The Lament of the “Good” Muslim

Muslims in France claim that, just because a few so-called Muslims committed heinous acts of terrorism, that they are unjustly and irrationally being treated as if they were all terrorists or potential terrorists who hate the West. Not all, of course, but this quote exemplifies the contingent to which I refer.

As a Muslim, Amina said, she had cried when she learned that so many people had been killed. “Here in France it is very, very, very difficult to live when you are Muslim because they always think you are a terrorist. And when I heard that again, Muslims killed people because they were not OK with what they said, I was totally ashamed and I was very sad,” she said.

The issue here is not whether all should be blamed for the actions of few but whether it is legitimate to be somewhat leery of any member of a cohort bound together by the same ideology when that cohort contains violent terrorists and their supporters who justify their actions by appeal to said ideology.

Further it is claimed it is especially unfair to be treated as if one were a potential terrorist or supporter of terrorism just because they are of the Islamic faith when terrorism is completely un-Islamic.

Completely un-Islamic?

Even Peter Bergen of CNN has, with reference to the Hebdo massacres, claimed this defense to be nonsense.

Does Islam have anything to do with the terrorist atrocities in Paris last week? The short, uncomfortable, answer is: Of course it does. …

The fact that the Paris attacks have something to do with Islamic beliefs cannot be wished away either by claims that Islam is simply a religion of peace, or by political correctness, or because we live in an increasingly secularized modern era that often doesn’t take deeply held religious beliefs sufficiently seriously. …

The reason that Islamist militants can assert that jihad is necessary against the perceived enemies of Islam is that there is sufficient ammunition in the Quran to buttress their beliefs. …

Assertions, therefore, that Islamist terrorism has nothing to do with Islam are as nonsensical as claims that the Crusades had nothing to do with Christian beliefs …

But let us say that the claim is not that there is no basis but that on balance a stronger case can be made that Islam does not promote or even allow terrorism. As usual the standard “temperate” verses in the Koran promoting tolerance and not being the initiator of violent conquest are trotted out to make this case. What is not pointed out is that these conciliatory verses are predicated on Islam not being under attack. And there is the rub. Once under siege or attack it is no holds barred and terrorism is absolutely front and center to the battle plan.

Quran (5:33)“The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement”

Quran (8:12)“I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them”

That is all it takes. And, in the minds of many Islamic leaders across the Ummah, the West is not only making “mischief in the land” Islam is under siege. The insidious corrupt values of the West are seditiously promoted by Western entertainment media undermine Islam and Islamic values. It is a stealth attack and this is not even to mention overt aggression from drones to whole scale invasions – a sorry tale of propping up dictators and “making mischief in the land.”

Neither the ‘no-basis” nor the “on-balance” argument hold up. What remains then is that there are in their cohort those who hate the West (Dar al-Islam) and have vowed to destroy or subjugate the West.

Is it not then reasonable, in the absence of reasonable evidence to the contrary in a specific case, to be leery of Muslims one accidentally meets on the bus or in the market place in that they might well despise you and your values despite the courtesy that your country has shown them? This is not to say one should, only that it is not unreasonable.

Yes it is unfair (in an ideal world) to treat with suspicion those “good” Muslims who seriously reject terrorism and somehow square Islam with Western values but until they find some way to obviously differentiate themselves from those of their cohort who do not, what else should they expect?


3 Responses

  1. But Islam itself, even without terrorism, is dangerous to the wellbeing of non-Muslims. The duty to conduct Jihad, that is the “struggle” to remove all obstacles to the spread, and then the dominance, of Islam remains, even if the means do not include either terrorism or conventional armed conflict, qitaal. And even those Muslims who perhaps do not want to spread Islam are, by their mere presence in Western countries, swelling the ranks of Muslims and, therefore, their perceived power, and that means that politicians will be more likely to succumb to demands made by other Muslims, the ones who are indeed engaged consciously in Jihad. And what’s more, even the Muslim who does not want to participate in Jihad constitutes a danger because there is no way of knowing if he will, slowly or suddenly, change his attitude, or if his children will be “peaceful.” The danger is permanent; it comes from the Qur’an — immutable, uncreated — and the Sunnah, consisting of Hadith already long ago winnowed and assigned their ranks of authenticity, and the Sira, the biography of Muhammad, which does not change.

  2. “What is not pointed out is that these conciliatory verses are predicated on Islam not being under attack.”
    I may be wrong, but isn’t it the case that islam interprets “under attack” as referring to any attempt by Infidels to resist the spread of islam (such as banning the hijab or refusing to install muslim foot baths in public places), even in lands that Infidels have inhabited since the dawn of history, and not just to Western pop culture’s assault on the islamic culture of or Western countries’ military incursions into traditionally muslim countries?

  3. SyB is right. The special Islamspeak meaning of “attack” is much, much broader than what the average non-Muslim thinks of when they hear the word ‘attack’. Any attempt to resist the spread of Islam anywhere, any public critique or questioning of Islam (never mind mockery; I am talking of academic-type rational critique and questioning) is also construed as “attack”. The mere act of publicly being-Christian, being-Jewish, being-Hindu, being-atheist, = an attack on Islam and Muslims. I attack and oppress Muslims when I walk down the street with my hair and face visible and a cross round my neck. I don’t know whether SyB has come across Daniel Greenfield/ Sultan Knish’s brilliant little essay, “The dangers of legitimising Muslim grievances”, but if s/he hasn’t, I recommend googling it up. Toward the end, there is this brilliant paragraph – “The fundamental Muslim grievance is that they are not in power…The fundamental grievance is that they are not in power…everywhere.” That is: Islam teaches Muslim that unless and until they have Total Domination everywhere, they are most dreadfully ‘oppressed’. Like a bully who wants to bully everyone in the schoolyard and whines that he’s hard done by because the other kids won’t let him; who squeals that everyone is ‘attacking’ him when he tries to boss them around and they say “no” and won’t give him their lunch money when he demands it and even hit him back when he hits them. Another good article is by a feisty Bengali ex-Muslim, now resident in Australia, one Abul Kasem. It’s called “When is Islam Oppressed?” He wrote it in 2005 and it hasn’t dated one bit. After citing Quran 5: 33, “punishment for waging war against allah and his messenger is execution…”, he explains, “One might still insist that the above verse is applicable only in war situations, when Islam and its founder, Muhammad (or Muslims) are/ were attacked in a physical fight. Perish this thought, if you want to learn about ‘real Islam’. The words “waging war” in the above verse has very little to do with real combat (like Iraq, Afghanistan). **Any** action, activity, remark, geture, word/s, sound, utterance, look, manner, habit, conduct, style and so on, which are not in conformity with Islamic precepts are considered as blasphemous or ‘waging war’.”…”Below, I have listed a few innocuous activities, manners, social customs, traditions, and the daily way of life, which the Kafirs blithely take for granted, but which are extremely un-Islamic…..Here is how Islam is oppressed by the unbelievers: The infidels do not submit to Allah despite repeated warnings to them. This is the highest form of rebellion by the Kafirs and an extreme type of oppression to Islam…”. Etc. Google it and read it all, it’s very helpful. And it will inoculate you, permanently, against all whining mohammedan attempts to cry ‘victim’.

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