I recently read a bizarre article discussing the issue of refusing(!) to call recent terror attacks in Paris, USA, Africa and the Middle East: “Islamic terrorism” by political world leaders. The article raised two main points:
- Behind not calling the recent terror attacks “Islamic terrorism”, there’s half-a-century of academic narcissism which is the result of post-modernism. The article states that according to academic post modernism: There is no absolute truth, thus you are not allowed to say the truth about your environment.
The article suggests that this refusal is a result of feelings of guilt that the west feels towards years of colonizing the Muslim world.
- While academic and political figures are refusing to call the truth by its name, they are in fact abandoning their responsibilities of solving the problem.
The article ends on the note “Not criticizing Muslims out of fear to be linked with islamophobia will lead to the rise of real islamophobia in the west”. This statement is simply far-fetched because it is completely blind to the current state of the world, the West today expects Muslims to be condemning every attack committed in the name of Islam, although Muslims leaders are already doing so. In fact, the Muslim world is constantly criticized for not doing “enough” in regards of condemning and stopping this phenomena. The rise of islamophobia in the west, especially in the USA with the current election campaign have never been more profound.
Although this article represents a small branch of the west, directed towards holders of certain political views, I personally think that it is our duty to address those articles as well, to establish the understanding that we do more harm than good by calling those terror attacks “Islamic terrorism”.
Are we avoiding the truth by not calling recent terror attacks “Islamic terrorism”?
Or in other words: Is it actually Islamic?
Those individuals present themselves as Muslims, for a reason.
They dress like Muslims, they shout “Allahu Akbar”, yet they kill Muslims, drink and smoke weed. The individuals responsible for the Paris attacks were seen drinking Whisky after the attack1. This shows that they follow only a shallow image of Islam, which causes two things: Firstly, it tells the west, “We are Muslims, and this is Islam” thus, deepening the gap between Islam and the west. Secondly, it lures young Muslims who grew up in the west and are having an identity crisis to join a twisted version of this religion.
We come to the conclusion that they are in fact violent fanatics that use religion as a mere tool. Islam is an image for them, an external garment used to serve a cause.
How can we stop this kind of fanaticism?
In order to address the problem, the first step is knowing what to call them. They are to be classified among other fanatics, like the KKK group in USA, or the Hilltop youth of the settlements in the West Bank. They do not represent Christianity, they do not represent Judaism, nor do they represent Islam. They are an extremist group that uses religion as a tool to attract young hearts dealing with identity issues.
The next step is education, of Muslims and non-Muslims. The root of this problem is by not understanding some of the teachings of Islam, mistakenly understanding verses of the Holy Quran, picking and choosing what verses might feed this ideology of violence and ignoring the core values of a Muslim, who the Holy prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be on him) defines as “The one from (the harm of) whose tongue and hand (other) Muslims are safe, and the believer is the one with whom the people trust their blood and their wealth”. (Bukhari, The book of Faith)
And the final step, which lays in understanding how these fanatic groups are formed and funded, and stopping them. The big involvement in the Middle East by the super powers of the world has transformed it, and has left a lot of scars and damage that laid the foundation for extremist groups to form, as long as there are political interests in the Middle East, violent groups will continue to exist, because it is a way of resistance against outsiders. Thus it is crucial that the Middle East is reformed from within, and not by stranger forces.