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    It's about Islam

    http://www.nytimes.com/2001/11/02/opinion/02RUSH.html

    November 2, 2001

    Yes, This Is About Islam
    By SALMAN RUSHDIE


    ONDON -- "This isn't about Islam." The world's leaders have been repeating this mantra for weeks, partly in the virtuous hope of deterring reprisal attacks on innocent Muslims living in the West, partly because if the United States is to maintain its coalition against terror it can't afford to suggest that Islam and terrorism are in any way related.

    The trouble with this necessary disclaimer is that it isn't true. If this isn't about Islam, why the worldwide Muslim demonstrations in support of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda? Why did those 10,000 men armed with swords and axes mass on the Pakistan-Afghanistan frontier, answering some mullah's call to jihad? Why are the war's first British casualties three Muslim men who died fighting on the Taliban side?

    Why the routine anti-Semitism of the much-repeated Islamic slander that "the Jews" arranged the hits on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, with the oddly self-deprecating explanation offered by the Taliban leadership, among others, that Muslims could not have the technological know-how or organizational sophistication to pull off such a feat? Why does Imran Khan, the Pakistani ex-sports star turned politician, demand to be shown the evidence of Al Qaeda's guilt while apparently turning a deaf ear to the self-incriminating statements of Al Qaeda's own spokesmen (there will be a rain of aircraft from the skies, Muslims in the West are warned not to live or work in tall buildings)? Why all the talk about American military infidels desecrating the sacred soil of Saudi Arabia if some sort of definition of what is sacred is not at the heart of the present discontents?

    Of course this is "about Islam." The question is, what exactly does that mean? After all, most religious belief isn't very theological. Most Muslims are not profound Koranic analysts. For a vast number of "believing" Muslim men, "Islam" stands, in a jumbled, half-examined way, not only for the fear of God — the fear more than the love, one suspects — but also for a cluster of customs, opinions and prejudices that include their dietary practices; the sequestration or near-sequestration of "their" women; the sermons delivered by their mullahs of choice; a loathing of modern society in general, riddled as it is with music, godlessness and sex; and a more particularized loathing (and fear) of the prospect that their own immediate surroundings could be taken over — "Westoxicated" — by the liberal Western-style way of life.

    Highly motivated organizations of Muslim men (oh, for the voices of Muslim women to be heard!) have been engaged over the last 30 years or so in growing radical political movements out of this mulch of "belief." These Islamists — we must get used to this word, "Islamists," meaning those who are engaged upon such political projects, and learn to distinguish it from the more general and politically neutral "Muslim" — include the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the blood-soaked combatants of the Islamic Salvation Front and Armed Islamic Group in Algeria, the Shiite revolutionaries of Iran, and the Taliban. Poverty is their great helper, and the fruit of their efforts is paranoia. This paranoid Islam, which blames outsiders, "infidels," for all the ills of Muslim societies, and whose proposed remedy is the closing of those societies to the rival project of modernity, is presently the fastest growing version of Islam in the world.

    This is not wholly to go along with Samuel Huntington's thesis about the clash of civilizations, for the simple reason that the Islamists' project is turned not only against the West and "the Jews," but also against their fellow Islamists. Whatever the public rhetoric, there's little love lost between the Taliban and Iranian regimes. Dissensions between Muslim nations run at least as deep, if not deeper, than those nations' resentment of the West. Nevertheless, it would be absurd to deny that this self-exculpatory, paranoiac Islam is an ideology with widespread appeal.

    Twenty years ago, when I was writing a novel about power struggles in a fictionalized Pakistan, it was already de rigueur in the Muslim world to blame all its troubles on the West and, in particular, the United States. Then as now, some of these criticisms were well-founded; no room here to rehearse the geopolitics of the cold war and America's frequently damaging foreign policy "tilts," to use the Kissinger term, toward (or away from) this or that temporarily useful (or disapproved-of) nation-state, or America's role in the installation and deposition of sundry unsavory leaders and regimes. But I wanted then to ask a question that is no less important now: Suppose we say that the ills of our societies are not primarily America's fault, that we are to blame for our own failings? How would we understand them then? Might we not, by accepting our own responsibility for our problems, begin to learn to solve them for ourselves?

    Many Muslims, as well as secularist analysts with roots in the Muslim world, are beginning to ask such questions now. In recent weeks Muslim voices have everywhere been raised against the obscurantist hijacking of their religion. Yesterday's hotheads (among them Yusuf Islam, a k a Cat Stevens) are improbably repackaging themselves as today's pussycats.

    An Iraqi writer quotes an earlier Iraqi satirist: "The disease that is in us, is from us." A British Muslim writes, "Islam has become its own enemy." A Lebanese friend, returning from Beirut, tells me that in the aftermath of the attacks on Sept. 11, public criticism of Islamism has become much more outspoken. Many commentators have spoken of the need for a Reformation in the Muslim world.

    I'm reminded of the way noncommunist socialists used to distance themselves from the tyrannical socialism of the Soviets; nevertheless, the first stirrings of this counterproject are of great significance. If Islam is to be reconciled with modernity, these voices must be encouraged until they swell into a roar. Many of them speak of another Islam, their personal, private faith.

    The restoration of religion to the sphere of the personal, its depoliticization, is the nettle that all Muslim societies must grasp in order to become modern. The only aspect of modernity interesting to the terrorists is technology, which they see as a weapon that can be turned on its makers. If terrorism is to be defeated, the world of Islam must take on board the secularist-humanist principles on which the modern is based, and without which Muslim countries' freedom will remain a distant dream.


    Salman Rushdie is the author, most recently, of "Fury: A Novel."
    __________________________________________________ ________________



    #2
    The problem is that Muslims, at large, are hung up on semantics of religion. They don't look at religion from a theological and ideological point of view.

    It's exactly due to these semantics that Muslims are wrapped up in self-convoluted paranoia of insecurity and fear of change. They fear the theological annexation of religious philosophy a change in faith itself and consequently a change in religion.

    Comment


      #3
      I don't know if this author will get much respect around here.

      "I inform the proud Muslim people of the world that the author of this book, which is against Islam, the Prophet and the Koran, and all involved in its publication who were aware of its content, are sentenced to death."
      FATWA issued against Salman Rushdie


      [This message has been edited by Grits (edited November 02, 2001).]

      Comment


        #4
        Help stop the madness:

        Write a letter to the Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran expressing concern over the continued threat to Salman Rushdie's life and urge him to take prompt and effective steps to ensure that there is a clear Iranian policy not to implement the fatwa against Salman Rushdie.

        Address:
        His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed 'Ali Khamenei
        Leader of the Islamic Republic
        The Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran



        [This message has been edited by Grits (edited November 02, 2001).]

        Comment


          #5
          "I inform the proud Muslim people of the world that the author of this book, which is against Islam, the Prophet and the Koran, and all involved in its publication who were aware of its content, are sentenced to death."

          u r right....
          Ayatollah Sayed 'Ali Khamenei does not need to issue any fatwa against such a man....

          any MUSLIM, who knows his religion, will know best that he/she is obliged (as a duty, an obligatory duty, thats uncompromisable) to KILL such a person....
          that unworthy of life, author has dared to write in disrespect of the Prophet (pbuh) who holds the most glory in the world(s) after Allah....
          i dont think that even death is enuff for him....
          he deserves mors, which he will surely get from Allah, but as a Muslim, we know that he does nto have the right to breathe....
          Both Halal & Haram r evident but between them r doubtful things, most ppl have no knowledge about them. So whoever saves himself from suspicious things saves his religion & honor, & whoever indulges in suspicious things indulges in Haram.

          Comment


            #6
            SALMAN RUSHDIE.............not worth reading it. I know this guy very well


            ------------------
            • “na maiN momin vich masiitaaN, na maiN muusaa, na fir'aun!”
            Ain't new ta this....HOMEINVASION('93)

            Comment


              #7
              So the descriptions portraying Islam as a peaceful, loving and charitable religion is just a bunch of crap? How much more typing dare I do before a FATWA is issued against me?

              Comment


                #8
                So the descriptions portraying Islam as a peaceful, loving and charitable religion is just a bunch of crap?
                Yes. Happy?

                How much more typing dare I do before a FATWA is issued against me?
                keep writing. sooner or later NY Times or Washinton Post will pick it up as part of their Islamophobic agendas.. could be your ticket to fame.

                Islam made that cretin Rushdie famous.. no one was even aware of his existence, let alone read his crap before he took cheap shots at someone's faith to gain popularity?

                There's no money in bashing Christianity or Judaism or Hinduism.. Islam offers great bounties even for it's bashers.
                JaddoN kaddya jaloos ghareeba tay shehr ich choatalee lug gayee

                Comment


                  #9
                  PA, you go man!

                  ------------------
                  • “na maiN momin vich masiitaaN, na maiN muusaa, na fir'aun!”
                  Ain't new ta this....HOMEINVASION('93)

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Grits

                    you are asking me to write to the leader in Iran, which I personally dont care about much. Would you do your job and also write to media here telling them that people in general do not support OBL or Ayotollahs or any of those jokers.

                    The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that... he is gone.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Usually we never come across any protest when someone from Muslim side criticizes Hinduism, or other religions. On the contrary we meet exposure of other religions by followers themselves.

                      Our Muslims friends are easily offended.
                      The reason behind such rigid ness is that their minds have accepted the revelation theory of prophet and its dictates without questions. They cannot go the other way.

                      I remember one of the most foolish statements on these forums by one Scientist mad or something, that Muslims compel others for conversion to Islam in order to save them from hell fire. He was quoting quran.

                      When we point out at the killing lust of Islamist culture, they say, it is not true Islam. When we ask why there is no love or peace in Islamic States, hence there are so many, they say, there is no true Islamic State so far. They glorify killers, ready for any bloodshed on the name of jihad, and sought parallel that Islam means peace, love so and so. Where the hell this actual Islam is hidden?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        quote:

                        "Yes, This Is About Islam
                        By SALMAN RUSHDIE"

                        Enough said what a waste of space and my reading time.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by armughal:
                          "I inform the proud Muslim people of the world that the author of this book, which is against Islam, the Prophet and the Koran, and all involved in its publication who were aware of its content, are sentenced to death."

                          u r right....
                          Ayatollah Sayed 'Ali Khamenei does not need to issue any fatwa against such a man....

                          any MUSLIM, who knows his religion, will know best that he/she is obliged (as a duty, an obligatory duty, thats uncompromisable) to KILL such a person....
                          that unworthy of life, author has dared to write in disrespect of the Prophet (pbuh) who holds the most glory in the world(s) after Allah....
                          i dont think that even death is enuff for him....
                          he deserves mors, which he will surely get from Allah, but as a Muslim, we know that he does nto have the right to breathe....
                          I liked this article. I don't understand you!

                          Armughal.. how can you feel that its your duty to kill somebody that doesn't agree with your views? They don't deserve life? Hugh? I just don't get it.

                          God gave the man Life. Who are you to decide who deserves to live or die?

                          Last I heard.. God is soley judge and jury.

                          The writer quotes:
                          "Islam has become its own enemy."

                          I totally disagree with this statement. It just doesn't make sense to me. How can the religious be enemies of their own religion??

                          Perhaps better said like this,
                          "A few muslims have become enemies of Islam".

                          Girl

                          [This message has been edited by AvgAmericanGirl (edited November 04, 2001).]

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Its a shame that Americans are here to protect and protest for this guy. I know why Infoman can show respect for this man because he is a hatemonger and shares DNA with Salman Rushdie, but its sad to see the Americans. It was he Salman Rushdie who said that "White women showed be f**ked and thrown over" and that "they are slave for the color men". Note: His wife was white.

                            Please, learn about the person before you come down to his/her defence.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by ~Mickey~:
                              Its a shame that Americans are here to protect and protest for this guy. I know why Infoman can show respect for this man because he is a hatemonger and shares DNA with Salman Rushdie, but its sad to see the Americans. It was he Salman Rushdie who said that "White women showed be f**ked and thrown over" and that "they are slave for the color men". Note: His wife was white.

                              Please, learn about the person before you come down to his/her defence.
                              Mickey,
                              My sisters nick name is Mickey.

                              Anyway I never read the "The Satanic Verses."
                              What I liked about the article was the statement "Twenty years ago, when I was writing a novel about power struggles in a fictionalized Pakistan, it was already de rigueur in the Muslim world to blame all its troubles on the West and, in particular, the United States."

                              Because in my thinking Blame is a cop-out.

                              Also I liked:

                              The restoration of religion to the sphere of the personal, its depoliticization, is the nettle that all Muslim societies must grasp in order to become modern. The only aspect of modernity interesting to the terrorists is technology, which they see as a weapon that can be turned on its makers. If terrorism is to be defeated, the world of Islam must take on board the secularist-humanist principles on which the modern is based, and without which Muslim countries' freedom will remain a distant dream.

                              The reason I like this idea is probably because I am from a western country.

                              The reason this paragraph makes sense to me is because religion is a personal matter. No one can demand religiousness in a person if the person is not religious.

                              An Islamic State cannot improve a non-religious person..(or a lapsed Muslim.)

                              Belief in God is within a persons mind, body, & soul and cannot be forced on anyone.

                              Not possible that an Islamic/Secular State can change what is inside a persons heart.

                              So the government structure really doesn't matter in my humble opinion. Either you belief or you don't and thats a fact.



                              [This message has been edited by AvgAmericanGirl (edited November 05, 2001).]

                              Comment

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