Sunday, May 15, 2016

Typically Islamist, Typically Self-Absolving

"This is what hurts ISIS the most. It is Muslims speaking out [against violent extremism otherwise expressed as business-as-usual in Islam]."
"Fear-mongering is what ISIS is trying to do, whether to silence these people or to silence others as a deterrent."
Mubin Shaikh, former RCMP informant, counter-radicalization Muslim

"None of our senior scholars of any school -- any school - has justified these deeds [Islamic State atrocities]."
"[ISIL has violated Islamic teaching because they] cause more harm than good [bringing more bombs, more drones and more chaos to Muslim communities]."
"I'm not scared of ISIS in America. But I am scared of other people in this land who are very ignorant and bigoted."
"The right wing is calling me a stealth jihadist. And ISIS is calling me a sellout. We challenge both of their narratives, even as their narratives feed into each other."
Sheikh Yasir Qadhi, Tennessee
Maulana Shahid Raza
“Muslim Council Of Britain Appoints Pro ‘Death To Apostates’ Imam To Investigate ‘Death To Apostates’ Group,” by Liam Deacon, Breitbart, April 28, 2016

These are religious Islamic figures responding to the threats being issued against them by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorist group, representing the caliphate they have established in significant parts of Syria and Iraq, as well as encroaching handily into Libya, Afghanistan and in fact everywhere in the world of Islam, including the Philippines. The religious and sectarian conflict between Muslims and between the two major sects, Sunni and Shiite has roiled the world of Islam as well as the non-Muslim world.

The U.S.-based Sheikh Yasir Qadhi preached against the Islamic State at the East London Mosque on a March Friday, three days following ISIL's faithful suicide bombers attacked the Brussels airport and train station. He is offended that the terrorist group exemplifying all the historical enactments conceivable of the conquest of the Prophet Mohammad in his bid to command surrender to Islam by force is sullying the reputation of Islam. Through his statement he does not condemn the slaughter of Shiites by the Sunni ISIL, but rather the response by the West in the form of bombs and drones.

He has more than qualified his rejection of the ISIL method of jihad when he stated they "cause more harm than good". Did anyone within hearing distance of his statement challenge the cleric to outline the 'good' that was caused, so the harm could be weighed objectively against that 'good'? Are people in the United States 'ignorant and 'bigoted' because they are reacting with revulsion and fear against those in their country who support the kind of proselytizing exemplified by ISIL's jihad?

Who, then is preaching hatred and division, other than Sheikh Yasir Qadhi? Is it not his narrative that is feeding into that of the Islamic State's? The Islamic State has threatened specific Islamic scholars and imams as "apostates" who have earned death. The most recent issue of their online magazine, Dabiq, described them as "obligatory targets", just as jihad is obligatory in Islam for all faithful. Supporters were urged to make use of any weapons at hand to "make an example of them". Typically Islamist.

Photo illustration by the Daily Beast

But these targeted Muslim leaders have stated they have no intention of backing down. Some have hired security guards and fortified workplaces, while others have taken to obtaining firearms for safety's sake. That too typifies the tribal closed-mindedness and hatred that Muslims extend toward those of other thoughts. They will now know quite intimately how cartoonists who dare to attack the dignity of the Prophet Mohammad and Islam by their offensively crude pictorial comments on a religion of peace that poses in off-hours as a religion of death-deliverance. react.

Have any of them sought to bring about the sea-change that is truly required to ensure that Islam does become a religion of peace, tolerance and goodwill? Someone has, and it certainly is none of the imams and scholars so regularly quoted in the news in typically Westernized-forgiving stories about how wonderfully humane they are, and how very wrong their critics are. That someone on the other hand is the president of 80-million Egyptians, some of whom, like ISIL, challenge humanity, calling themselves the Muslim Brotherhood.
"We talk a lot about the importance of religious discourse… In our schools, institutes and universities, do we teach and practice respect for the others? We neither teach or practice it."
"God did not create the world for the ‘ummah’ [Arabic for ‘nation’ or ‘community’] to be alone. [He didn’t create it] for one community, but for communities. [He didn’t create it] for one religion, but for religions."
"Can I impose upon someone pressure, physically or morally, to change their religion? Would God accept this?… What are we afraid of? Are we custodians of people’s minds or choices? No, we are not. In religion specifically, no."
"Each of us will be judged independently… and [people] will have to answer [for their choices and what they choose to believe]."
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah  al-Sisi

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