Trying To Restore Religious Harmony In The Islamic World

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

Opinion

Restoring the Religious Discourse

Muftis, religious authorities, scholars, professors and politicians from China to the Americas all met in al-Azhar in Cairo, Egypt, to discuss the international crisis facing Muslims and Islam as a religion. They all agreed that extremism and fundamentalism are dangerous threats that must be tackled.

At the conference of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Saudi deputy Minister for Islamic Affairs, Endowment, Dawa and Guidance Tawfiq al-Sudairi made the best and most direct speech. He called for restoring the religious discourse from the extremists and so-called educated people, who as he described had “harmed the religion’s tolerant teachings and who have been manipulated by opportunists.”

Sudairi called for “unifying efforts on the political, intellectual, security and religious fronts to confront deviant ideologies.”

It is unanimous that everyone is agreed against terrorism. This may also no longer need reiteration and reminders, because by far the most important matter which requires consensus and a plan of action is fighting the widespread extremism and fundamentalism.

No one can claim that terrorism can exist without extremism embracing and encouraging it.

It is impossible for a terrorist to grow up in and emerge from a moderate environment.

Even terrorists who have come out of liberal or tolerant societies are always victims of extremist ideologies in their societies in the virtual world, like chat rooms and social networks.

Tens of thousands have joined terrorist groups and all of them without exception are products of extremist rhetoric.

The truth is that terrorists, despite the threat they pose to the world, are less harmful than extremists.

The damage caused by extremists is far more harmful on Muslim societies and other communities. What extremists and fanatics do is worse than the deeds of organizations like ISIS and al-Nusra Front whose members are few among a sea of extremists.

Terrorism is the final step in the ladder of extremism. We cannot neutralize terrorism without fighting extremism. This is a truth that should always be in the mind of those involved in the matter.

Extremism must not be confused with extremist tendencies of some individual Muslims.

Muslim conservatives have the right to their beliefs and to practice their rituals as they deem appropriate. This is their right, as it is the case in all religions. However, this turns into extremism when they try to impose their views on everyone.

The most dangerous form of extremism is the mobile kind. It is usually based on exploiting religious activities that initially had no political purpose in the past, such as education, media, charity and collecting funds, and expanding operations to include students, women and foreigners.

These organized operations travelled to poor and regions and developed countries all over the world where they exploit wars, famine and injustice against some Muslims to plant seeds of extremism. Those seeds remain for a long time and eventually become a local culture.

If you can imagine this, then you can understand how extremism began and how terrorism emerged. You will also realize that combatting extremism is more important than fighting terrorism.

Sudairi’s statement at the conference in Cairo and his calls for the reestablishment of the religious discourse are at the core of this crisis. His suggestions should be the conference’s plan of action and agenda that require collective efforts to be achieved.

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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The Great Islamic Migration To ‘The West’

 

The world as a whole is witnessing many horrible events around the world today, each day, everyday beamed straight to our phones, watches, radio’s and TV’s. Many of these horrible events are generated from the Middle-East and North Africa and most are evolved from the strife caused within the Islamic religion. Whether you like the Islamic religion or not is not the issue of this post to you today. What the post is about is that I am going to point out a few obvious things that some on the pro and or con side of this issue my possibly not be considering the full consequences of this current human tragedy occurring in Islams breadbasket.

 

Here in the States we debate putting a wall from one side of  our southern border to the other to keep all the bad folks from the south of us from invading us, yet nothing about a wall to the north side between us and those Canadians.  Does this mean that if you come into our country that you need to have snow on your boots (not the famous Colombian kind)? Or is it more an economics issue? I say yes to that, but it is much more. There is also the issue of increased crime and yes, there is always that truth. Yet economics is THE reason that almost all have made the dangerous journey in the first place. If you are forced to leave your home city, county, state, and even country because you and your family are going to starve if you don’t, then when you get to your new country you still need food and shelter. If you can’t get work and you can’t get help from anywhere or anyone, most people will at least then steal for food and shelter for their families even if they wouldn’t do the same for themselves. Yet these same acts will label you as a criminal. Our friends to the north tend to be content living in their own country because there is a very good infrastructure in Canada and the people there have far more opportunities and abilities to have a good job and be able to self sustain their own families. Our friends to our south, not so much for them. Until their own governments can supply jobs and infrastructure for their citizens many have no choice but to migrate. There is also the drug wars and it’s migration issues from our south. Then there is in many people a race issue and a language issue with our neighbors to our south. But on neither border is there really a religion issue but with the current events throughout Europe it is very much an issue, a HUGE one.

 

Most all of the people fleeing violence from all the Islamic hate groups are people who were driven out of their homes, cities and countries by these people of their very own faith. This is not Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, or Hindu driving them out, Islam itself is kicking the ‘slackers’ out. If they won’t fight with them they kill some to drive the rest out. In doing so they are doing the will of Allah, they are dispersing the faithful throughout all the nations thus spreading their teachings into all the nooks and crannies of the world. So now, does the world stand together and try to find a way to wipe out all of these Islamic hate groups? Would that be racist, would the non-combatant Islamic people even allow ‘the west’ to try to wipe those groups out? Or is that a Jihad on Islam? Should it matter what others think? Islam is at war with everything and everyone that is not part of their ‘hate groups’ personnel version of Jihad. Now, the west must decide how this horrific event in Syria and other places in the area are going to be resolved. The west can do nothing and just open your borders completely and be totally over run on their resources causing their own people to starve or they can come together and wipe out these hate groups, as in carpet bombing. Doing nothing is also an option, the whole world is watching including all of the Islamic world, the good people and the bad ones.