Been laid up up for a few days with a bum ankle. This has given me some time to catch up on my web reading. It doesn’t look good from here. Forgetting Iraq and Saudi Arabia, for the moment, I am saddened that calmer voices have been shouted down both here and in the Muslim world. We have made this an issue about Islam, and I too have been guilty of this. I apologise. I have recently been in the company of some really interesting thinkers listening to them debate the current state of Islam. Thinkers such as Reinhard Schulzeand Mojtaba Sadria, have re-invigorated me and given me hope. In some of my past postings, I have been to quick to blame Islam for instiling undemocratic principles in its adherents. I should have been blaming the political/social conditions in Muslim countries that have surpressed the the Rule of Law, human rights, political and economic freedom, and gender equality and have promoted bad governance, corruption, and unaccountability. These situations have arisen partially due to complex historical actions by outside forces. It is too simplistic to blame Islam. I apologise. I have been guilty of tying up these negative attributes with Islam, much like many commentators. Was WWI and WWII a failure of Christianity? To simple? Read on.
Here is a sample of some rather bellicose statements made by influential Americans and organisations in the past few years: [taken from an article entitled “Why We Hate Them?, by Brian Mitchell]
“We should invade (Muslim) countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.”
-Columnist Ann Coulter, National Review Online, Sept. 13, 2001.
“Just turn (the sheriff) loose and have him arrest every Muslim that crosses the state line.”
-Rep. C. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security and Senate candidate, to Georgia law officers, November 2001.
“Islam is a religion in which God requires you to send your son to die for him. Christianity is a faith where God sent his Son to die for you.”
-Attorney General John Ashcroft, interview on Cal Thomas radio, November 2001.
“(Islam) is a very evil and wicked religion; wicked, violent and not of the same God (as Christianity).”
-Rev. Franklin Graham, head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, November 2001.
“Islam is Evil, Christ is King.”
-Allegedly written in marker by law enforcement agents on a Muslim prayer calendar in the home of a Muslim being investigated by police in Dearborn, Michigan, July 2002.
“Who put our oil under their sand?”
-A banner of the Orange County Peace Coalition (OCPC), a broad-based group of diverse individuals and organizations. OCPC is a multiethnic, multireligious, multipolitical organization composed of over 20 volunteer groups united for peace. They indicate they have come together because national leaders are propelling the United States into a war that will destabilize the world and threaten our civil liberties.
“We are going to correct a mistake that God made?”
-Army Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, a senior intelligence chief who made church speeches casting the fight against terrorism in religious terms. The three-star general is deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence.
For an interesting read to show you what I am talking about, check out ‘When Islam Breaks Down”, by Theodore Dalrymple. This article attempts to blame Islam for all the cultural ills afflicting Muslim society. What is afflicting Muslim societies is not Islam, but the ignorance of the true beauty and civilising nature of Islam.