Sunday, October 28, 2007
Islam is Peace in Word, but...in Deed?
(<-- Click for bigger version; on John Trenchard's request)
Everyone believes they're on the side of good. The Islam Is Peace Campaign believes Islam is peaceful, and so did the June 7th bombers. [And it's their two viewpoints on what exactly this peace is that are juxtaposed in the image here.] All Muslims, moderate and extremist alike, say that Islam is peaceful, but does Islam actually bring its fair share of this uncontested good, peace? Or is it better thought to bring, as the Pope in his infamous Regensburg speech quoted Byzantine Emperor Manuel Paleologus II, saying, "things only evil and inhuman, such as [the] command to spread by the sword the faith..."
That quote comes from 1391 AD, but this is not an early example of linking Islam to violence. In fact, the earliest of all known bits of writing on Islam (earlier than the Quran itself, which wasn't compiled and standardised into its present form until 650-656 AD) includes the Doctrina Jacobi of 634-640 AD, which mentions a prophet of the Saracens (Arabs) who had came "armed with a sword." For as long as Islam had been around, it has been seen as violent. So we see ourselves in no different a situation today with this criticism continuing.
But what does this criticism lead to in response for groups like the Islam Is Peace Campaign, and CAIR, and others who would rather Islam be seen as peaceful? The Islam Is Peace Campaign lists their approach as having five steps. Numbers two to five are: 2) Create dialogue; 3) Address grievances; 4) Be creative; and 5) Create friendships. Four and five seem vacuous. Two and three read like they are acting towards peace, but they are actually the opposite of what you may expect. Two is not creating dialogue with extremist Islam so as to convince them otherwise, but actually with the rest of society, so that they may warm to Islam evermore. And three is not addressing grievances of the victims of Islamic terrorism, but rather the grievances of the Islamic terrorists! So the response to violence is to give those who commit it what they want, and, to those who suffer it, nothing but empty words. And, last but not least, step one is, "To fight Islamophobia," where Islamophobia includes any poignant criticism of Islam.
So where are the actions against the violence of Islam, and not just the words? They seem to be contained only to the purely reactive and defensive measures of the counter-terrorism departments of the intelligence agencies. Any pro-active, constructive steps to combat it are pushed out of bounds by accusations of Islamophobia. This goes so far that even Muslim groups are accused of being Islamophobic.
[I hope to get some comments before I keep on making posts, so that I may know someone cares that I'm saying anything.-KC]