Wednesday, April 04, 2007

WSJ on Muslim Reformers and Radical Islam

apr 4, 2007

sorry, it's premium material but you can sign up for a free trial. i am quoting excerpts under the fair use clause sec 107 of the us copyright act, for non-commercial purposes.

how 'progressives' in the west are willing dupes for the most extreme mohammedans. ditto for 'progressives' in india, too.

this gent is worth listening to, for he is a former fundamentalist.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ram



The Trouble With Islam 

April 3, 2007; Page A15

Not many years ago the brilliant Orientalist, Bernard Lewis, published a short history of the Islamic world's decline, entitled "What Went Wrong?" Astonishingly, there was, among many Western "progressives," a vocal dislike for the title. It is a false premise, these critics protested. They ignored Mr. Lewis's implicit statement that things have been, or could be, right.

But indeed, there is much that is clearly wrong with the Islamic world. Women are stoned to death and undergo clitorectomies. Gays hang from the gallows under the approving eyes of the proponents of Shariah, the legal code of Islam. Sunni and Shia massacre each other daily in Iraq. Palestinian mothers teach 3-year-old boys and girls the ideal of martyrdom. One would expect the orthodox Islamic establishment to evade or dismiss these complaints, but less happily, the non-Muslim priests of enlightenment in the West have come, actively and passively, to the Islamists' defense.

These "progressives" frequently cite the need to examine "root causes." In this they are correct: Terrorism is only the manifestation of a disease and not the disease itself. But the root-causes are quite different from what they think. As a former member of Jemaah Islamiya, a group led by al Qaeda's second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, I know firsthand that the inhumane teaching in Islamist ideology can transform a young, benevolent mind into that of a terrorist. Without confronting the ideological roots of radical Islam it will be impossible to combat it. While there are many ideological "rootlets" of Islamism, the main tap root has a name -- Salafism, or Salafi Islam, a violent, ultra-conservative version of the religion.

It is vital to grasp that traditional and even mainstream Islamic teaching accepts and promotes violence. Shariah, for example, allows apostates to be killed, permits beating women to discipline them, seeks to subjugate non-Muslims to Islam as dhimmis and justifies declaring war to do so. It exhorts good Muslims to exterminate the Jews before the "end of days." The near deafening silence of the Muslim majority against these barbaric practices is evidence enough that there is something fundamentally wrong.

.... deleted

Tolerance does not mean toleration of atrocities under the umbrella of relativism. It is time for all of us in the free world to face the reality of Salafi Islam or the reality of radical Islam will continue to face us.

Dr. Hamid, a onetime member of Jemaah Islamiya, an Islamist terrorist group, is a medical doctor and Muslim reformer living in the West.


Ghost Writer said...

Al alternate location perhaps for the same passage

san said...

I read "What Went Wrong With Islam?" and one of the most insightful things it pointed out was how mighty Islam fell into decline once the age of maritime commerce started. You see, Islam is designed to create followers who hunker down on their territory, and are resistant to siege from outsiders as well as to mingling with them.

While Islam was hunkered down in the geographic hub of the Middle East, then fact that all land commerce had to pass through their region helped to offset the closed nature of their culture. And they could take a nice little cut off that land-borne trade, as middlemen. It's also how they got to take credit for the "arabic numerals", "algebra", "damascus steel", etc.

But as soon as the world got fed up with having to cross through their cranky lands, and developed maritime sea-going commerce, then suddenly the Islamic lands were bypassed and left out of the new trade routes. Less land trade to offset their closed societies meant they soon fell behind in wealth and knowledge.

Well, sorry, but sea-going ships aren't going to suddenly be un-invented anytime soon. But I suppose the modern "immigration era" has helped to force Muslims out into the rest of the world, where they are now picking up the modern methods -- most particularly the modern politics of activism, of trans-nationalist social networking, etc.

But as we can see, their closed culture is such a handicap that it's leading their new diaspora into more and more conflict worldwide with every local culture in whose midst they settle.

For us Indians, that's a good thing, because now the rest of the world is learning firsthand about the crap we've had to put up with. We now have more sympathy over Kashmir, terrorism, illegal immigration, etc.

So the age of globalization has worked in our favour, on the whole.

Ghost Writer said...

Nice try san - but your assertion of the 'land locked' Islamists is not all fact I am afraid.

Before the governorship of Hajjaj in Iraq - the first attempts to conquer Sindh were actually sea-borne. The Arabs were known to trade at Gujarat's trading posts - specially Somnath. That is how they knew of the riches in the temple. There was even trade with pan-Indian states in the Malay peninsula as with Kerala.

I do agree however, that the circumvention of the Islamic empires through the Cape of Good Hope broke the back of their trading wealth. There was another seminal event which does not get it's due in history. Prior to his Islamic conversion - the Mongols led by Genghis Khan smashed the Islamic empire and reduced it to tatters as early as the 12th century. This had greatly diminished the Islamic 'civilisation'