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Yes, This Is About Islam - Salman Rushdie (2001)

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by AroundTheWorld, Aug 5, 2014.

  1. AroundTheWorld

    Supporting Member

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    http://www.nytimes.com/2001/11/02/opinion/02RUSH.html

    LONDON -- "This isn't about Islam." The world's leaders have been repeating this mantra for weeks, partly in the virtuous hope of deterring reprisal attacks on innocent Muslims living in the West, partly because if the United States is to maintain its coalition against terror it can't afford to suggest that Islam and terrorism are in any way related.

    The trouble with this necessary disclaimer is that it isn't true. If this isn't about Islam, why the worldwide Muslim demonstrations in support of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda? Why did those 10,000 men armed with swords and axes mass on the Pakistan-Afghanistan frontier, answering some mullah's call to jihad? Why are the war's first British casualties three Muslim men who died fighting on the Taliban side?

    Why the routine anti-Semitism of the much-repeated Islamic slander that "the Jews" arranged the hits on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, with the oddly self-deprecating explanation offered by the Taliban leadership, among others, that Muslims could not have the technological know-how or organizational sophistication to pull off such a feat? Why does Imran Khan, the Pakistani ex-sports star turned politician, demand to be shown the evidence of Al Qaeda's guilt while apparently turning a deaf ear to the self-incriminating statements of Al Qaeda's own spokesmen (there will be a rain of aircraft from the skies, Muslims in the West are warned not to live or work in tall buildings)? Why all the talk about American military infidels desecrating the sacred soil of Saudi Arabia if some sort of definition of what is sacred is not at the heart of the present discontents?

    Of course this is "about Islam." The question is, what exactly does that mean? After all, most religious belief isn't very theological. Most Muslims are not profound Koranic analysts. For a vast number of "believing" Muslim men, "Islam" stands, in a jumbled, half-examined way, not only for the fear of God — the fear more than the love, one suspects — but also for a cluster of customs, opinions and prejudices that include their dietary practices; the sequestration or near-sequestration of "their" women; the sermons delivered by their mullahs of choice; a loathing of modern society in general, riddled as it is with music, godlessness and sex; and a more particularized loathing (and fear) of the prospect that their own immediate surroundings could be taken over — "Westoxicated" — by the liberal Western-style way of life.

    Highly motivated organizations of Muslim men (oh, for the voices of Muslim women to be heard!) have been engaged over the last 30 years or so in growing radical political movements out of this mulch of "belief." These Islamists — we must get used to this word, "Islamists," meaning those who are engaged upon such political projects, and learn to distinguish it from the more general and politically neutral "Muslim" — include the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the blood-soaked combatants of the Islamic Salvation Front and Armed Islamic Group in Algeria, the Shiite revolutionaries of Iran, and the Taliban. Poverty is their great helper, and the fruit of their efforts is paranoia. This paranoid Islam, which blames outsiders, "infidels," for all the ills of Muslim societies, and whose proposed remedy is the closing of those societies to the rival project of modernity, is presently the fastest growing version of Islam in the world.

    This is not wholly to go along with Samuel Huntington's thesis about the clash of civilizations, for the simple reason that the Islamists' project is turned not only against the West and "the Jews," but also against their fellow Islamists. Whatever the public rhetoric, there's little love lost between the Taliban and Iranian regimes. Dissensions between Muslim nations run at least as deep, if not deeper, than those nations' resentment of the West. Nevertheless, it would be absurd to deny that this self-exculpatory, paranoiac Islam is an ideology with widespread appeal.

    Twenty years ago, when I was writing a novel about power struggles in a fictionalized Pakistan, it was already de rigueur in the Muslim world to blame all its troubles on the West and, in particular, the United States. Then as now, some of these criticisms were well-founded; no room here to rehearse the geopolitics of the cold war and America's frequently damaging foreign policy "tilts," to use the Kissinger term, toward (or away from) this or that temporarily useful (or disapproved-of) nation-state, or America's role in the installation and deposition of sundry unsavory leaders and regimes. But I wanted then to ask a question that is no less important now: Suppose we say that the ills of our societies are not primarily America's fault, that we are to blame for our own failings? How would we understand them then? Might we not, by accepting our own responsibility for our problems, begin to learn to solve them for ourselves?

    Many Muslims, as well as secularist analysts with roots in the Muslim world, are beginning to ask such questions now. In recent weeks Muslim voices have everywhere been raised against the obscurantist hijacking of their religion. Yesterday's hotheads (among them Yusuf Islam, a k a Cat Stevens) are improbably repackaging themselves as today's pussycats.

    An Iraqi writer quotes an earlier Iraqi satirist: "The disease that is in us, is from us." A British Muslim writes, "Islam has become its own enemy." A Lebanese friend, returning from Beirut, tells me that in the aftermath of the attacks on Sept. 11, public criticism of Islamism has become much more outspoken. Many commentators have spoken of the need for a Reformation in the Muslim world.

    I'm reminded of the way noncommunist socialists used to distance themselves from the tyrannical socialism of the Soviets; nevertheless, the first stirrings of this counterproject are of great significance. If Islam is to be reconciled with modernity, these voices must be encouraged until they swell into a roar. Many of them speak of another Islam, their personal, private faith.

    The restoration of religion to the sphere of the personal, its depoliticization, is the nettle that all Muslim societies must grasp in order to become modern. The only aspect of modernity interesting to the terrorists is technology, which they see as a weapon that can be turned on its makers. If terrorism is to be defeated, the world of Islam must take on board the secularist-humanist principles on which the modern is based, and without which Muslim countries' freedom will remain a distant dream.

    ---------------------

    This article is 13 years old. Since then, the Muslim world has turned for the worse. Yes, this is about Islam.
     
  2. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Contributing Member

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    It needs to go through a Reformation of its own.
     
  3. AMS

    AMS Contributing Member

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    Did this lunatic really post an anti Islam article from 2001.... He loses arguments in every thread he starts, and the best response he has is to start another unrelated Islamophobe thread...

    Please don't quote the troll, it's nice having him on the ignore list.
     
  4. CometsWin

    CometsWin Breaker Breaker One Nine

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    That's uh.... 37 consecutive Islam threads? Nice job.
     
  5. OlajuwonFan81

    OlajuwonFan81 Member

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    Just ignore him.
     
  6. Bandwagoner

    Bandwagoner Contributing Member

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    If he is on your ignore list, you aren't using that function at all.
     
  7. Akim523

    Akim523 Member

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    Let's just get rid of all religions
     
  8. fchowd0311

    fchowd0311 Contributing Member

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    Amen.
     
  9. moose

    moose Member

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  10. AroundTheWorld

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    Erdogan supports ISIS. And you don't think it is about Islam for him?

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2014/07/30/ISIS-Fighter-Claims-Turkey-Funds-the-Jihadist-Group

    ISIS FIGHTER CLAIMS TURKEY FUNDS THE JIHADIST GROUP

    Turkey Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his AK Party have a well developed reputation for anti-Semitism and anti-Israel policies generally. But now ties to the Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS, are emerging. The Jerusalem Post reported one Islamic State member said Turkey, a member of NATO, provided funds for the terrorist group.
    "Turkey paved the way for us. Had Turkey not shown such understanding for us, the Islamic State would not be in its current place. It [Turkey] showed us affection. Large [numbers] of our mujahedeen received medical treatment in Turkey,” said the man, who was not identified. “We do not have the support of Saudi Arabia, but many Saudi families who believe in jihad do assist us. But anyhow, we will no longer need it, soon,” he said.
    "We will build the Islamic state in the territories from Tigris to Jordan and Palestine and to Lebanon. Sunni Law will rule,” he continued.
    The terrorists took over Azaz, a key town in Syria near the border of Turkey in September 2013. That is significant because Turkey “vocally supported the fight against forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and allowed weapons to cross into Syria on its southern border.” The capture of Azaz allowed easier access to the jihadists. Two months later, CNN featured Turkey’s secret jihadi route to Syria.
    Now, ISIS is speaking with Turkey businesses and asking them to return to Iraq.
    “Turkish companies have signed major contracts in Iraq, promising to keep their shelves stocked,” said Turkey’s Minister of Economy Nihat Zeybekci. “Our exports to Iraq are now down to 35%, but Iraq cannot easily substitute other sources. We think there will be a boom in demand soon. We also know that IS is contacting individual Turkish businessmen and telling them, ‘Come back, we won’t interfere.’ That is not easy, of course. But when in the future Iraq is rebuilt, it will be Turkey doing it.”
    The Islamic State declared a caliphate in areas of Syria and Iraq. There are no confirmations the Islamic State is involved in the Gaza-Israel conflict, but the group made it known they desire a worldwide caliphate. ISIS was present at an anti-Israel rally in the Netherlands and chanted, "Death to the Jews." On Wednesday, ISIS said the group will aid Palestine when they are finished in Iraq and Syria.
    If they feel a kinship with Palestinians, however, there is evidence that that feeling is not mutual. Palestinian TV recently broadcast a comedy sketch mocking ISIS, where the punchline was that, when confronted with an Americanized Israeli, ISIS let them live while killing "infidel" Muslims.
    "As for the massacres taking place in Gaza against the Muslim men, women and children, then the Islamic State will do everything within its means to continue striking down every apostate who stands as an obstacle on its paths towards Palestine," ISIS said in a statement. "It is only matter of time and patience before it (Islamic State) reaches Palestine to fight the barbaric Jews and kill those of them hiding behind the gharqad trees of the Jews."
    The American Jewish Congress asked Erdogan to return his 2004 Profile of Courage Award and described him as “the most virulent anti-Israel leader in the world.” Erdogan replied he would be more than happy to return the award due to Israel’s actions in Gaza. On July 18, he accused Israel of genocide and lashed out at Muslim countries for not doing enough to protect Palestine. Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Israel’s actions amount to “ethnic cleansing and a crime against humanity.”
    Erdogan and Davutoglu aired these statements as violent, anti-Jewish protests at the Israeli embassy and consulates across Turkey put Turkish citizens in danger. Israel recalled its diplomats and families. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said the Turkish government did nothing to protect its citizens “as rocks were thrown at the Istanbul consulate and the Israeli flag was reportedly torn down and replaced with the Palestinian one at the Ankara embassy.” Newsweek reported Alev Scott said the police were “lenient with protesters compared to the anti-government protests last May.” Erdogan did promise to keep Turkish Jews safe from mobs and protests but asked them to condemn Israel.
    “Jews in Turkey are our citizens. We are responsible for their security of life and property,” he said. “I talked with our Jewish citizens’ leaders on Thursday and I stated that they should adopt a firm stance and release a statement against the Israeli government. I will contact them [Jewish leaders in Turkey] again, but whether or not they release a statement, we will never let Jewish people in Turkey get hurt.”
     
  11. Exiled

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