26 September, 2013


Oil should more likely have been the source of strength, and been used to leverage progress, science, egalitarianism, propaganda, and humanism. We can’t blame both riches and poverty as the source of troubles of Muslims. We also can’t single them out as the target of the entire West. Neither is the West one monolith, nor have they excluded other targets. Nor does this explain why Muslims deserved to be their target in the first place. Colonialism, globalization, climate change, cold war…et al have affected all in some degrees.

Despite the obstinacy of some and recalcitrant reasoning of others a broader consensus has emerged that there is much violence amongst Muslims of the world, more than in any other organized religious community. Now, we need to address why is it so?

[No, all Muslims are not, indeed, most Muslims are NOT violent. But most of the violent believers are from Muslims. Most of the religious intolerance and religious killings are undoubtedly taking place amongst the Muslims]

When politically correct Muslims maintain that there is nothing Islamic about violence and that it is the failure of the Muslims I feel bewildered and, personally, offended. Muslims as diverse as blacks [Africans], browns [Afghans and Pakistanis] and white [European second generation youth], poor [Somalians], rich [Saudis], old followers of centuries and sometimes neo-converts.. tend to behave as a distinct class it certainly can’t be due to racial, genetic, class, economic and climatic reasons. The only explanation has to be ideological. And since we are not talking politics and nations [nor do we see them as the common denominator], this leaves religious ideology as the sole uniting factor.

If certain teachings in Islam have, indeed, led Muslims rightly or wrongly to resort to violent means [even at the cost of the greatest of personal sacrifices, viz, suicide bombing] which are they? And what can the poor clergy do about it, given that the Shariah is inviolable?

My dilemma remains: how can the Muslims – my community – come out of this mindless cycle of violence and counter violence and march shoulder to shoulder with less violent people, in the advancement of our civilization, even as they fight injustices, correct imbalances, pursue material empowerment and personal advancement.

One is tempted to suggest that religions have a life cycle of theirs too. Hinduism went through its despicable practices [untouchability, sati..], suffered its nadir [lost empires, was superseded by two religions] and then launched reformist trends.

Christianity saw such darkness as banning knowledge, punishing truth, rewarding heresy, even booking place in Heavens, waged barbaric wars, colonized humanity, usurped global resources et al. But then came the enlightenment and today undoubtedly the sanest voices and the utmost productivity come from this community.

Could it be that Islam is passing through that transition? Could it be that it is about to reinvent itself in keeping with the demands of the time?

Or is it that the rapid advances of science and technology are shaking the foundations of ALL religions and those that are more rigidly documented are the worst to face their heat?

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