Talking Cultural Diversity

a discussion board for cultural and diversity issues by Thomas Kochman and Jean Mavrelis

Activist Islam — Part II

By Wageh Saad - 05.31.2010

The horrific events of September 11 caused and outburst of anger in the American society and the west in general.  Reactions to these events were as diverse as the multitude of social and political doctrines that exist in the society.

The war on terror started with the invasion of two Muslim countries: Afghanistan and Iraq.  The goals of the war in Afghanistan were justified and the vast majority of Muslims conceded to the concept that Alqaeda deserved punishment.   However, the war caused suspicions in the hearts of the Muslim majority that there are some hidden if not obvious intentions that the West is after more than punishing a group of extremists.

The invasion of Iraq and the unfounded claims that it aimed at eliminating weapons of mass destruction, this invasion drew opposition and criticism in the US and  worldwide and furthered the rage in the hearts of an already angry mainstream Muslim populace.

In addition to that — and this is no secret to say–  among Muslims and Arabs, there is anger toward American Middle East policies that have continuously supported the Israeli government behavior in its oppressive treatment of the Palestinian people and the perceived plans that Israel have for the third holiest site for Muslims that is the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Anger on both sides has produced a climate of heightened antagonism that resulted in an era of escalating violence fueled, on both sides, by religious extremism and other hidden and visible agendas.

This world climate and the lack of willingness to make concessions over international issues are a fertile grounds for extremism to expand and gain supporters.  I still remember the words of President Husni Moubarak of Egypt forewarning the Bush Administration before the invasion of Iraq that it will lead to an increased campaign by Alqaeda.

Bottom line: the bombing of mosques, hospitals, and transportation vehicles are not to be considered Islamic activism even as the bombing of abortion clinics is not to be considered an act of Christian activism.

Islam is not always what Muslims do.  Christianity and Judaism are not always what Christians and what Jews do.

The horrible violent acts in Iraq, Pakistan, and other places occupy the morning news almost every day and when rendered against the backdrop of anger in the Islamic societies mislead us into thinking that Islam as a religion is the culprit.

These offenders intend to drag all Muslims into their campaign.  Needless to say that the vast majority of their victims are Muslims, who do not share their ideologies.

Also, the world needs to realize that the confrontations we are witnessing in the Middle East are not always religious.  The division in these societies such as social classes, tribal allegiance, localities, and family loyalty, play major roles in  the Middle Eastern politics aside from religions.  However, due to the importance of religious life for Middle-Easterners, the parties to a dispute act as if they are on God\’s side and their adversary is an enemy of God.

Like two brothers in the same house hold wrestling over some inheritance, each will try to portray himself as obeying the principles of the religion and accuse the other of deviating from these principles.

One Response so far

muslims are not our enemy. why are we not premoting peace, instead of war? by fighting, we are only making it worse. will the hate and fear ever end?

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