06 October 2006

Why is the world afraid of muslims?

By:Tashbih Sayyed, Ph. D.
A number of recent apologies made to the Muslims by non-Muslim leaders clearly indicate that the world has grown increasingly fearful of Muslim rage. Political Islam, as is obvious...

Good article. To non-muslims increasingly the face of muslims and by extension Islam has been dominated by bin Laden and gang, especially to those non-muslims who do not interact with many muslims (or may not even know that some of their friends are muslim).

Other good religious stuff on the net:
Fatwa on Pope
Anonymously Insightful


video said...

I think a part of the problem is the media. They choose to label terrrorist as muslims, which is sad. While, some say they fight in the name of Islam, they're just nutjobs who've got nothign better to do. Why didn't anyone see Timothy McVeigh as a christian terrorist? What about Hitler? He who murdered millions of a particular religion wasn't labeled as a terrorist in the name of religion. It's just that it's becoming easier to label someone as a terrorist when they're muslim.

Mosilager said...

I think part of the problem is that they are not all nuts... if you look at people like Osama or Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, these are smart people. The pilots who flew into the WTC, for instance. I'm one of these people who think that there's a problem with absolutist interpretations of Islam (and in this case I'm thinking Wahabbism in particular) which holds the view that muslims are at war with non-muslims and the war will not cease until everyone is muslim. Unfortunately those guys are pretty rich right now due to sponsorship from Saudi Arabia and their voices are heard more than anyone else's. These people sincerely believe that killing random people (and themselves) is for the good of Islam.
Of course the media is doing its part in driving people towards absolutism - they are saying bad things about Islam all the time so muslims themselves are getting over-sensitive and feeling attacked. They don't really cover the people who stayed at home after the Pope's remarks, they show the few uneducated people, who for the sake of some local politics decide to go torch McDonalds for what the Pope said.
Also the higher security measures at airports and so on cause inconvenience to anyone who looks brown or sounds muslim based on their name while the real terrorists slip through unscathed. I've never heard of the extra security checks leading to the arrest of even one potential terrorist, but I'm worried about speaking any language other than English at airports now or seeming too interested in landmarks.

That being said, I think muslims are also at fault for being too sensitive about their religion. For many years it's been OK for muslims to hurt / kill / deny freedom to other muslims but not for non-muslims. For instance, when Jordan, using the Pakistani army bombed refugee Palestinians, no muslim country said anything, when the Pakistani army (again) killed 3 million Bangladeshis in 1970-71 no muslim country said anything, but let Russia invade Afghanistan or US invade Iraq and then it's suddenly a big deal. I think this division of the world into muslim and non-muslim is a problem. It should just be humanity.

The non-muslim media can get away with identifying the terrorists' religion, that's what they are doing. Christian nations for many centuries have demonised muslims (since the Crusades) so there's a cultural history there as well.

Well, as always, my two cents... speaking as someone who's been following global security for some time now... that was almost a whole blog post, this whole paper / thesis thing lends wings to my fingers.

video said...

Whew! you're right that was a whole post! When i said nuts, I actually meant radical and I think they would've misinterpretted their religion be it whatever religion they follow. I think clerics need to stop further radicalizing. Also, I do agree that muslims need to develop a thicker skin. If you take osama for instance, he wasn't religious when he helped fight for the taleban against the russians. I think he's just angry enough to twist everything to make it about religion.
Good luck with the paper/thesis writing!

Mosilager said...

actually Steve Coll says in his book that Osama was pretty religious when he was financing mujahideen against the Russians... he had a religious advisor from Egypt... I think Azzam but I'm not sure. I think that a lot of people use religion to become leaders so perhaps Osama's religiousness is a sham. The truly religious would probably be more interested in their personal relationship with God rather than mess around with the politics necessary to lead an organisation. What's your impression of Abu Dhabi / Kuwait in regard of the religion?
Oh one other thing - muslims have got to start treating minorities better in their countries. Egypt's been at war with their Coptic Christian minority for a while, Pakistan's been in a state of war with not only non-muslims but muslims who follow the Ahmadiyya tradition since their inception. Turkey, Iraq, everyone's been kicking the backsides of the Kurds down there (what religion are the Kurds?) This has to stop!

video said...

I agree that their attitude needs to change... When we moved to UAE, our stuff was held in a warehouse until our housing arrangements were made. They burned all of our religious idols. Mom cried for a week cos it was 10 years of collecting. We had to do everything in secret.

Mosilager said...

that's pretty bad... the UAE authorities seem to put more power in our idols than we do... they think those idols are going to convert the whole of the UAE to hinduism. actually if they attribute such supernatural powers to our idols, maybe they are more hindu than us already...