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the Message Continues ... 8/41

 

         

                                                                                                                        

 

 

 

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Excerpts summarizing this short article from the L. A. Times:


<<...Paranoiac Islamism maintains that "modernity" or "the West" or "the  Jews" or "the superpowers" or even "the entire international community" are  conspiring to erase Islam and therefore true believers must act preemptively by  wiping out all Islam's enemies and almost everyone in the world is considered a  deadly foe.

...Chauvinistic extremism has become the worst threat to the culture of the  Arabs in general and to almost every Arab political structure in particular. 
Ironically, it must be noted that a somewhat similar mixture of paranoia and  aggressive chauvinism is also threatening Jewish Israel from within, and  certain Christian societies may not be immune either... 

...I believe that the antidote for Islamism gone mad can be found only within  the realm of moderate, sane Islam. And the same is true for other cultures  that contain seeds of internal insanity. We cannot cure madness just by smashing  it... 

...Rather than wag our fingers at Islam, or at the Jews, or at the "West,"  let us seek, find and reinforce the moderates in every society. Let us help them  prevail. Let us help them tame and heal the contaminated parts of their own  families...>>

 

Cure for an Islam Gone Mad
-- Moderates must be encouraged to leaven extremists destroying our  civilizations.
by Amos Oz
( Amos Oz is an Israeli novelist )
courtesy: L. A. Times, August 21, 2003


The suicide-murder at the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad and the suicide-murder  in Jerusalem that targeted a bus full of families and children on their way  back from prayer occurred only about five hours apart. They claimed about 20  lives each and also injured about 100 people. We do not yet know who carried out  the attack in Baghdad, but we know exactly who destroyed the families' bus in  Jerusalem.

He was Raed Abdel-Hamed Masq, from Hebron. He was not the usual brainwashed  teenage suicide bomber. No. In fact, he was one of the brainwashers: a chief  cleric, an imam, in one of the most prominent Hebron mosques; he was also a  teacher of religion in a high school.

The two crimes were not orchestrated by the same mastermind, but they do have  a great deal in common: A force that can be described as "paranoiac  Islamism" was at work in both cases. 

The same phenomenon is probably behind the fact that out of 28 violent  conflicts raging right now all over the globe 

from Indonesia to Kashmir, from  Sudan to Chechnya, from the Middle East to North Africa 

25 involve an Islamist  faction. 

Paranoiac Islamism maintains that "modernity" or "the West" or "the Jews" or  "the superpowers" or even "the entire international community" are conspiring  to erase Islam and therefore true believers must act preemptively by wiping  out all Islam's enemies and almost everyone in the world is considered a  deadly foe.

Paranoiac Islamism has become the worst enemy of Muslim civilization, an  enemy of its values, of its heritage and of its long-standing tradition of  tolerance and wisdom.

Chauvinistic extremism has become the worst threat to the culture of the  Arabs in general and to almost every Arab political structure in particular.  Ironically, it must be noted that a somewhat similar mixture of paranoia and  aggressive chauvinism is also threatening Jewish Israel from within, and certain  Christian societies may not be immune either.

This bloody ailment cannot simply be squashed by force. It is not enough to  tame it with a big stick; it needs to be cured.

I believe that the antidote for Islamism gone mad can be found only within  the realm of moderate, sane Islam. And the same is true for other cultures that  contain seeds of internal insanity. We cannot cure madness just by smashing  it. We are bound to endorse, support and indeed to rely primarily on the healthy  elements, on the silent majorities, on the pragmatic forces within each  infected society and culture.

Rather than wag our fingers at Islam, or at the Jews, or at the "West," let  us seek, find and reinforce the moderates in every society. Let us help them  prevail. Let us help them tame and heal the contaminated parts of their own  families.

The trouble is that moderates normally don't have the zeal to defend their  moderation against fanatics. If they have zeal, they might easily lose their  moderation.

Yet I believe it is time to combine zeal and moderation. Those who have the  blend of moderation and determination deserve to inherit the Earth, if only  because they never crusade for the Earth and never launch a jihad for it.

( The article has been slightly edited for al-huda ) 

courtesy: Kalim Irfani

 

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