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July 5, 2007

Tanveer Ahmed: Muslim Communities Must Face Uncomfortable Truths

Tanveer Ahmed's piece today at The Australian paints a disturbing image of an Islamic problem that threatens not only the West but the Muslim community itself - Islam's uncomfortable truths:

[...] At its core, Islam is deeply sceptical of the idea of a secular state. There is no rendering unto Caesar because state and religion are believed to be inseparable. This idea then interacts with centuries-old edicts of Islamic jurists about how the land of Islam should interact with the world of unbelievers, known as dar ul-kufr. The modern radicals then take it further, declaring that since, with the exception perhaps of Pakistan and Iran, there are no Islamic states, the whole world is effectively the land of the unbelievers. As a result, some radicals believe waging war on the whole world is justified to re-create it as an Islamic state.

They go as far as reclassifying the globe as dar ul-harb, "land of war", apparently allowing Muslims to destroy the sanctity of the five rights that every human is granted under Islam: life, wealth, land, mind and belief. In dar ul-harb, anything goes, including the killing of civilians.

While it may appear absurd to most, this nihilistic but exclusivist world view is clearly attracting significant numbers of young Muslims. British police have suggested the latest attacks and foiled plots may have involved teenagers. But the obvious absurdity of the set of ideas is still grounded in Islam, which, regardless of how theological experts argue, can be interpreted in many ways.

Muslim communities must openly argue precisely what it is they fear and loathe about the West. Much of it centres on sexuality. This is the first step in rooting out any Muslim ambivalence about living in the West. But thereafter, the argument must proceed rapidly to Islamic theology and all its uncomfortable truths - from its repeated glowing references to violence, its obsession with and revulsion at sex and its historical antipathy to the very possibility that reason can exist as separate from God.

Tanveer Ahmed's sobering take home message is clear: A particular theology is central to the problem of terrorism, and extremism is still virtually the norm in much of the Muslim community, particularly among Muslim youth. And when radical views morph into a violent political act, the result is a terrorism born from the extremist's theology. Alarmingly, the threat from the extremists' theology is real, the threat is dangerous, and the threat is growing.

Cross posted from Hyscience

Posted by Richard at July 5, 2007 11:13 AM

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