bombers have nothing to lose. If they do this deed, after they die their family will be taken care of. For example they will get free medical treatment. I should point out the bad treatment of Christians in the Middle East. Bethlehem use to be a Christian town. Guess who chased them out. Palestinians. In Jordan a Muslim can be executed for converting to Christianity. The National Islamic Front is trying to kill off the Christians in Sudan. I will end here by saying Europe is not yours, Asia is not yours, America is not yours, and Africa is not yours.
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R.J. STEPHENS FROM UNITED STATES OF MERICA said:
I wish that Dr. Ahmed were still alive. In l998, the date of the interview, he gave a reasonably fair statement of the wrong-headedness of my country's policy in the Middle East. Were he alive, I think he could influence those of us who have developed less "tunnel vision" towards Islam.

I believe there are now at least two NY Times foreign correspondents who do argue for justice and improvement towards our Islamic brothers-- Friedman and Lewis, for example.
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ESTHER FROM USA said:
Yes Walid and Ismael there is curses on the people of the Middle East found in the Bible. Also, the Jews had curses on them as well as blessing. The reason is because of their rebellon to God. Anyway the only people God didn't curse was Japheth (whose descendents who went to Europe, and India). And Shem (which some theologians think fathered the people of China, Japan, Korea, etc).
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WALID FAIZI FROM USA said:
It seems Muslims have a difficult time establishing their credentials in the modern world.

Looking back to the earliest writings concerning our future, the people of Ishmael seem to have started off on the wrong foot.

According the People of the Book...in their writings in the Old Testament...Genesis 16...
verses:
11 "And the angel of the LORD said unto her (Hagar), Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.
12 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren."

Is this the true legacy of the Muslim... to continually be at war with his neighbors?

The implications are sobering.


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ISMAEL SHAIDA FROM USA said:
To Protest:

Be careful about your threats of doom to the West.

The Israeli prophet, Obadiah wrote about a coming destruction of the people of Esau.

"For the Day of the Lord is near upon all the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you; your dealings will return upon your own head. For as you have drunk upon the mountain of My holiness [desecrating it in the wild revelry of the destroyers] so shall all the nations drink continually [in turn, of My wrath]; yes, they shall drink, talk foolishly, and swallow down [the full measure of punishment] and they shall be [destroyed] as though they had not been.

"But on Mount Zion there shall be deliverance [for those who escape], and it shall be holy; and the house of Jacob shall possess its [own former] possessions. The house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame , but the house of Esau shall be stubble; they shall kindle and burn them and consume them, and there shall be no survivor of the house of Esau, for the Lord has spoken it."

If the "God" of the Jews says this about the descendants of Esau .. what does the "God" of the Muslims say about the descendants of Jacob (Israel)????
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GERALD SIKH FROM USA said:
The West can quickly trace the demonization of Islam.

A 1000 year old Christian civilization fell to the military might of the Muslims in the mid 1400's.

The Byzantine Empire was conquered and Constantinople was renamed Istanbul.

The West has plenty of evidence, past and present, to demonize the Muslim world.
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ESTHER FROM USA said:
Islam has been demonized by Christians and white people. But do not blame them for doing that. The Christians liked the Muslims at this, but the Muslims started to treat them badly. Let us be honest to the fact that the Muslims back then also tried to conquere Europe, and failed (Just like the Christians failed to capture Jerusalem. Islam is going to have to change if it doesn't want to be demonized. After seeing Muslims rejoice at what happened I would never become a Muslim.
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MASHUD FROM BANGLADESH said:
Assalamu a'laikum
It's really an ifnormative articles--but still I m not clear about the question about "Fundamentalists"--As I believe the western media or even govt. calls those muslim people fundamentalists who tries to practice Islam according to The holy Quran and Sunnah of Hazrat Mohammod(sm)--Since Quran and Sunnah is a complete life style -We can find solution of any problem from these--- So pious muslim people want to lead their life according to the way mentioned by Allah Subhanallah ta'ala--- The Quran has everything to make the constitution of Islamic country---so when a government or groups want to implement Quran and Sunnah for leading , rulling,administrating the country or society--western world start identifying them as fundamentalists--If fundamentaist means what mentioned above-- I don't think it's a crime of being a fundamentaists--but if it is other than that then I wanna learn about the real definition of fundamentalist--I hope I'll get this answer from some muslim brothers or sisters--May Allah be with us always--and with all believers of Islam --- Islam a religion of peace--- Amin
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ANDY BAY FROM US said:
Who's demonizing who? Dr Ahmed is quicker to demonize the West than provide evidence to support his hokey accusations.
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PHILIP G. ANGEL FROM UNITED STATES OF AMERICA said:
Can you please tell me your position on the prosecution of Dr. Younis Shaikh in Pakistan on charges of blastphemy with a sentence of death?
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SHAHIDAH FROM U.S. said:
As salaam alaikum.

May Allah (swt) reward you for all your efforts in spreading the truth.

In this article, I am unclear on one of the comments of Br. Ahmed, where he says he does "not think it is a conspiracy." I would appreciate more clarification on that.

Jazakum Allahu khairun
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QQ FROM USA said:
Brother Gault,

I totally understand your frustration. As per Islamic law, if somebody kills an innocent person, they have to die. IF all of us are sure that Osama Bin Laden did this horrible attack then there is no place for debate.

Since he is so eager to establish Islamic law everywhere, he should taste the Islamic justice first. For short term that is the right thing to do.

For the long term we need to look at these issues and try to understand why these people are so desperate.

We have to put America's interest first. How are you going to answer the innocent Afghan who lost his son? What if he wants to come to America and kill one innocent person? My friend this is exactly how terrorists are born. One million Afghans were killed during Soviet attack there. Besides defending their country, they have won our war against the communists. I think we should listen to Afghan people and try to help them.

I like the idea that President Bush will help rebuilding this country.

All children of Abraham need to be patient and ask for mercy from Allah (Arabic for God). We need to have peace back soon. Otherwise there will be no winners.

I welcome everybody to learn more about each other. Peace and blessing to all of you.

QQ
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ABU HUSSAINI FROM U.S.A. said:
As salaamu alaykum ..Dr. Ahmed's comments are most enlightening in light of the present world affairs. It gives a historical view of how Islam is viewed in the western world and it also gives info of how America has had its hands in the affairs of the middle eastern area over the years. Its no wonder why America is viewed as a meddling country in the affairs of the Muslims..just as the French and British are viewed.
As for "demonizing" Islam , this has been a centuries old tactic for having a justified reason for attacking the muslims , for taking control of their lands , governments and natural resources. Lets face the facts here. Islam has always been seen as a threat to the western world powers. To keep their control they must make a demon of the enemy, to justify what they do in ways of control and international affairs. This is no secret. Can you imagine the cross replaced by a star and cresent; the churches converted to mosques; having real racial equality;installing the islamic money system and getting rid of the riba usery system? Islam is a real threat to change these things and take control away from those in power now.
Right now Islam is the fastest growing "religion" in Europe, UK and America. by Allah's will this is happening despite efforts against it. In the Quran, Allah says:"Their intention is to extinguish Allah's light (by blowing) with their mouths. But Allah will complete His light even though the Unbelievers may detest it." As-Saff C.61:8
The final victory is with Allah!!! The reward of the believers is Jannah (Paradise) and for those oppose Allah and his Deen is Jahanam (Hell).
The biggest problem with the demonizing of Islam is that some of the muslims children may start believing it and contribute to their own destruction. In this vain its best for the Muslims to organize themselves against this onslaught and be more pro-active.
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NATHAN RAMSEY FROM UNITED STATES said:
All patriotism and bias aside, I do not understand these claims that the United States is at war with Islam. The US government has treated Muslims unfairly in the past by placing miliary bases on Muslim holy land, but I think that claims of "demonizing" the religion are exagerated. During this time of crises Americans have been taught by the media and government to understand and embrace the Islamic faith. I am not Islamic, but I am an American, and I have grown up in an open-minded society that teaches tolerance for other faiths and cultures. As a result, I have gained a great deal of respect for the great religion of Islam, as most Americans have. America is a nation that has been disrespectful, even tyranical in the past, but this time I believe it's intentions are genuine. The government has not vocalized against the Islamic faith or attacked Muslim interests. They simply want rid the world of terrorism and its supporters. I hope that someday the Muslim community [in general] will realize that Americans are not at war with the Muslim faith. I also hope that the United States will avoid the same mistakes it has made in the past. Islam is a great religion, and America is a great nation. They should learn to love each other and embrase their values.
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ASAD KHAN FROM INDIA said:
i totally agree with Dr. Iqbal that actually Islam is not a demon in itself rather it has been potrayed as such by westen countries and their media for their own vested interests. It is us and its allies which r the spreading terrorism in world through their barbaric policies which only serve their interests and hurts other's.US is targeting Islam becoz it is the only religion which has understood te tru intentions of US and provide him with stiff resistance.

So instead of blaming Islam and Muslims the US shuold first look inside it and change the arrogant attitude with which it look towards the world.
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RUQAIYYAH ELNAGAR FROM USA said:
I agree with this analysis but the next question is, "Where do we go from here?" In other words, how do we confront this tremenously powerful empire, the strongest in history?
Obviously, smashing planes loaded with innocent civilians is not the way, although the Pentagon would be a legitimate military target if, in fact, war on the U.S. is jihad.
But it is far more complicated than that. For all its faults, the United States is basically a Christian nation. As Muslims, we are charged with honoring Jesus. We cannot make war on Christians. We must begin call them to God, and to remind them of the tenets of their own religion, of "turning the other cheek," as the "Prince of Peace" taught. We are commanded to allow Christians to practice their religion, perhaps this command also includes reminding them of what their religion teaches. It seems like only groups like the Quakers understand that they are not supposed to make war if they are truly Christian.

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WILLIAM GAULT FROM USA said:
I can't argue with your points, especially when you talk hisorically. But when we fast forward to today, I think that Muslims need to reclaim Islam from the extremist. I am a Christian, and I would be vocal in my opposition to any attempt by anyone to claim that Jesus would legitimize murder of civilians. For example, I do not view our actions in Afganistan as Holy, but as a human being under threat, I want Bin Laden and his supporters exterminated. It has nothing to do with Islam, so long as Islam does not support him. What is going on is man's will not God's and only men are being demonized. For the first time in my life I want blood. No discussion, just blood. I feel that Bin Laden has demonized me, and he is demonizing Islam. It is up to Muslims to stand up for what they truly believe. I have always thought that Islam was a religion of submission to God's will, peace, and brotherhood.
That is not what Bin Laden and the extremists are about. For me, it is important that Muslims make it plain. Because there will be no rest so long as Islam can be associated with the actions of a few evil men.
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JABHAD FROM LONDON said:
Almighty God said.. He will help the believers who happen to be the Muslims.

God says he will never be satisfied with the infidels. In terms of worldly affairs, America is very strong.

Even if it were twice as strong or twice that, it could not be strong enough to defeat Talaban and Osama bin laden.

They are confident that no one can harm Them if God is with them.

We Call them terrorists without any and i mean any evidence.

Now we see everyday poor people getting killed by the order of Bush & Blair.

I think that's what you call a real terrorist and they should be brought to justice.

Bombing innocent people in their land is not fair at all.

If you look at Islamic countries, the people are in despair.

They are complaining that Islam is gone.

Secular law has replaced Islamic law.

But people remain firm in their Islamic beliefs.

In their pain and frustration, some of them commit suicide acts.

They feel they have nothing to lose.

If the U.S. really wants to end this evil, it knows how to do it.

It should end its virtual grip on Islam, It should let go.

Then it would be relieved forever and the rest of the world can go about its business.

America has taken Islam hostage.

America has done that in the Islamic world and especially in the Islamic countries.

America controls the governments of the Islamic countries.

America keeps after them until they do its bidding, but they are very distant from their own people.

The people ask to follow Islam, but the governments do not listen.

The people are powerless against their governments because they are in the grip of the United States.

In that way, they become corrupt and ignore the people.

If someone follows the path of Islam, the government arrests him/her, tortures them or kill them.

This is the doing of America. If it stops supporting those governments and let the people deal with them, then such
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PROTEST FROM USA said:
TO COMMOM SENCE
Perhaps you had better take your flag loving self to a Christian site that may perhaps respect your opinion. What the United States is doing in bombing Muslims is very WRONG and I don't care you knows it. There is only one god--Allah and the good 'ol USA will be jugded by the same god as all of us!
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MM FROM US said:
Great interview which reveals the truth about American terrorism.
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NABEEL BIN SALEEM FROM CANADA said:
Aslamulaikum

This article very clearly and adroitly elaborates on the history of targetting Islam. It is time that we, Muslims, should wake up and make full use of the lessons history has taught us.
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AM FROM USA said:
Who needs the West to demonize Islam when individuals like Osama bin Laden and Mohammed Atta are so happy to do it for everyone?
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COMMON SENSE FROM UNITED STATES OF AMERICA said:
To: Hwyda Arafat & his very silly companion Hassan Said

Gentleman, Your ignorance is on display. The United States is not cowering in fear. I do not see our leaders hiding in caves. I do not see our vast population constraining their lives and actions in fear. Our economy and lives continue, but with a renewed sense of purpose, grim determination and pride.

I am afraid the sentiments displayed by both of you fine, young, poorly informed gentlemen is based more upon wishful thinking than reality. You, like so many other of our enemies in the past, have taken our kindness for weakness and our complacency for lack of ability. Muslims have never fully understood the West. You will now be taught again. Civilization has always destroyed barbarians and bandits who sought its downfall. This challenge will be no different.

Bin Laden and the Taliban unslipped the dogs of war. The United States has accepted the challenge and will watch as it devours those foolish enough to have tried to harness their power.

So, with this gentle reality slap, I bid you foolish young muslims, Adieu.
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HWYDA ARAFAT FROM USA said:
The reward comes from the same identity of the deed. That's what the US have cultivated and that's what it is harvesting now. Fear is the word, fear of the enemy, fear of their own people to the degree that they don't reveal the facts on TV. Fear of a group of people who showed that they're not afraid to die. America lives today in deep deep fear, ...
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HASSAN SAID FROM SWEDEN said:
Hi i just want to say you have done correct.. i hate USA because the thought have the power all the world!!!!
Im is a muslim too


Write Back
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MELINDA FROM USA said:
Islam is hostile to anyone who is not muslim
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MUHAMMAD YUSUF KHALID FROM MALAYSIA said:
This article is very informatif and very relevan to my subject since I am lecturing Islamic Da'wah to my students at Islamic University College of Malaysia.
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AKBAR FROM UK said:
All that is going on in the world today and articles being written on different websites have all been prophesied long ago. The following weblink is just a part of What was to come and has already come. There is more to come yet. More material uploaded in the "under construction" website will reveal all.



http://www.thescribe.freeserve.co.uk/Updates/updates.htm

Akbar
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FAF FROM ZA said:
Yes, western media is often mere propaganda, but at least the forces that drive it are economics, not fanatacism. Its not hard to demonize:
1) Countries that legislate a subordinate position for women.
2) Countries that commit barbarities as punishments.
3) Countries that limit the individual's freedoms to a minimum, especially freedom of speech.
4) Countries whose citizens automatically take the position of their fellow muslims elsewhere in any conflict (as opposed to the west, where Israel has even been criticised by some Jews), regardless of the facts.
5) countries that are undemocratic
I respectfully submit that while Islam has its virtues, the vast majority of modern day Islamic countries and the ideolodies they propagate are, in most western eyes, fundamentally evil. Conflict is unavoidable until conservative islamic states allow more freedom and dignity. The west is demonstrably more accepting of peoples beliefs than the islamic states of the middle and far east. I don't, for instance, support America's continued fawning on Israel (neither to many westerners), but there is wrong, and more wrong. The conservative islamic world is more wrong. Much, much more wrong. The freedoms and social contracts of the "West" are now starting to take root in China and the former Soviet Union (itself an "enemy of islam"), making the "west" far bigger than the islamic world. Wake up. Smell the coffee. Until more muslims start actively criticizing human rights abuse in the name of islam, its not only undertsandable, but a moral obligation for western journalists to throw mud at what they consider abominable.
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NICHOLAS J EVANCIK FROM UNITED STATES said:
Yes, the West is largly responsible for the attitude that many Westerners have about Islam. Islam was one of the most tolerant of religions and in its time, the most cosmoplitan and tolerant of world cultures flourished under it. It is unfortunate that a hundred years of Western attack and intolerance during the crusades led Muslims to learn the same intolerance. After years of assault by Western Crusaders, Muslims learned that the only way to treat the Westerners was with the same brutality they brought with them to Palestine. The West did demonize Islam, even though the current U.S. government is careful to state that the current battles are not against Muslims but terror, a fixed idea remains in western historical mythology about the vicious Saracen. It belongs somewhere with the other historical fictions like George Washington and the cherry tree. People who are differenct are alwayws the victims of demonization. Look at the way all foreigners are stereotyped in our media. The Hindu owner of the Quicky Mart on the Simpsons. The presentation of them in movies and theb epithets used about them ( I dont know how many times a day I hear nasty comments referring to the headgear of Muslims as a part of describing them as a group) But all this is demonization. WHen the image is so fixed that it applies to every member of the ethnic group and pops into our head when the word Muslim or Hindu is mentioned. This is demonization. it as deeply ingrained in Americans as the images Muslims have of Americans who are manipulated and controlled by the Zionists. The Oil hungry monsters who will run down little Muslim children to get at the Oil. Both images are false. All the more because they are so deeply ingrained as to be believed by intelligent Westerners and intelligent when they are first heard. And we rarely think about whether these images are true or false. All the demons in the world are inside of us and that is where the exorcisms need to take place.
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ANONYMOUS FROM USA said:
I think it is absolutely true. Americans have always done in the past. They censored tv shows and interviews during the civil rights. The american media spread rumors of DR. Martin Luther King giving in the proposals of stopping a major movement on riding the bus. Bush is from the South. He will try to make sense out of anything. The american public doesn't really care about what is going on as long as it is not happening to them. All they care about is there materiallistic philosophy and if anybody opposes them. They are "BAD". CNN is one of the major news networks in USA. It selectively chooses what to air and what not to air.
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JACK THE RIPPER said:
The west has not demonized Islam. Bush and Blair have both made it quite clear that this is not about islam as a whole. It is about certain sects within Islam that make statements like the following. "The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies--civilians and military--is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it" They are the ones demonizing Islam.
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FARMANG MANE FROM FINLAND said:
No Human Nor Jinns can harm Al-Islam.
Because Al-Islam is the way of life, Allah
wants people to live with.And is the religon
Of Allah.
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ANWAR SADATH FROM INDIA said:
An excellent interview!!!
Dr.Ahmad has maintained a balanced view.Its true that US has roused the concept of Jehad and is facing the backlash.
Muslims must not allow our themselves to get entangled in American designs to fight and get destroyed.
America and Taliban are 2 sides of the same evil.They both must perish.
Wassalam.
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ALI TOUFAILI FROM AUSTRALIA said:
Very Interesting facts you have here.I totally agree!
I feel like you have just opened up my appetite and after the first few bites,you take it away from me!
Please give me more!I want to learn.I want the real facts as naked as they are.
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A. M. FROM USA said:
There is another issue that is also completely always ignored - the issue that Islam is an ideology and the fact that the West wants to turn it into a "religion". The West must realize that Muslims want Islam and will never accept secularism as it is an insult to God and the religion of Islam. It is in direct conflict with Islam.
The West clearly realizes this and has set forth on its campaign to turn Islam into a mere "religion" and it has failed. It will continue to fail till the end of time. It is in their best interest to understand Islam and respect the right of Muslims to govern themselves in the way that they see fit.
While the West claims that it promotes democracy and freedom, in reality it is busy promoting dictators and distorting Islam so that people do not turn to it as a solution. In return they continually pursue their economic expansionist conquest of the world promoting secularism, totalitatrianism, and dictatorships that cater to their capitalistic interests of world domination.
So yes, it is in their best interest to demonize Islam, because if Muslims truly turned to Islam as a solution they would find it to be empowering them with a strength in unity that would produce a great economic competitor to the West. This of course is not acceptable to the West, who has become addicted to feeding off the resources of the world at the expense of the innocent millions that starve each day.
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NANN HENKER FROM USA said:
Is the author implying that the US assisted in the recruitment of anti-Soviet mujahedin from other Islamic nations such as Algeria, Sudan, and Egypt? If so, could the alleged anti-West 'terrorist networks' inside these nations be something the US CIA helped create?
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GHAZALI MOHD RIDZWAN FROM MALAYSIA said:
Why have you put such an unfit title? Nevertheless, these statements show the true wicked designes of the US over islamic countries. We should together remember what the Al-Qur'an says, "30. And (remember) when the disbelievers plotted against you (O Muhammad SAW) to imprison you, or to kill you, or to get you out (from your home, i.e. Makkah); they were plotting and Allh too was planning, and Allh is the Best of the planners. (al-Anfal:30)". I pray that may Allah strengthen our beliefs and guide us to the right path, and forgive us our sins. insy-Allah.
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WARSAME AWAD FROM SOMALIA said:
This artical gave me alot of insight but time and time again the reason Islam is demonized by the Materialist west is always over looked. To me the West sees Islam as threat because of economical reason.

1) Media which uses nudity to sell cars to a bar of soap or simple directly sell the bodies of women as in porngraphy sees the Islam as a threat and demonizes it. Hence the comments of the Italian PM who by the way is a media Mogel made about Islam in the aftermath of SEPT 11th and the deep hostility these people have about Islam.

2)Capitalist West fights Islaamic Revolutions every where because of the direct economical loses in for example.

* Film Industries (pornography and explicit flicks).

*Alcohol.

*Smoking - Cigrettes.

*Gambling,Exotic dancers(nude dancers),Legalized prostitution, and the whole whorehouse complexe as manifested in the LAS VEGAS area.


*Banking system (RIBA) Islam would prohabit interest as ushery.

*There will definatetly be very little TOM HILFIGAR, GUESS , or CALVIN CALINE jean sells.

So there are many issues which the Western World sees it and Islam differ on. Therefore the Media and the Westren Political elite must demonize Islam which they rightfully see as depriving them of trillion $$$$$.

I dont want to sound simplistic but to me one of the major reasons the West fears Islam is this.

THE WEST DEMONIZES YOU CAUSE IN A ISLAMIC WORLD THEY SEE LESS PROFITS COMING TO THEM.

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