So now we have a home-grown radical Muslim nut-job with movie star appeal who is apparently attracting some of the young, idealistic and impressionable to his cause. I refer to the young and deluded and very loud Sheik Feiz Mohammed, rightly condemned by just about everyone. However, when I looked at the comments on AntBlog701 the other day on the entry 13 January, 2007 I found people there who in opposing the other recently publicised loudmouth were themselves just as bad as any radical Muslim nut-job and equally reprehensible. (Antony has a more laissez-faire attitude to comments than I do; his call of course, but I would have hit the delete button myself. Some things are just too vile to be given the credibility publication implies.)
Anyone tempted to give even ten seconds attention to the child-abusing — encouraging children to blow themselves and others up is surely worse than any sexual abuse, not that I condone that either — Sheik Feiz Mohammed, a true enemy of mankind and of peace, should go to another Lebanese, Amin Maalouf, and to Jonathan Glover, HUMANITY: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century — linked in that entry in a very relevant context — not to mention the many sane Muslim sources one might point to, some of which are on the right under the 50+ blogs and “Faith and Philosophy”. Let me replay something I wrote just before Anzac Day last year:
Meanwhile, Osama has spoken yet again it appears. Let me make myself very clear here: no matter how tragically foolish I believe our leaders to have been in the recent past, and granting all the horrible ambivalence one must feel over the Israel/Palestine conundrum, there is absolutely no such thing as a “Zionist-crusader war against Islam”. This paranoid nonsense, this antihuman ranting, is no more acceptable now than the equally poisonous and very similar rants of Adolf Hitler were last century, and deserves the same contempt.
See Muslims against Extremism and Fundamentalism for articles by Muslims who are definitely not fans of Osama bin Laden.
For a conservative yet very acceptable statement of Islamic principle on terrorism, see Turkish scholar Fehullah Gülen (right): Real Muslims Cannot Be Terrorists , one of several articles on the subject on his site.
M. Fethullah Gülen
Turkish intellectuals and scholars acknowledge, either tacitly or explicitly, that he is one of the most serious and important thinkers and writers, and among the wisest activists of twentieth-century Turkey or even of the Muslim world. But such accolades of his leadership of a new Islamic intellectual, social, and spiritual revival — a revival with the potential to embrace great areas of the world — do not deter him from striving to be no more than a humble servant of God and a friend to all. Desire for fame is the same as show and ostentation, a “poisonous honey” that extinguishes the heart’s spiritual liveliness, is one of the golden rules he follows.
His views on revelation may even be described as “fundamentalist”, a reminder that that term covers a multitude of viewpoints. He would possibly reject the term in favour of something like “traditionalist”. He says of the Qu’ran for example:
The Qur’an is God’s miraculous, matchless message that has been sent to all humanity via His last Messenger. With the Qur’an God has shown humanity, one last time, a short-cut to His good pleasure. He has communicated to us about His Essence, Attributes, and Names. He has expressed in the most explicit way, leaving no room for any misunderstanding, His will to be known and recognized in the correct way, to be believed in and worshipped. Almighty God has put emphasis on the duties and responsibilities of believers, while enthusing hearts and agitating souls with His warrant for punishment and promise for reward. He has presented the Qur’an as a sign for perfection and completion and as an orbit to rotate around for His good pleasure, while condescending to offer this gift to us as a compliment greater than any that has been or will ever be granted to anyone else. The Qur’an is the most radiant and enduring of the hundreds of miracles bestowed upon the Master of creation, upon him be the best of blessings and peace. In addition to its wondrous discourse, articulation, and styles of expression, with its social discipline, legal rulings, principles of good morality, and education, its analysis of the whole creation including especially humanity, with its many allusions and indications to the essentials of almost all the sciences, which are sometimes even presented as manifest expressions, and the alternative solutions it offers for many administrative, economic, and political problems, the Qur’an is the ultimate source of reference for everyone and for all times. It is an untainted fountain with an infinite resource; it is a vast ocean which can never be dimmed by even the most complicated and filthy of eras…
As you will gather from my other entries today, I do not share his view. But millions around the world do share his view, and one hopes also share his views, or would consider his views, on terrorism.
If it is peace you want, it is far more realistic to hope it will come from the likes of Fehullah Gülen exerting their influence, rather than from westerners, especially secular ones, insisting that they must give up their barbaric/primitive ideas and become like us. Will they become like us? Probably not. Is that necessarily a disaster? Not if there is good will and tolerance — subjects he also talks about — on all sides.