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Fundamentalism Terrorism and Islam

 

Vinod Kumar

 

Note: This was written in response to article by N Jamal Ansari attached after this article.

Most Muslim political commentators have criticized the US attacks on the terrorists training camps as attack on Islam. They are unable to link the actions of Bin Laden with terrorism. For most devout Muslims any act of violence as long as it is done in the name of Islam is not really terrorism – it is just another act for the propagation of Islam i.e. jihad – a duty imposed upon every Muslim by Allah Himself.

"The American media and Government propagate the myth that Islamic terrorism is on the rise. But, in fact, there is no Islamic terrorism or fundamentalism at all. Muslims all over the world are fighting to save themselves and Islam from physical and psychological attacks from some quarters." One Muslim commentator wrote in a prestigious daily. He would like us to believe that there is no Islamic terrorism or fundamentalism.

Islamic terrorism is not a new phenomenon and as far as fundamentalism is concerned, by its very definition – following the tenets of Islam to the letter -- it is synonymous with Islam. The so-called "Islamic fundamentalists" are the only "true" Muslims. For what is a Muslim if he does not follow the tenets of Islam? Even according to a liberal Muslim like Rafiq Zakaria "A Muslim is one who declares publicly: ‘There is no God but God and Muhammad is his Prophet’ and ‘A Muslim must also accept the Qur’an as the word of God, immutable and unalterable; it contains guidelines which a Muslim must follow." (The struggle within Islam by Rafiq Zakaria) No Muslim will disagree with this observation.

When a Muslim is following the Quran and the guidelines it lays down, a Muslim is not being a "fundamentalist" as the term is commonly used; he is just being a "good" Muslim. Otherwise, Islamic countries would not be instituting Shari’a – the Qura’n and the Sunnat of the Prophet -- as the supreme law. To say "there is no Islamic fundamentalism" is equivalent to saying there is no Islam.

Islam has practiced terrorism in the form of jihad for fourteen centuries but it is only in the last few decades that it has been paid back in its own coin. Just because the Hindus failed to respond to Islamic terrorism does not mean the rest of the world would not either. Having seen the extermination of their six millions brethren, the Jews finally decided that enough is enough and they would no longer be victims. Till recently though the US supported Israel they did not attack Islam even though Islam carried its terrorism to the shores of the US. Even then the US took care to distinguish between Islam and terrorism – a fact which President Clinton took caution to emphasize. But in the eyes of Islam, terrorism and jihad are inseparable. An attack on the terroristic activities of bin Laden was attack on Islam as far as a devout Muslim is concerned because it was an attack on his jihadic duty.

When a Muslim writes "there is no Islamic terrorism at all" – in his own mind he is right. Bin Laden is fighting jihad against the "Crusaders" and for a Muslim jihad is the highest duty. Jihad, for him, can not be equated with terrorism. After all Bin Laden is not fighting for himself; he is fighting for Islam. He is fighting a jihad.

"Muslims all over the world are fighting to save themselves and Islam from physical and psychological attacks from some quarters." The Musllim commentator further wrote. In his eyes it is all right for Bin Laden to kill innocent people around the world for the sake of his "jihad against the crusaders" but it is wrong for the US to save themselves and innocent people, and their way of life from "physical and psychological" attacks from the Islamists like Bin Laden. But, no more. Clinton has finally changed the rules of the game.

The Muslim commentator would like the "King of Saudi Arabia, who is also the Protector of the two Holy Mosques, to expel the American Army stationed on Saudi soil" -- an aim shared by Bin Laden. The US Army is in Saudi Arabia at the invitation of the King. But strongly as he and many Muslims feel about the expulsion of the US Army from the Saudi soil, I wonder if they feel the same way about the expulsion of the "Islamic forces" from the Indian soil which has not "two" but thousands of "Holy places of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism"?

End of matter

America rears its ugly head

Second Opinion/N Jamal Ansari

The recent air-strikes by the United States on Afghanistan and Sudan have raised more questions than answers. These strikes were made in the name of the US’s avowed "war against terrorism". Americans habitually twist facts and use terms like "terrorism" and "human rights" to their own advantage. American double-standards are a well-known fact. This was evident in President Bill Clinton’s confession before the Grand Jury in the Monica Lewinsky case.

The US attacked Afghanistan and Sudan on the pretext that Osama Bin Laden was involved in bombings in East Africa. The US has no proof of Bin Laden’s involvement in terrorist acts anywhere. There is a strong

opinion in international circles that the Clinton Administration ordered these air-strikes only to divert public attention from the fallout of the Lewinsky scandal. Bill Clinton’s reputation has certainly nose-dived

after his confession and policy-makers at the White House fear the worst. However, the US Government’s portrayal of Osama Bin Laden as a terrorist may not appeal to the higher intellect of the American people

at all.

The American media and Government propagate the myth that Islamic terrorism is on the rise. But, in fact, there is no Islamic terrorism or fundamentalism at all. Muslims all over the world are fighting to save

themselves and Islam from physical and psychological attacks from some quarters. Cordial relations between the Vatican and Israel have put an end to the ideological tussle between Judaism and Christianity prevalent since thousands of years. Christians and Jews have now discovered a common enemy in Islam.

Israel has proven nuclear weapons and tested delivery systems which, according to a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Report, 1987, can devastate every major city in the Middle East. If the US can insist

on the dismantling of the nuclear capabilities of Iraq, Soviet Union, North Korea, India and Pakistan, why, one wonders, is there not even a whisper about Israel’s proven nuclear arsenal? Tel Aviv has consistently

refused to sign the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty. Why is there no trade sanction against her? Facts lead one to the conclusion that Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons, its attempts to mislead and frighten its

opponents, besides its strategies concerning chemical-biological warfare, are only directed against Muslims and Islam.

In the post-Cold War era, Israelis and Americans have found a new enemy in Islam. Also, the Gulf oil-fields constitute America’s vital interests. These two facts explain why the US today fears Osama Bin

Laden. The US’s continued support to Israel’s terrorist activities prove that it is the US itself which is helping terrorism. The US, aided by its strong lobby of Presidents, continues to terrorise smaller countries

with its military supremacy. From Vietnam to Afghanistan, what emerges is the ugly face of US terrorism.

India should have condemned the US air-strikes but Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee chose to appease the mighty America. Although Defence Minister George Fernandes has condemned these uncalled for attacks, why has the Prime Minister approved of the US’s actions? Is it because Mr Vajpayee has chosen to stick by this marriage of convenience with Bill Clinton owing to his saffron inclinations?

It is not the question of Taliban alone. It is also not just the question of Osama Bin Laden. It is the question of justice and civilised international norms. It is imperative that the rest of the world makes a concerted effort to demolish the American-Israeli nexus. The King of Saudi Arabia, who is also the Protector of the two Holy Mosques, should expel the American Army stationed on Saudi soil. Otherwise, if today it

is Afghanistan and Sudan which have witnessed American terrorism, tomorrow it could be India and Saudi Arabia’s turn.

Note: This was written in response to article by N Jamal Ansari attached after this article.

Most Muslim political commentators have criticized the US attacks on the terrorists training camps as attack on Islam. They are unable to link the actions of Bin Laden with terrorism. For most devout Muslims any act of violence as long as it is done in the name of Islam is not really terrorism – it is just another act for the propagation of Islam i.e. jihad – a duty imposed upon every Muslim by Allah Himself.

"The American media and Government propagate the myth that Islamic terrorism is on the rise. But, in fact, there is no Islamic terrorism or fundamentalism at all. Muslims all over the world are fighting to save themselves and Islam from physical and psychological attacks from some quarters." One Muslim commentator wrote in a prestigious daily. He would like us to believe that there is no Islamic terrorism or fundamentalism.

Islamic terrorism is not a new phenomenon and as far as fundamentalism is concerned, by its very definition – following the tenets of Islam to the letter -- it is synonymous with Islam. The so-called "Islamic fundamentalists" are the only "true" Muslims. For what is a Muslim if he does not follow the tenets of Islam? Even according to a liberal Muslim like Rafiq Zakaria "A Muslim is one who declares publicly: ‘There is no God but God and Muhammad is his Prophet’ and ‘A Muslim must also accept the Qur’an as the word of God, immutable and unalterable; it contains guidelines which a Muslim must follow." (The struggle within Islam by Rafiq Zakaria) No Muslim will disagree with this observation.

When a Muslim is following the Quran and the guidelines it lays down, a Muslim is not being a "fundamentalist" as the term is commonly used; he is just being a "good" Muslim. Otherwise, Islamic countries would not be instituting Shari’a – the Qura’n and the Sunnat of the Prophet -- as the supreme law. To say "there is no Islamic fundamentalism" is equivalent to saying there is no Islam.

Islam has practiced terrorism in the form of jihad for fourteen centuries but it is only in the last few decades that it has been paid back in its own coin. Just because the Hindus failed to respond to Islamic terrorism does not mean the rest of the world would not either. Having seen the extermination of their six millions brethren, the Jews finally decided that enough is enough and they would no longer be victims. Till recently though the US supported Israel they did not attack Islam even though Islam carried its terrorism to the shores of the US. Even then the US took care to distinguish between Islam and terrorism – a fact which President Clinton took caution to emphasize. But in the eyes of Islam, terrorism and jihad are inseparable. An attack on the terroristic activities of bin Laden was attack on Islam as far as a devout Muslim is concerned because it was an attack on his jihadic duty.

When a Muslim writes "there is no Islamic terrorism at all" – in his own mind he is right. Bin Laden is fighting jihad against the "Crusaders" and for a Muslim jihad is the highest duty. Jihad, for him, can not be equated with terrorism. After all Bin Laden is not fighting for himself; he is fighting for Islam. He is fighting a jihad.

"Muslims all over the world are fighting to save themselves and Islam from physical and psychological attacks from some quarters." The Musllim commentator further wrote. In his eyes it is all right for Bin Laden to kill innocent people around the world for the sake of his "jihad against the crusaders" but it is wrong for the US to save themselves and innocent people, and their way of life from "physical and psychological" attacks from the Islamists like Bin Laden. But, no more. Clinton has finally changed the rules of the game.

The Muslim commentator would like the "King of Saudi Arabia, who is also the Protector of the two Holy Mosques, to expel the American Army stationed on Saudi soil" -- an aim shared by Bin Laden. The US Army is in Saudi Arabia at the invitation of the King. But strongly as he and many Muslims feel about the expulsion of the US Army from the Saudi soil, I wonder if they feel the same way about the expulsion of the "Islamic forces" from the Indian soil which has not "two" but thousands of "Holy places of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism"?

End of matter

America rears its ugly head

Second Opinion/N Jamal Ansari

The recent air-strikes by the United States on Afghanistan and Sudan have raised more questions than answers. These strikes were made in the name of the US’s avowed "war against terrorism". Americans habitually twist facts and use terms like "terrorism" and "human rights" to their own advantage. American double-standards are a well-known fact. This was evident in President Bill Clinton’s confession before the Grand Jury in the Monica Lewinsky case.

The US attacked Afghanistan and Sudan on the pretext that Osama Bin Laden was involved in bombings in East Africa. The US has no proof of Bin Laden’s involvement in terrorist acts anywhere. There is a strong

opinion in international circles that the Clinton Administration ordered these air-strikes only to divert public attention from the fallout of the Lewinsky scandal. Bill Clinton’s reputation has certainly nose-dived

after his confession and policy-makers at the White House fear the worst. However, the US Government’s portrayal of Osama Bin Laden as a terrorist may not appeal to the higher intellect of the American people

at all.

The American media and Government propagate the myth that Islamic terrorism is on the rise. But, in fact, there is no Islamic terrorism or fundamentalism at all. Muslims all over the world are fighting to save

themselves and Islam from physical and psychological attacks from some quarters. Cordial relations between the Vatican and Israel have put an end to the ideological tussle between Judaism and Christianity prevalent since thousands of years. Christians and Jews have now discovered a common enemy in Islam.

Israel has proven nuclear weapons and tested delivery systems which, according to a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Report, 1987, can devastate every major city in the Middle East. If the US can insist

on the dismantling of the nuclear capabilities of Iraq, Soviet Union, North Korea, India and Pakistan, why, one wonders, is there not even a whisper about Israel’s proven nuclear arsenal? Tel Aviv has consistently

refused to sign the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty. Why is there no trade sanction against her? Facts lead one to the conclusion that Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons, its attempts to mislead and frighten its

opponents, besides its strategies concerning chemical-biological warfare, are only directed against Muslims and Islam.

In the post-Cold War era, Israelis and Americans have found a new enemy in Islam. Also, the Gulf oil-fields constitute America’s vital interests. These two facts explain why the US today fears Osama Bin

Laden. The US’s continued support to Israel’s terrorist activities prove that it is the US itself which is helping terrorism. The US, aided by its strong lobby of Presidents, continues to terrorise smaller countries

with its military supremacy. From Vietnam to Afghanistan, what emerges is the ugly face of US terrorism.

India should have condemned the US air-strikes but Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee chose to appease the mighty America. Although Defence Minister George Fernandes has condemned these uncalled for attacks, why has the Prime Minister approved of the US’s actions? Is it because Mr Vajpayee has chosen to stick by this marriage of convenience with Bill Clinton owing to his saffron inclinations?

It is not the question of Taliban alone. It is also not just the question of Osama Bin Laden. It is the question of justice and civilised international norms. It is imperative that the rest of the world makes a concerted effort to demolish the American-Israeli nexus. The King of Saudi Arabia, who is also the Protector of the two Holy Mosques, should expel the American Army stationed on Saudi soil. Otherwise, if today it

is Afghanistan and Sudan which have witnessed American terrorism, tomorrow it could be India and Saudi Arabia’s turn.

 

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