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Islam must face demons

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  • Moderator
    Aik TC's Avatar
    1,573 posts since Jun '10
    • Islam must face demons

      Herald Sun May 24, 2017

      ISLAM must face a deadly reality from within — its religion is providing the framework for mass-casualty terrorist attacks against innocent civilians.

      The world’s suspicions the depraved mass murder of children and adults in Manchester was the work of an Islamic extremist were confirmed yesterday and claimed by Islamic State.

      Labelling such attacks “Islamic terrorism” immediately draws politically correct accusations of Islamophobia, a strident defence that Islam is a religion of peace and that this is yet another example of a heinous act committed by a criminal who has hijacked religion.

      Indeed, Islamic community leaders, including the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, has previously described Islamic State as “anti-Muslim” and prominent Muslims issue public condemnations when terror attacks occur.

      But, while such statements are welcome, they do not address a fundamental problem: there are large numbers of radicalised Islamic extremists in Western nations willing to kill innocent people.

      Nor do hashtags, candlelit vigils or social media campaigns combat the root cause of terrorism. Australia and other Western nations must have an open, mature conversation about Islam as both part of the problem and an essential part of the answer to it.

      As we’ve seen too often in Europe it takes only a handful of extremists, or a lone wolf, to wreak horrendous carnage. Picture: Getty Images

      As the horrible impact of the Manchester atrocity comes to light, we reflect on the faces of Saffie Rose Roussos, 8, Georgina Callander, 18, and others among at least 22 dead and 59 injured.

      In Australia, more than 300 individuals are monitored as potential terrorism threats and 12 domestic plots have been foiled in the past two years. Another 100 Australians are fighting alongside IS in Iraq and Syria or supporting their efforts, and at least 70 have been killed in the conflict zone.

      With approximately 500,000 Muslims in Australia, in context, the number of suspected terrorism sympathisers is low. But as we’ve seen too often in Europe — from Nice, Paris and Brussels to London and now Manchester, or even in Melbourne with the Anzac, Christmas or Mother’s Day plots — it takes only a handful of extremists, or a lone wolf, to wreak horrendous carnage. Our national terrorism threat alert currently sits at “probable”. If another terrorist strike occurs — after the Numan Haider, Man Haron Monis and Farhad Khalil Mohammad Jabar events — it is more than probable, in fact highly likely, it will be Islamic-extremist inspired.

      Apologists argue a tormented and selective interpretation of the Koran and not Islam itself is to blame for terrorist acts. Yet there is no escaping the fact that since the world-changing September 11 attacks in the US in 2001, terrorism is a cancer that has spread from Islam’s extremist infection. In 2014, when Islamic State first emerged in some force, there were 18 civilian deaths in Western attacks inspired or directed by the group. That rose to claim 313 deaths in 2015 from 67 attacks and IS is now responsible for well over half the terrorist killings carried out in the West, including 6141 deaths in attacks on recent statistics.

      It is now the world’s most deadly terrorist group, followed by al-Qaeda, Nigeria’s Islamist Boko Haram and Afghanistan’s Taliban — which account for more than 75 per cent of terrorism fatalities.

      President Donald Trump’s words this week denouncing terrorism must be adopted loudly by Australian imams, Islamic families and the entire Muslim community.

      IS, al-Qaeda and Boko Haram have one deadly common denominator — they follow a violent Salafi form of armed jihad under the Wahhabi doctrine of Sunni Islam.

      Certainly, there are religious, political or cultural atrocities (terrorism) committed by a range of other groups, sects and criminals across the globe in recent and current times. They include the recent ethnic war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which claimed an estimated 5.4 million lives; “ethnic cleansing”, which has killed thousands of Rohingya Muslims in Buddhist-majority Myanmar; mass shootings in the US by crazed gunmen with anti-government agendas or, until mid-last year, the Marxist-Leninist FARC group that saw hundreds of thousands killed in Colombia. Even intra-Islamic conflict in the Middle East, pitting Shia against Sunni sects, results in huge numbers of casualties.

      It goes without saying that Australia’s Islamic community, here since Afghan cameleers arrived in 1860, forms an important part of our cohesive, multicultural tapestry. But to ignore the threat from a minority section of the community who swallow poisonous digital-age propaganda will guarantee an era of perpetual terrorism remains.

      Young, disaffected males, susceptible migrants or converts, some with criminal backgrounds or returning to a family faith with vengeance, self-appointed “imams” who spew anti-West rhetoric — they are the dangers that Islam itself must tackle if it is to secure the wider confidence of all Australians.

      Such is the example of Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi.

      English-born to refugee migrants, he turned on the homeland that gave him safe harbour and education.

      While US President Donald Trump is a divisive figure, this week he said: “Terrorists do not worship God. They worship death. Religious leaders must make this absolutely clear ... if you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty, your life will be brief and your soul will be fully condemned.”

       

      They are words that must be adopted loudly by Australian imams, Islamic families and the entire Muslim community.

  • Weychin's Avatar
    1,769 posts since Jul '09
    • If inclusiveness is an universal virtue, then indeed Islam must go through Muslims themselves a reformation.

      However, given the exclusive nature of abrahamic religions, there is a limit to how inclusive these exclusive religions can become. Fundamentally, the way exclusive religions proselytize, simply put,embrace or be condemned. What it essentially means is that, you deserve the worst that might to happen to you, even if we(adherents) would feel sorry for you. Let the key belief sink in, you deserve it. Not believing is a greater sin than other non virtues. This is the only sin that is automatically non forgivable.

      However, given we are increasingly in an open and inclusive society. The basis of having wider interaction with peace and tolerance as a premise. For Abrahamic beliefs, the Christians have it a little easier, having the old testament and the new testament. There is a fundamental shift of love, tolerance and forgiving nature with the advent of the messiah(although still not quite wholly inclusive).  Also one of the main reasons which I feel, for the non acceptance of the Hebrews of this messiah is he is not a sweeping conqueror implied within the context of the old testament. 
      Put in  Buddhist context, a messiah is a cakravartin, an universal monarch.

      Now, for the Muslims, the Koran currently being the central authority through his messenger, Prophet Muhammad, there are two periods, the earlier Meccan and latter Medinah period. The Koran, written during the earlier Meccan period advocated peace and tolerance. Whereas the Koran written during the Medinah period sanction actions such as lying, intolerance and violence to non believers and deviants. The Medina hadiths justifies and also abrogates against the earlier hadiths found in the Meccan Koran. So, one can resort to lying and violence against the enemies of Islam whenever it is to their convenience. It was through violence where Islam grew phenomenally. (Golden Era/ Glory days of Islam?)

      Why do you think Muslims terrorists are called Muslims fundamentalists? Simply, such actions can be justified through the Medinah Koran and that of Prophet Muhammad and his followers through a path of conquest and violence. Much of Islam's conversion has been under the sword. However, most people, which includes a majority of Muslims, desire  peaceful lives, hence the return to earlier more peaceful version Koran.

       Unfortunately, Muslims are not a homogeneous group. Apart from the broad denominations of Sunni and Shia, also are a number of interpretations. Also, Muslims are culturally diverse. Religion is of belief and culture and in many instances they conflate. Most are tolerant but many are not. These may have been a minority, but still being a large following, they are many. If there is no urgency by Muslims themselves to reform Islam, then perception of Islam as a religion of violence, cannot be helped but grow. As they say, action speaks louder than words. One cannot claim to a larger family brotherhood only disavow each others' actions whenever inconvenient to one's narrative. It can be said that Muslims kill more Muslims than non Muslims simply because they do not agree with each other. You can get killed for being less Islamic. Still there is not overwhelming sense of urgency in reformation.

      It had been said, that words of Prophet Mohammad is the words of Allah. Thus, is has been difficult to separate the Word of Allah through the mouth of Prophet Mohammad and  words coming from Mohammad the man. One could and should accept that the Prophet is not Allah, and therefore  not equal to Allah. Therefore, he cannot be perfect like Allah, and one should not conflate the words of Allah and that of the man, even if they come out from the mouth of same man. Perhaps one should determine whether Allah is Good and what constitutes Good words and actions.
      One should also remember Prophet Muhammad was and but is not the messenger anymore. 

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