Imperialism/Capitalism/Colonialism are to blame, right?
Reader comment on item: The Evil Isn't Islam
Submitted by Alex (United States), Dec 15, 2005 at 05:15For these are the root causes of Islamic retaliation/self-defense/terrorism, or so goes the basic argument from the left.
Well, everyone in the world has grievances; every single person, group, nation, religion, you name it. We all have our grievances and our grudges.
So maybe the Islamic World, such as it is (didn't start out Islamic did it?) has been colonised and exploited over the last few hundred years. Who hasn't been? What about all those years before western colonisation when Muslims ravaged areas and people from Morocco to Indonesia? Invaded and warred on European people too in Spain and up through the Balkans to the gates of Vienna in the 16th &17th Centuries. I suppose they were simply retaliating for the Crusades right? Well, the Crusades were in retaliation too. And on and on it goes like the classic child's argument: "Well He Started It!"
The most vicious crimes in world history are perpetrated by those who see themselves as aggrieved victims. It frees them to crimes without conscience. After all, they are the 'real' victims simply acting in self-defense or the defense of their group/nation/religion.
But all that is tiresome and endlessly hashed over on any number of other sites. This question is about whether Islam is a primary source of the evil that many extremist Muslims are committing in its name today. Today! not 200 years ago, not 400 years ago, not 600 or 800 or 1000 years ago. Today!
It's easy to say that the many murderous passages in the Koran against Non-believers are simply relics of the battles then being waged against Islam's enemies of the time, and no longer of interest. But the slavish submission that Islam requires from its followers does not lend itself to mere historical interpretation of the Koran which is said to contain the literal words of Allah as taken down and passed on by Muhammad. There's not a lot of 'wiggle room' in the profusion of Koranic war and battle against Non-believers who are to be despised and eliminated. All in the noble service of Good and God of course. The dehumanization of "The Other" is appalling and unequalled in any other major religion of the world.
The eagerness of Today's Muslim extremists to explode themselves as instruments of Allah's wrath is equally appalling... and revealing.
The real problem is that Islam is such a Supremacist faith. Yes most religions claim to be the true and only way, but Islam is projected as so Superior, so Pure, so Supreme, and so Final, that there really isn't any room left for other thought or consideration, let alone tolerance, of possible or actual alternative ways of living/believing. Other ways/paths threaten the Supremacist Hegemony and must be eliminated, or at least thoroughly subjugated.
I think this helps to explain the psychological rage within many young Muslim men today. By simple virtue of being Muslim, with all its attendant supplication, devotion, and purifying, they are supposed to be superior to the Non-believers of the Dar-al-Harb, Masters of them even. And yet they find themselves in an inferior relation/reality to the supposedly inferior Non-believers to the point of being Colonised by them, and Exploited by them! And Polluted by them! How could such a thing be possible?! How could Islam and Muslims be in an unnatural Inferior relation to Non-Muslims?!
It then begins to seem like a sinister plot, or even war against them. And that's exactly where Bin-Laden and his type circle, land, and feed.. They explain, in no subtle way, that it is indeed a sinister plot and war against Muslims and Islam being waged by the very same filthy enemies who plotted against Muhammad and his revealed truth from the very start. And they go one better by showing explicit and innumerable passages in the Koran on just how to rectify this unjust situation through war and relentless Jihad. They also show in the Koran the 'true nature' of the Infidel and how he is never to be trusted or taken as a friend, plus how to kill him off of course ("cut at his neck" just like Zarqawi and his gang did on video in Iraq). It's all there in abundance for the extremists to cultivate, and they take full helpings with deadly effect. Plus there are very few if any countervailing passages about kindness or love toward anyone but other Muslims. You're either with Islam or you're against Islam and that's the main problem.
Much is said about how the extremists "Hijack" True Islam, but the sad fact is that Islam is not a moderate faith. Rather, it's an unyielding supremacist faith which gives way too much explicit suppport to the fanatical acts of viiolence committed in its name.
Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".
Reader comments (1223) on this item
Comment on this item
You can help support Daniel Pipes' work by making a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum. Daniel J. Pipes