In the pragmatist, streetwise climate of advanced postmodern capitalism, with its scepticism of big pictures and grand narratives, its hard-nosed disenchantment with the metaphysical, 'life' is one among a whole series of discredited totalities. We are invited to think small rather than big – ironically, at just the point when some of those out to destroy Western civilization are doing exactly the opposite. In the conflict between Western capitalism and radical Islam, a paucity of belief squares up to an excess of it. The West finds itself faced with a full-blooded metaphysical onslaught at just the historical point that it has, so to speak, philosophically disarmed. As far as belief goes, postmodernism prefers to travel light: it has beliefs, to be sure, but it does not have faith.
Antisemitism is unique among religious hatreds. It is a racist conspiracy theory fashioned for the needs of messianic and brutal rulers, as dictators from the Tsars to the Islamists via the Nazis have shown. Many other alleged religious 'hatreds' are not hatreds in the true sense. If I criticise Islamic, Orthodox Jewish or Catholic attitudes towards women, for instance, and I'm accused of being a bigot, I shrug and say it is not bigoted to oppose bigotry.
London is one of the world's centres of Arab journalism and political activism. The failure of left and right, the establishment and its opposition, to mount principled arguments against clerical reaction has had global ramifications. Ideas minted in Britain – the notion that it is bigoted to oppose bigotry; 'Islamophobic' to oppose clerics whose first desire is to oppress Muslims – swirl out through the press and the net to lands where they can do real harm.
It can certainly be misleading to take the attributes of a movement, or the anxieties and contradictions of a moment, and to personalize or 'objectify' them in the figure of one individual. Yet ordinary discourse would be unfeasible without the use of portmanteau terms—like 'Stalinism,' say—just as the most scrupulous insistence on historical forces will often have to concede to the sheer personality of a Napoleon or a Hitler. I thought then, and I think now, that Osama bin Laden was a near-flawless personification of the mentality of a real force: the force of Islamic jihad. And I also thought, and think now, that this force absolutely deserves to be called evil, and that the recent decapitation of its most notorious demagogue and organizer is to be welcomed without reserve. Osama bin Laden's writings and actions constitute a direct negation of human liberty, and vent an undisguised hatred and contempt for life itself.
I am not one of those who believes—as Obama is said to believe—that a solution to the Palestinian statehood question would bring an end to Muslim resentment against the United States. (Incidentally, if he really does believe this, his lethargy and impotence in the face of Netanyahu's consistent double-dealing is even more culpable.) The Islamist fanatics have their own agenda, and, as in the case of Hamas and its Iranian backers, they have already demonstrated that nothing but the destruction of Israel and the removal of American influence from the region will possibly satisfy them. No, it is more the case that justice—and a homeland for the Palestinians—is a good and necessary cause in its own right. It is also a special legal and moral responsibility of the United States, which has several times declared a dual-statehood outcome to be its objective.
Walking on the difficult and dangerous path which everything been destroyed is very hard if there is not the help from God.
The bullet that has hit us Muslims today left the gun centuries ago when we let the clergy decide that knowledge and education were not important.
Needless to say, there are people who hate Arabs, Somalis, and other immigrants from predominantly Muslim societies for racist reasons. But if you can’t distinguish that sort of blind bigotry from a hatred and concern for dangerous, divisive, and irrational ideas—like a belief in martyrdom, or a notion of male “honor” that entails the virtual enslavement of women and girls—you are doing real harm to our public conversation. Everything I have ever said about Islam refers to the content and consequences of its doctrine. And, again, I have always emphasized that its primary victims are innocent Muslims—especially women and girls.
We don't have the luxury to say that, there is no hope for reform in Islam, because by saying this, we would be disavowing the entire peace-loving Muslim population of the world. We cannot leave our Muslim sisters and brothers behind to be oppressed by their own priestly tyrants, while the rest of the world keeps progressing with an open mind. The entire civilized society of the world, must put their heart and soul to get Islam liberated from the shackles of fundamentalism. Conscience must triumph over orthodox barbarianism, otherwise there would be no hope for the progress and wellbeing of humanity as a truly wise species.
Life's not all about happiness. Take the sad and pain too. But never forget the Almighty ALLAH. Speak to him about every fear,dream and hope
Remaining for a moment with the question of legality and illegality: United Nations Security Council Resolution 1368, unanimously passed, explicitly recognized the right of the United States to self-defense and further called upon all member states 'to bring to justice the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of the terrorist attacks. It added that 'those responsible for aiding, supporting or harboring the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of those acts will be held accountable.' In a speech the following month, the United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan publicly acknowledged the right of self-defense as a legitimate basis for military action. The SEAL unit dispatched by President Obama to Abbottabad was large enough to allow for the contingency of bin-Laden's capture and detention. The naïve statement that he was 'unarmed' when shot is only loosely compatible with the fact that he was housed in a military garrison town, had a loaded automatic weapon in the room with him, could well have been wearing a suicide vest, had stated repeatedly that he would never be taken alive, was the commander of one of the most violent organizations in history, and had declared himself at war with the United States. It perhaps says something that not even the most casuistic apologist for al-Qaeda has ever even attempted to justify any of its 'operations' in terms that could be covered by any known law, with the possible exception of some sanguinary verses of the Koran.
It was sometimes feebly argued, as the political and military war against this enemy ran into difficulties, that it was 'a war without end.' I never saw the point of this plaintive objection. The war against superstition and the totalitarian mentality is an endless war. In protean forms, it is fought and refought in every country and every generation. In bin Ladenism we confront again the awful combination of the highly authoritarian personality with the chaotically nihilist and anarchic one. Temporary victories can be registered against this, but not permanent ones. As Bertold Brecht's character says over the corpse of the terrible Arturo Ui, the bitch that bore him is always in heat. But it is in this struggle that we develop the muscles and sinews that enable us to defend civilization, and the moral courage to name it as something worth fighting for.
Nothing—not even the US Army—more threatens the future of a democratic, pluralistic and (dare we wish, secular) Iraq than the political ascendancy of Islamic fascists like Al Sadr.
The real question is how much suffering we've caused our womenfolk by turning headscarves into symbols - and using women as pawns in a political game.
I used to call myself a single-issue voter on the essential question of defending civilization against its terrorist enemies and their totalitarian protectors, and on that 'issue' I hope I can continue to expose and oppose any ambiguity.
Identity politics is killings free speech on campus, silencing Muslim women struggle, boosting both Islamism and the far Right and pushing reconciled Muslim voices to the fringes. It makes implicit assumptions about Islam - from an Islamist, Left or Right- perspective - and insists all Muslims must adhere to that definition or be regarded not truly Muslim. It ignores the fact that most ordinary Muslims are not in favour of a violent and that in surveys and polls they support British values more than the general UK population. Yet the myth persists that the ideology of Islamism is the true expression of what it means to be Muslim.
The United States finds itself with forces of reaction. Do I have to demonstrate this? The Taliban's annihilation of music and culture? The enslavement of women?
Terrorism has nothing to do with religion, Islam or otherwise. Terrorism is born of fundamentalism not of religion.
You must remember, the so-called Jihadis who are in reality, mentally unstable individuals run by Quranic fundamentalists, do not represent the whole Muslim population of the world.
Don't hate the Muslims or Islam. Hate if you must, the fundamentalists who consistently compel the human society to turn away from even the peace loving Muslims. However, the term hate would be an understatement when we are referring to the fundamentalists. The fundamentalists are the biggest enemies of the human race. Without the presence of the fundamentalist inspiration, no violence in the name of religion shall ever fester on this planet. People from all religious, spiritual and non-religious background shall live in harmony, enriching each other's lives, if there are no fundamentalists to divide them apart.
Shrouded as he was for a decade in an apparent cloak of anonymity and obscurity, Osama bin Laden was by no means an invisible man. He was ubiquitous and palpable, both in a physical and a cyber-spectral form, to the extent that his death took on something of the feel of an exorcism. It is satisfying to know that, before the end came, he had begun at least to guess at the magnitude of his 9/11 mistake. It is essential to remember that his most fanatical and militant deputy, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, did not just leave his corpse in Iraq but was isolated and repudiated even by the minority Sunnis on whose presumed behalf he spilled so much blood and wrought such hectic destruction. It is even more gratifying that bin Laden himself was exposed as an excrescence on the putrid body of a bankrupt and brutish state machine, and that he found himself quite unable to make any coherent comment on the tide—one hopes that it is a tide, rather than a mere wave—of demand for an accountable and secular form of civil society. There could not have been a finer affirmation of the force of life, so warmly and authentically counterposed to the hysterical celebration of death, and of that death-in-life that is experienced in the stultifications of theocracy, where womanhood and music and literature are stifled and young men mutated into robotic slaughterers.
Islam is not unusual in having a tradition of martyrs. What is unique to Islam is the tradition of murderous martyrdom, in which the individual martyr simultaneously commits suicide and kills others for religious reasons.
In describing the ways that religious and other types of communities appropriate and understand their histories, among both fundamentalists and non-fundamentalists, the sociologist Anthony Giddens utilizes the term “reflexivity” and states that it is the characteristic of “all human action.” Reflexivity takes place when individuals and/or communities utilize their perceptions of their histories as a way of guiding their present and future actions. For Giddens, tradition is a means of “handling time and space, which asserts any particular activity or experience with the community of past, present, and future, these in turn being structured by recurrent social practices.” In light of this, tradition is a set of entities which religious communities and cultures continually reconstruct within certain parameters. Religions are not completely static in that almost every new generation reinvents the religious and cultural inheritance from the generations that preceded it.
As to the 'Left' I'll say briefly why this was the finish for me. Here is American society, attacked under open skies in broad daylight by the most reactionary and vicious force in the contemporary world, a force which treats Afghans and Algerians and Egyptians far worse than it has yet been able to treat us. The vaunted CIA and FBI are asleep, at best. The working-class heroes move, without orders and at risk to their lives, to fill the moral and political vacuum. The moral idiots, meanwhile, like Falwell and Robertson and Rabbi Lapin, announce that this clerical aggression is a punishment for our secularism. And the governments of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, hitherto considered allies on our 'national security' calculus, prove to be the most friendly to the Taliban and Al Qaeda.Here was a time for the Left to demand a top-to-bottom house-cleaning of the state and of our covert alliances, a full inquiry into the origins of the defeat, and a resolute declaration in favor of a fight to the end for secular and humanist values: a fight which would make friends of the democratic and secular forces in the Muslim world. And instead, the near-majority of 'Left' intellectuals started sounding like Falwell, and bleating that the main problem was Bush's legitimacy. So I don't even muster a hollow laugh when this pathetic faction says that I, and not they, are in bed with the forces of reaction.
Half the published articles on Gaza contain a standard reference to its resemblance to a vast open-air prison (and when I last saw it under Israeli occupation it certainly did deserve this metaphor). The problem is that, given its ideology and its allies, Hamas qualifies rather too well in the capacity of guard and warder.
...differences between the world's Muslim communities are less important than what they share-namely, Islamism, sharia, and the dream of caliphate.
Like many muslims I believe that, at its core, Islam calls for justice, mercy and peaceful, compassionate coexistence. It is distressing therefore, to me as a Muslim, to see extremists from within the faith practise brutality and hatred against others. They provide ample material for anti- muslims bigots who then seek to degenerate and dehumanise all Muslims- including those who are working to build bridges in our society and who defending universal human rights. While Islamists terrorist seek out Muslim human rights activist in order to kill them, anti Muslim bigots act as if we do not even exist. For the bigots, all Muslims and Islam are deemed to be the problem. Such an attitude is little to defend and protect the middle ground that Islamist extremism seek to destroy.
President Barack Obama and many liberal-minded commentators have been hesitant to call this Islamist ideology by its proper name. They seem to fear that both Muslim communities and the religiously intolerant will hear the word “Islam” and simply assume that all Muslims are being held responsible for the excesses of the jihadist few.I call this the Voldemort effect, after the villain in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books. Many well-meaning people in Ms. Rowling’s fictional world are so petrified of Voldemort’s evil that they do two things: They refuse to call Voldemort by name, instead referring to “He Who Must Not Be Named,” and they deny that he exists in the first place. Such dread only increases public hysteria, thus magnifying the appeal of Voldemort’s power.The same hysteria about Islamism is unfolding before our eyes. But no strategy intended to defeat Islamism can succeed if Islamism itself and its violent expression in jihadism are not first named, isolated and understood. From: Maajid Nawaz's article titled, 'How to Beat Islamic State', December 11th, 2015.
This division is not one by religious affiliation, rather it separates the extremists and the peace-loving people.Therefor I'm optimistic: now a humanistic Islam is getting shaken awake. Moderate Islam needs now to finally break cover and explain how to deal with the violence-glorifying parts of the Quran. The (psychological) repression that this has nothing to do with our belief doesn't work anymore. We have to face this challenge.
There can be no religious discourse which is in conflict with its environment and with the world and therefore, we Muslims need to modify this religious discourse. And this has nothing to do with conviction and with religious beliefs, because those are immutable. But we need a new discourse that will be adapted to a new world and which will remove some of the misconceptions.
Whether most Muslims are peaceable is irrelevant. The fact is that fanatics rule Islam now & act-out what the Qur'an truly says ...maul, march, & murder every Infidel if they won't convert!
Islamo-Fascism is NOT the result of economic deprivation or legitimate blowback because of Western foreign policies or even heinous drone attacks on Muslim civilians. All non-Muslims as Infidels, regardless of their faith or lack of it, are in an ideological war with a demonized, freedom-hating Muslim death-cult rooted in their accurate interpretation of the Qur'an!
Since I speak and write about this a good deal, I am often asked at public meetings, in what sometimes seems to me a rather prurient way, whether I myself or my family have 'ever been threatened' by jihadists. My answer is that yes, I have, and so has everyone else in the audience, if they have paid enough attention to the relevant bin-Ladenist broadcasts to notice the fact.