Muslims condemn attacks, go on defensive
In case you were completely cut off from the whole world and haven’t heard, a group of Islamic terrorists executed 170 people in cold blood in Mumbai, India last week, and many religious leaders in the Muslim community have come out condemning the attacks, while also vehemently denying there is anything about their faith that may be causing these violent outbreaks. If Islam is such a peaceful religion, why is there so much violence and hatred?
Luckily, not everyone is blind to the impact terrorist attacks are having on the world perception of Islam. Al-Jenfawi, a columnist for a Kuwaiti newspaper, said this concerning the problem of perception:
Muslims and Arabs must confront the violence that is taking place in our name and in the name of our (Islamic) tenets. Unfortunately, we have yet to see a distinguished popular condemnation in the traditional Arab or Muslim communities that strongly rejects what is happening in the name of Islam or Arab nationalism
As far as I can tell, there’s no reason to believe this will happen anytime soon. The violent assaults we are witness to are only the beginning. The truth of the matter is the Muslim faith has done little to reform itself, and as a result, its dogma often reflects values and traditions that are incompatible with modern life. Although there are many moderate Muslims, they are generally considered corrupt, evil and infidels within other more orthodox traditions. Reformation seems impossible unless a majority of Muslims agree that there are elements of their faiths that must be expunged. I very much doubt anything of the sort will happen.
Tensions are going to continue to rise unless something drastic happens. How many Islamic terrorist attacks will occur before the public grows suspicious and mistrustful of any Muslim? I don’t defend judging an entire religion on the action of extremists, but why exactly is it so difficult for this religion to get some of its members under control? There is no denying there is a great deal of hatred in the Middle East, much of it directed against the West, and Jews in particular. If moderate and modern Muslims want to avoid being feared and mistrusted, they will need to do more than simply condemn the actions of their religious brethren. If, following the attacks, Muslim organizations had mobilized to bring help and assistance to the victims, it would have sent a clear message that it wasn’t a situation of them vs us. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like this is very likely, and the continued failure of Muslims to integrate Islamic faith in our modern world could well create a impenetrable cultural barrier.
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