Violence in Islam: The heart of the matter
The often apologetic propagandists who discreetly adhere to various shades of Islamism tend to defend their cause by suggesting an unimpressively limited number of arguments which they (sometimes rightly) think would appeal to the Western audience. Their sole purpose is to convince the politically and militarily more powerful West that Islam is not evil but that a few terrorists who think they are Islamists can be. They think this is smart warfare for the advancement of Islam not necessarily as a religion but as a political ideology: the physical and intellectual supremacy of Islam across the world. The apologists think that the terrorists are wrong because they opt for the wrong methodology to achieve the same goal.
The intellectual warrior of Islamism will tell you Islam is not terrorism. He is right. But he will refrain from telling you what Islamism is. He will tell you that only a fraction of the world’s Muslim population, 10 percent, would sympathize with the terrorist attacks on Western societies. Then you will have to calculate that that means 120 million or so Muslims sympathizing with terrorism. You will then have to ponder how many of those 120 million potential terrorists would actually take up arms and bombs and kill you or your beloved ones.
And when I say “you” I don’t mean non-Muslims only; the target group is much wider. It may include anyone any Islamist may deem an “infidel,” including Muslims. In fact, Islamist violence in modern political history has killed more Muslims than any adherents of any other faith or no faith combined. It still kills more Muslims than Christians or Jews or atheists.
But the horror story about Islamism is not about killing or other means of violence only. And this is where the shy Islamist propagandists are making a historic mistake; rather than wearing a million different masks in the ballrooms of the West to defend Islam(ism) and shyly telling their secret enemies “oh-but-this-is-not-Islam,” or “ah-uh-we-condemn-terror-but-not-all-Muslims-are-terrorists,” they should fight the physical and intellectual terrorists to defend the honor of their religion.
Of course, not all Muslims are terrorists. But the willing chorus of Muslim apologists should devote their time, energy and resources to fight the heart of the matter rather than to minimize the PR effects of what the heart of the matter causes. And the heart of the matter is not necessarily terror.
I would expect the apologists to intellectually fight, for instance, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia who insists that girls are fit for marriage by the age of 10-12, or the Saudi court which declines to nullify a marriage between a six-year-old girl and a 58-year-old man. They should intellectually fight the same Mufti for saying that all churches in the Arabian Peninsula must be destroyed. The courts which sentenced the Turkish pianist who tweeted and retweeted atheist contents. The Muslims who burn and destroy anything that comes handy because they feel offended by someone or something they think had offended their faith.
They should intellectually fight the Islamist tyranny that jails, tortures and intimidates, by all means possible, any Muslim who is not “Muslim enough.” They should challenge the religion minister of the world’s most populous Muslim country who proposes making mini skirts a “porn crime,” or that country’s parliament speaker who says rape happens because women don’t dress decently. They should challenge Hamas’s charter which calls for the annihilation of all adherents of a faith. They should stand up, unapologetically, and challenge why Jerusalem should be a holy Muslim city while there is not a single mention of it in the Quran and Muslims residing in lands between Mecca and Jerusalem pray facing Mecca with their backs to Jerusalem.
Instead of doing futile PR work in Western lands, they should ask Muslims why they get offended when other Muslims drink alcohol or eat pork or refrain from fasting during Ramadan. And they better wake up from sweet dreams in which they clean up their religion’s image in the eyes of the Westerners -- only until another Muslim wakes up to a fine day to badly damage it. A fellow Muslim whom they had ignored to intellectually challenge a day or so ago.