Naushad Shamimul Haque writes in the Arab News about those bad old “extremists” (thanks to Skeetstreet):
They thrive on militancy and violence. They seek to strike terror and they kill and maim, yet they claim to serve the cause of Islam. These misguided people are found everywhere and unfortunately their number continues to swell – thanks primarily to poverty, injustice and the West’s double standard.
Yes, it’s all our fault. I would like to get into a little discussion of history with Naushad Shamimul Haque, and find out how he explains all those jihads that were waged by Islamic empires at a time when those empires had an overwhelming military superiority over Western non-Muslim lands. Was it poverty? Injustice? Double standards that led Muslims to conquer Egypt, Syria, Anatolia, Eastern Europe, North Africa, Spain, India, etc. etc. etc.? The people in those lands were not bothering the Muslims. They posed no threat, military or otherwise, to them. Today’s jihadists speak in terms remarkably similar to the way the jihadists spoke in those days: about the necessity and merit of waging jihad for the sake of Allah (jihad fi sabil Allah). If that is so, is it really poverty that motivates them? Yet study after study has shown that jihadists today tend to be wealthier and better educated than other Muslims.
But Naushad Shamimul Haque indicates that he actually knows the truth:
More youngsters are lured into this dicey business of terrorism with promises of perks and paradise. Some of these young people who may have little or no knowledge of religion or who may never have prayed regularly say they aspire for “martyrdom” – the most lofty ambition a Muslim can have.
In other words, he knows that jihadists appeal to young Muslims by means of the Qur’an and core Islamic teachings about jihad and Paradise.
They are brainwashed by people who have vested interests; they are driven by misguided teachings. Violence and militancy are alien to Islam, the religion of peace, that teaches its followers tolerance and amity. But extremists, though few in number, seem to hold sway over the moderate majority. That is the dangerous phenomenon taking hold these days.
And why do “extremists” hold sway over the “moderate majority”? Could it be because the moderates have not been able to prove to their fellow Muslims that the teachings of the “extremists” are really “misguided”? Indeed it could.
On April 19, a group of radicals broke into a news conference held by moderate Muslim groups in London in connection with the May 5 British polls. Around 20 protesters, many wearing scarves to hide their faces, ripped a locked door off its hinges at one of London’s main mosques and burst into the event organized by Britain’s main Islamic lobby group, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB).
They pushed their way to the front of the room, stood on chairs and shouted slogans against the MCB, Jews, Christians, apostates and the entire British political system.
The protest laid bare tensions within Britain’s 1.6 million-strong Muslim community.
After about 20 minutes of commotion, the protesters – young and wearing traditional Muslim dress including caps and flowing robes – left of their own accord.
In leaflets handed to reporters, they identified themselves as belonging to a group called “The Savior Sect.” Muslims in Britain have condemned the protest.
Fiyaz Mughal, chairman of the opposition Liberal Democrats’ group for ethnic minorities, said the protest “in no way represents the history of Islam” and cited Bosnia and Moorish Spain as examples of “societies where Muslims and non-Muslims had lived in peace.”
More ahistorical whitewash. Of course they lived in peace — as long as the non-Muslim dhimmis knew their place. You can read more about this in my book Onward Muslim Soldiers, but here is one piece of evidence from Bosnia, as related by the acting British Consul in Sarajevo, James Zohrab, in an 1860 letter:
The hatred of the Christians toward the Bosniak Mussulmans is intense. During a period of nearly 300 years they were subjected to much oppression and cruelty. For them no other law but the caprice of their masters existed….Oppression cannot now be carried on as openly as formerly, but it must not be supposed that, because the Government employÃ©s do not generally appear as the oppressors, the Christians are well treated and protected. (Quoted in Bat Ye’or, The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam, p. 423.)