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Let’s Talk About How Islam Has Been Hijacked

Discussion in 'Society and Culture' started by ethics, Oct 27, 2014.

  1. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    What's wondering about this is that this is coming from an intellectual Muslim. I've skipped the historical lesson and only quoting the point I want to emphasize -- and already discussed here.

    Today, Qutb’s outlook—Islamism—is the dominant political ideology in most Muslim-majority countries, often taking root in vacuums where secular politics have never had space to develop. Polls by the Pew Research Center, such as 2013’s “The World’s Muslims” indicate that in many Muslim countries, the population is overwhelmingly in favor of veiling for women, the death penalty for leaving Islam and stoning as punishment for adultery; rabid anti-Semitism is rampant. The few exceptions to these statistics tend to be countries with a long history of militant secularism (like Turkey), or former communist states (Tajikistan, Bosnia, Albania, etc.) where religion was effectively wiped out of the public sphere. But Islamism is now growing even in those places.

    The trend of history is being reversed. In Egypt, for instance, veiling was unheard of 50 years ago and was virtually extinct until the Islamists resurrected the practice in the 1970s. Today an estimated 90% of Egyptian women are veiled. In many other countries the veil—originally a tribal norm not a religious one—is now ubiquitous, as are views on apostasy in countries that were far more progressive 50 years ago.

    Many of my fellow Muslims are trying to reform Islam from within. Yet our voices are smothered in the West by Islamist apologists and their well-meaning but unwitting allies on the left. For instance, if you try to draw attention to the stark correlation between the rise of Islamic religiosity and regressive attitudes toward women, you’re labeled an Islamophobe.

    In America, other contemporary ideologies are routinely and openly debated in classrooms, newspapers, on talk shows and in living rooms. But Americans make an exception for Islamism. Criticism of the religion—even in abstraction—is conflated with bigotry toward Muslims. There is no public discourse, much less an ideological response, to Islamism, in academia or on Capitol Hill. This trend is creating an intellectual vacuum, where poisonous ideas are allowed to propagate unchecked.

    My own experience as a Muslim in New York bears this out. Socially progressive, self-proclaimed liberals, who would denounce even the slightest injustice committed against women or minorities in America, are appalled when I express a similar criticism about my own community.

    Compare the collective response after each harrowing high-school shooting in America. Intellectuals and public figures look for the root cause of the violence and ask: Why? Yet when I ask why after every terrorist attack, the disapproval I get from my non-Muslim peers is visceral: The majority of Muslims are not violent, they insist, the jihadists are a minority who don’t represent Islam, and I am fear-mongering by even wondering aloud.

    This is delusional thinking. Even as the world witnesses the barbarity of beheadings, habitual stoning and severe subjugation of women and minorities in the Muslim world, politicians and academics lecture that Islam is a “religion of peace.” Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia routinely beheads women for sorcery and witchcraft.

    In the U.S., we Muslims are handled like exotic flowers that will crumble if our faith is criticized—even if we do it ourselves. Meanwhile, Republicans and Democrats alike would apparently prefer to drop bombs in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond, because killing Muslims is somehow less offensive than criticizing their religion? Unfortunately, you can’t kill an idea with a bomb, and so Islamism will continue to propagate. Muslims must tolerate civilized public debate of the texts and scripture that inform Islamism. To demand any less of us is to engage in the soft bigotry of low expectations.

    Mr. Salem is an Egyptian writer based in New York.

    Sierra Mike, Copzilla and ShinyTop like this.
  2. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    #1 most read article right now on WSJ.
  3. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    Like Krauthammer, this guy knows how to hit the nail on the head. I didn't have any statistics on the rise of the veil, but the rest of what he had to say is blatantly obvious. I am so tired of it all that I've just begun to tune out all those crazy people. Someone should send that to the leadership of a certain Christian denomination that last summer passed an anti-Israel motion that disgusted my husband and me so much that we left that church after being part of it for most of the past 36 years. Enough already! We're not interesting in funding any of that phony garbage.
    ethics likes this.
  4. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    I don't know where this guy gets off writing stuff like that. I mean, it's not like militant Islamics are going to do anything bad to white Christians, black Jews (which I've actually seen, believe it or not), Hispanic Catholics, and all those atheists in NYC and Hollywood, right?

  5. Sir Joseph

    Sir Joseph Registered User

    Islam was never hijacked, it was always a war-like religion. How do you think it spread? There were massacres since day 1.
    ethics likes this.
  6. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

  7. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    I agree with that. It is written in their holy book, but they have been encouraged by the weakness of the western world in recent years, and there are plenty of idiots in this country who are making a bad situation worse. It's reminiscent of the UK just before World War II.
    ethics likes this.

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