They contend that all the violent activities implicating Muslims are distortions and departures from the true and noble teachings of Islam.
Virtually all Muslims admit that Islam is not a pacifist tradition, while it allows and legitimizes the use of violence under certain conditions. This condoning of the use of violence is not exclusive to Islam All religions have their respective concept and justification of what is meant or what constitutes a "just war." The author argues that the religious legitimization of violence does not occur in what he describes as a socio-historical vacuum. He borrows the interpretation of Graham Fuller of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA. Fuller said that if a society and its politics are violent and unhappy, its mode of religious expression will tend to be the same.
The Koran teaches that the just war is always evil but that it is sometimes necessary to fight to avoid persecution. Warfare was entered into in early days out of desperation because the leader was not allowed to display weakness towards his enemies in battle. The Koran allows people to retaliate, eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth. However, it also ascribes greater merit to giving up on revenge in the "spirit of charity." It stresses that hostilities should quickly come to an end the moment the enemy seeks peace. Muhammad demonstrated in the peace treaties he initiated in lieu of violence.
Jihad is often wrongly understood or equated with aggressive "holy war." The West thus has come to perceive Islam as a religion of violence and terrorism. The persistent and biased use of the terms "holy war" and "fundamentalism" by Western Christian scholars and critics presents problems in interpreting current movements within Islam. It deviates further from reality and becomes another obstacle to attempts at forging understanding between Muslims and Christians, following the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.
The mystical traditions of Islam present the greatest form of "jihad" or personal "jihad," which is to purify one's soul and refine one's disposition. This is the greater struggle according to the prophetic tradition or hadith. Muhammad advised his companions to advance from the lesser jihad of physical fighting to the higher or greater jihad of disciplining the self. The Sufis concept of the jihad was the spiritual struggle to tame the lower impulses and base instincts in human nature. A reductionist version became popular whereby jihad was justified only in defense. Critics have deplored the classical doctrine as erroneous as it violated some of the basic and essential Islamic principles on the Islamic ethics of war. They argued for the recovery of an alternative interpretation of jihad as a peaceful covenant of co-existence. This was practiced by the Prophet himself. Unfortunately, this alternative approach was moved to the background or ignored by partisan interpretations of classical Muslim jurists. Scholars have called on contemporary Muslims to reclaim this Sufi tradition. If done, it can expand and increase resources to settle conflict and build peace.
The author explains the occurrence of violent conflicts in the contemporary world implicating Muslims and Islam. The global order is neither just nor perfect. Islam strongly emphasizes social justice and is not a pacifist religion or tradition. There are influential extremists within Muslim ranks. International media have allied with Muslim extremists. The author concludes that the current violent image of Islam and the unquestionable occurrence of violence in many parts of the Muslim world should not hide the reality that other traditions and religions share that just concept of violence.
Krauthammer, Charles. Violence and Islam. Washington Post: washingtonpost.com, 2002. Retrieved on November 21, 2007 at http://www.well.com/~bernie/muslimviolent.htm
People's interpretations of religions change with time. In the process, they resort to the support of Scripture to defend their position. History shows that Islam went through contrasting periods of both violence and tolerance. In 1492, the Ottomans welcomed and nurtured expelled Jews from Catholic Spain. In contrast today, the Arab world wages the deadliest anti-Semitic propaganda since the time of Nazi Germany. The actions of Muslims in the world today speak louder than the words or teaching of the Koran. It tells the world that Islam is bloody. Some of the most vicious forms of violence are committed throughout the world by Muslims in the name of Islam. At the recent Miss World riot in northern Nigeria, they destroyed a newspaper's offices, massacred innocent Christians and issued a fatwa on the author of the article they found offensive. Their genocidal activities in Sudan against the Christian and animist blacks in the south include mass starvation, bombing of hospitals and slavery. In Pakistan, they attack Christian churches and kill parishioners. In Lebanon, they shot a caring Christian nurse for "proselytizing." The Abu Sayyaf Muslims in the Philippines kidnap and behead hostages as part of their terrorist campaign in the predominantly Catholic country. The Pakistani-Kashmiri terrorism against Hindu India, Chechen terrorism in Russian-Orthodox Moscow and Palestinian terrorism against the Jews and the September 11, 2001 bombing of the Twin Towers in New York further illustrate the violent behavior of Muslims on account of Islam. Attention is focused on the bloodshed involved in these activities rather than on the peaceful existence of other Muslims who possess civilized behavior.
The author wonders if this is not explained by the loss of Islam's rightful place half a millennium ago. Al Qaeda forces under Osama Bin Laden want to restore it through revenge and redemption, intimidation and terror. The United Nations attribute this bent for power to the Arab's failure to modernize. The leader of the largest Muslim society traces Islamic radicalism to failure of self-respect and self-identity and the failure of moderate leaders. They do not have the courage to challenge fellow Muslims who destroy for the sake or in the name of Islam. Blood will continue to flow until this majority learns or decides to speak.
Jacoby, Jeff. Muslim Violence. The Boston Globe: The New York Times Company, 2006. Retrieved on November 21, 2007 at http://www.boston.com/news/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2006/09/20/muslim_violence
Leaders of Muslim fanatics urge their followers during evening prayers to kill anyone on the spot who offends their Prophet. The Pope spoke of Islam's having a dark history of violence. This offended Muslim fanatics and they since yearned for his death. They bomb churches and attack innocent Christians in his place. Pope Benedict, in a speech at the University of Regensburg, said that religious faith not contained by reason can develop into savagery. Byzantine emperor Manuel II condemned Islam's militancy as "only evil and inhuman" in ordering its spread by the sword. British Muslims cried out that Islam would conquer Rome and that the Pope should be subjected to capital punishment. Iraq's radical Mujarideen's Army, the arsonists in the West Bank and the Sword of Islam all raged against the Pope and vowed vengeance. There were many other manifestations and cases of the same violent behavior and reactions.
In each case, fanatic Muslims claim that Islam has been insulted and vengeance is the only rightful response. Freedom of speech is not the issue. While they insult Christianity, Judaism and other religions, they allow no one to insult Islam or their Prophet back. It is a double standard. While no faith should be insulted, the true basis for the rage is the innate tendency to violence, terror and bloodshed among these fanatics. They release this savagery in the name of their religion on the one hand and the silence of the rest of the Muslims in deterring it, on the other.
Islam is the monotheistic religious system of Muslims, founded in Arabia in the seventh century and based on the teachings of Muhammad and laid down in the Koran (WorldNet Princeton University 2006). It is more a whole way of life than a religion observed on Sundays, according to some observers. The Koran teaches a peaceful and patient way of life, which Prophet Muhammad displayed his whole life. But the principles of the Koran and the very interpretation of the Islamic tradition have undergone changes through the years. Politics has mixed with religion. The conditional justification of a jihad has made it a qital, or violent activism. A new brand of insecure secular leaders has developed. They teach young Muslims an entirely new thinking and new attitude, which is intolerant. They have adopted a new way of restoring their lost rule through terrorism, violence and bloodshed.
Findings perusal of the Koran shows that, by and large, it encourages patience and rewards it. Jihad is non-violent, as commonly believed or claimed (Khan 2007). The non-violent method is preferable to the violent method in settling conflicts. The non-violent method does not waste time or resources. Nobody gets hurt and opportunities can be explored for a longer period. The Koran lists examples of peaceful initiatives by Prophet Muhammad and other Muslim leaders in earlier centuries. Current-day secular Muslim leaders are responsible for the complete change in the interpretation of the Islamic tradition (Khan).…