Thursday, November 10, 2005

A Post About Extremists

Last night we witnessed a triple suicide bombing in Amman, the capital of Jordan. The debate continues to rage as to whether Islam is a 'dangerous religion' that preaches hate and anger and murder all in the name of a malevolent god. The riots in France have already been twisted into an 'Islamist' agenda to wage Jihad on the streets of Paris (while I have no doubt that certain terrorist elements may be maximising their involvement in the whole affair).

But my main question - a very relevant question I think - is why aren't the moderate and REAL muslims standing up and speaking out? Why are we being drowned out by the terrorist element? I think most rational people know that Islam, like any religion, is not about death destruction and violence. It teaches the same core fundamentals as pretty much every other religion, of peace and love. So why this?

The vast majority of muslims are against terrorism, but many muslims feel bitter and angry about American foreign policy. They, we, feel that America runs rampant over countries, cultures and civilisations and bends them towards dong their will, even using violent means to do so. Most of us were against the war in Iraq. Few muslims thought of Saddam as a hero (and those that did were pretty ignorant about what was going on within Iraq; they only knew Israel), but in such a situation, theres the whole 'enemy of my enemy' mentality, which is extremely unfortunate.

The mass export of Western culture is something most muslims I know do not like as well. Culture, or as we see, lack thereof. Someone once gave a wonderful description of what he considered 'melting pot' to really mean. A melting pot is when you throw everything into a 'pot' and eventually all the ingredients just meld into one colour, eliminating all culture and identity and individuality of what goes in. Integrate can mean, lose your identity and become one of us. This is something that is a real worry to many muslims living in Western countries, because from what they see, integrate means drop your inhibitions to drinking and sensibilities towards women. 'Liberate thyselves!' means take off your hijabs - and all your clothes for that matter, so that you can be oogled and harassed by men (and women nowadays), because this is what makes you free and independent. We respect you because you're naked and ready.

Whether I agree with the above descriptions or not are irrelevant: many muslims see it this way. Rather than celebrating their culture and respecting differences, theyre asked to conform. However, for the average person, this does not cause them to turn to terrorism. Something much deeper must make one turn to terrorism, a deep insecurity perhaps. I wouldn't know.

But why is it we are afraid to speak louder than these terrorists? There are many voices speaking out, but none of them are heard. Is it because actions speak louder than words? These terrorists are not afraid to kill anyone and everyone who goes against them. Facing that prospect, nobody wants to do more than whisper really. Or is it because theres always a clause? A 'but'? We condemn terrorism BUT etc. etc. I dont know. I feel a lot of the so-called representatives of the muslim world dont represent anyone at all. We have bad representatives trying to straddle a middle line of appeasing both terrorists and Western leaders, while forgetting that theyre supposed to be representing the modern, average-Joe muslims. The fact that we're not completely united is another issue. Even within muslim sects there are divisions that keep them apart. Perhaps we need a figurehead to represent us, but the danger with that is not finding a leader whos suitable.

Who can say. The point is that I think the terrorists speak louder than the majority of us simply because they have no fear of death and reputation and what not, while for us, we're afraid of consequences. So whats the solution?

Posted by illogicist at 3:42 AM

2 Comments

  1. Blogger Sree posted at 11/10/2005 10:56:00 AM  
    I have no clue as to what the answer would/could be, but I'd like to mention this: A mix of religion and politics has always brought the ugliest, most radical consequences to the party that follows that line of thought. Its only the Muslim countries now that still follow along that line of thought ... even though it hasn't spelled doom yet, in many ways I think worldly events are leading to that point.

    If anyone has to stand out and speak against using Islam's name in connection to terrorist activities, then it should be the Islamic scholars. Having said that, they're humans in the end too ... they worry about opposing an enemy who doesn't stop at anything to get their point across, whatever it is. General citizens follow whatever logical voice they hear ... all they hear right now is "Western countries are bad. Our morals are right. They want to brain wash us. We won't let them. Jihaad!" or something along those lines.

    Western thought isn't nothing but live in the era the world is living in; keep your religious affliations and private life, private. It has nothing to do with becoming naked to gain respect, per say.

    The Nazi regime got popular in Germany because an average German citizen would 'blankly' listen to his superior and follow directions without thinking. It worked well, until they started "thinking" on their.

    Okay, I have no idea where I'm going with all this, but you get an idea of what I want to say, right?
  2. Blogger A. Woman in black posted at 11/12/2005 10:47:00 AM  
    fantastic post....full of thought and well written...made me think...want to elaborate but on time constraint right now...

    great articulation

    A.

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