Why do Muslims “frankly” tell themselves that many of them are potential terrorists?
Yes that question was absolutely correct. It’s painful for me as a religious Muslim, as I know that it is painful for a lot of other Muslims. But that’s the truth that we should face:
ISIS and Al-Qaeda and other extremist and terrorist organizations are legitimate sons, not illegitimate as many Muslims claim.
ISIS actions are based on verses from Holy Quran, Hadith (Sayings of Prophet Muhammad), Sirah (Biography of Prophet Muhammad) and Islamic history. They are not based on wrongful interpretations, but on direct and explicit texts, facts and events of Prophet Muhammad, Sahabah (prophet Muhammad companions) and Islamic history. It’s the traditional religious culture of Muslims – especially Sunni – that makes many of them potential terrorists, potential sons of ISIS. And if it doesn’t happen for a Muslim to turn to be an extremist r terrorist, that means that he chose to ignore this culture, or he settled on reconcile with himself as an” uncommitted Muslim”.
It’s not only the matter of Middle East region, although it’s the region where all these extreme and terroristic thoughts came to light and then exported to the rest of the world. But after the communication and internet revolution you can find that culture everywhere, east and west, in Canada, Germany, Australia, Nigeria, Philippines, etc.
I’ve even heard this culture’s manifestations in a mosque in Canada, as I heard it in mosques in Egypt, as you can hear it on Youtube by Sheikhs and Imams from all around the world. So it’s not weird for this culture to produce terrorists of different nationalities and from all over the world.
This traditional religious Sunni culture has the ability to transform the normal Muslim into a time bomb that may explode at any moment, anywhere, just if the circumstances and incubator environment allowed that, chances of that may increase or decrease depending on each country’s nature and circumstances, but it’s definitely exist. This is the solid base that produced an organization such as Muslim Brotherhood which in turn produced Al-Qaeda, Jehad, ISIS and others. The religious intellectual basis of all that organizations is the same; there are no differences in core, only in degree and class but not in kind and type. As while ISIS establishs the Caliphate State in a cruelly and bloody way, the Muslim Brotherhood want a religious dictatorship with a nice democratic appearance which would not be that much different than the Mullahs regime in Iran.
It’s true that there are tolerant Islamic views, and it’s true that there are great efforts to achieve reconciliation between Muslims and world, but the other fact that we “as Muslims” have to admit: is that this tolerant culture isn’t prevalent between Sunni Muslims in general.
We also have to admit that the most prevailing religious discourse between Sunni Muslims all around the world is mostly hostile, racist and bloody; can explode when the opportunity arises. So terrorists now aren’t only coming from the Middle East, but coming from everywhere in the world, because of the spread of communications revolution that facilitated dealing with this terroristic religious discourse.
From where does this terroristic religious culture come?
It came from the Quran itself. The truth is that the Holy Quran is full of lots and lots of tolerance, freedom of faith, respect of difference and many other great humanitarian values. But it’s also full of verses that incite for killing and hatred. So it’s normal to find many Muslims and lots and lots of Imams and sheikhs telling you that ISIS actions don’t represent the real Islam. The reason is that they are relying on verses that call for tolerance, peace, love and many other great humanitarian values, while they don’t deny that there’re contrary verses, which call for hatred and killing, those verses that have been taken by ISIS as main reference.
The same thing in Hadith and Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) Sirah. As there are very humanitarian Hadith, there are many others that incite for killing and abusing antagonists like infidels, Jews, Christians and others. Prophet Muhammad was not only God’s messenger, but also – For reasons related to the nature of the Bedouin community in which the message of Islam arose – he had to fight all forms of armed battles against antagonists. So which one we should take from, the messenger of peace or the fighter and warrior?
The biographies of Sahaba and Caliphs tell us about a lot of tolerance, and also about a lot of bloodshed, spreading Islam by force and occupation of other countries, and the subsequent war crimes and crimes against humanity. They even fought themselves in “the struggle for the throne” bloody wars, and three of them were murdered (Omar bin al-Khattab – Othman bin Affan – Ali bin Abi Talib).
There is a bloody side in the Islamic history, as there’re many great values and great civilization that contributed to humanity progress.
Let me tell you that Islam isn’t an exception in this bloody history; it includes all religions, including Christianity. Also Islam clerics aren’t exception, killing and bloodshed in the name of God occurred by all religions. Also eastern and western ancient empires committed a lot of heinous crimes during their colonial expansions, and Islamic empire isn’t an exception. We also must remember that the western colonization in modern era was coupled with blood, and that happened in many events under the cross flag.
But all those religions including Judaism and Christianity have been developed for many reasons and waived their bloody side, reconciled with world and life. And I think that this is exactly what Muslims need. Unfortunately they revere the bloody side of their prevailing religious culture, but that’s the time to get rid of all of those bloody texts, and to disown all those bloody crimes in their history. All of that was related to its time and circumstances and we don’t have to follow it. We need to stop following the political performance of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). He had to fight these battles in his time to protect the new message of Islam, and I think that we don’t have to do the same. As an example: he fought a bloody conflict with some of the Jews in his time, this does not mean that we are in conflict with Judaism or Jews in every time and place. We have to follow Prophet Muhammad as a messenger of great humanitarian values, while we have to waive everything else against humanity in Islamic jurisprudence “Fiqh” and Islamic history. Keeping the great values in this history, that values that protect our humanity, and disown – like others – the invasions, violence and blood. Move from being enemies of humanity to become part of it, effective part of its progress, we are humans just like others.