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Some More Comments for John L

Reader comment on item: Why Corporations Fund Radical Islam

Submitted by Aidan Maconachy (Canada), Sep 12, 2005 at 22:49

John L -

Many religions co-exist in the West in a relative degree of harmony. With the notable exception of Islam, none that I know of has entered the West with aggrandizing intentions. Most of the religious are content to go to their place of worship and then follow the tenets of their faith in private, without any overriding impulse to impose their values, beliefs or customs on the society around them.

Christianity was once such a "crusading religion", but these days it is a religion on the retreat with dwindling membership. Any Christian advocates of aggressive proselytizing are usually members of fringe evangelical sects, and in no way representitive of mainstream Christianity.

Alone among the world's religions, Islam stands out as an "angry" faith (despite it's claims to be a religion of peace). Muslim immigrants to countries such as England segregate themselves in tightly knit communities, and many don't even make the effort to learn the host language, English. As we know from the recent experience in London, Islamic communities in the West incubate a virulent form of Wahhabist thinking, that sanctifies the taking of life in the name of Allah.

Many liberals look beyond these extremists and point to the larger Islamic community which they characterize as "moderate". In the course of my life I have met many western muslims who have no sympathies of any sort with Jihadist thinking, so I know such people exist in the greater Islamic community and make a positive contribution to our societies. That said, some scrutiny has to be given to the larger Islamic community I believe, not to victimize them unecessarily, but in order to understand the workings of these communities. What is being said by Imams and others ... the types of organizations that attract young muslims ... who is being invited as guest speakers etc

I believe there is a precedent for such scrutiny when you consider the number of Imams who have been expelled from France for preaching hatred toward the West, and when one considers that the young London bombers appeared to have been rather effectively brain washed by charismatic teachers who both lived in the Anglo-Muslim community, and visited from without. One should note also, that Tony Blair's initiatives in the direction of controlling the fanatical element, has been roundly supported by mainstream Muslim leaders in the U.K.

In the build-up to 9/11, there was a rising tide of extremism in and around urban mosques throughout the West. What I find very troubling in retrospect, is that virtually no Islamic spokespersons or even rank and file members came forward in the media to announce "we have a problem". The moderate element was apparently quite happy to look the other way and to refrain from blowing the whistle.

If we take a parallel example by way of comparison ... say a scenario in which Christian churches throughout the West are infiltrated by zealots preaching a violent theology that calls for attacks on Muslim countries and the terror bombing of law abiding Islamic civilians, I feel fairly confident in saying that ministers and members of congregations would blow whistles loud and clear. So yes, I find the silence of the moderate Muslim assemblies troubling. I'm not inferring at all that it indicates active collusion, it may simply have been a misplaced sense of loyalty or the belief that nothing much would have been done by the authorities anyway. On the other hand if there was more active policing by moderate Muslims and active attempts to expose and root out radical elements, I don't think the type of surveillance I mentioned early would be as pressing a concern.

To conclude, I don't think American Muslims have been subjected to the indignities en masse which you seem to imply, and I think both the authorities and Islamic leaders need to work in concert to ensure that matters improve in the future.
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