Islam and Islamists

Written by  //  January 16, 2015  //  Geopolitics, Middle East & Arab World  //  No comments

Islam word cloudReaction to Charlie Hebdo [see I am (not) Charlie] has included wide-spread analysis, commentary and soul-searching by all camps. Herewith a selection – by no means complete.
Le « musulman modéré », une version actualisée du « bon nègre »
Par Ahmed Benchems
Si le discours d’extrême droite sur « les musulmans en France » est raciste et agressif, celui de la bien-pensance politico-médiatique sur « les musulmans de France » est essentialiste et condescendant. Le « musulman modéré » d’aujourd’hui renvoie, d’une certaine manière, au « bon nègre » d’hier.
(Le Monde d’Afrique) L’islam, c’est d’une ridicule évidence, n’est inscrit dans le patrimoine génétique de personne. C’est une idée à laquelle chacun est libre d’adhérer – ou pas – y compris quand on s’appelle Mustapha ou Fatima. Les Français enfants d’immigrés ont été aux mêmes écoles républicaines que les autres, y ont étudié Voltaire et les Lumières autant que les autres. Sauf à considérer que leur origine ethnique conditionne leur façon de penser (ce qui est la définition même du racisme), il n’y a pas de raison qu’ils soient moins sensibles à ces idées-là que les Français « de souche ». Pourtant, le discours commun repris jusqu’au sommet de l’Etat, les renvoie à leur supposée islamité sans leur demander leur avis. Ce faisant, il les confessionalise de force, les condamnant inéxorablement à la différence. Liberté, égalité, fraternité, vous dites?
Douglas Murray: ‘Religion of peace’ is not a harmless platitude To face Islamist terror, we must face the facts about Islam’s history
(The Spectator) Islam is not a peaceful religion. No religion is, but Islam is especially not. It is certainly not, as some ill-informed people say, solely a religion of war. There are many peaceful verses in the Quran which — luckily for us — most Muslims live by. But it is by no means only a religion of peace.
I say this not because I hate Islam, nor do I have any special animus against Muslims, but simply because this is the verifiable truth based on the texts. Until we accept that we will never defeat the violence, we risk encouraging whole populations to take against all of Islam and abandon all those Muslims who are trying desperately to modernise, reform and de-literalise their faith. And — most importantly — we will give up our own traditions of free speech and historical inquiry and allow one religion to have an unbelievable advantage in the free marketplace of ideas.
16 January
Asra Q. Nomani:Meet the honor brigade, an organized campaign to silence debate on Islam
(WaPost) The campaign began, at least in its modern form, 10 years ago in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, when the Organization of Islamic Cooperation — a mini-United Nations comprising the world’s 56 countries with large Muslim populations, plus the Palestinian Authority — tasked then-Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu with combating Islamophobia and projecting the “true values of Islam.” During the past decade, a loose honor brigade has sprung up, in part funded and supported by the OIC through annual conferences, reports and communiques. It’s made up of politicians, diplomats, writers, academics, bloggers and activists.
In 2007, as part of this playbook, the OIC launched the Islamophobia Observatory, a watchdog group based in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, with the goal of documenting slights against the faith …
Alongside the honor brigade’s official channel, a community of self-styled blasphemy police — from anonymous blogs such as LoonWatch.com and Ikhras.com to a large and disparate cast of social-media activists — arose and began trying to control the debate on Islam. This wider corps throws the label of “Islamophobe” on pundits, journalists and others who dare to talk about extremist ideology in the religion. Their targets are as large as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and as small as me.
The official and unofficial channels work in tandem, harassing, threatening and battling introspective Muslims and non-Muslims everywhere. They bank on an important truth: Islam, as practiced from Malaysia to Morocco, is a shame-based, patriarchal culture that values honor and face-saving from the family to the public square. Which is why the bullying often works to silence critics of Islamic extremism.
13 January
A War Between Two WorldsIslamist cartoon
(Stratfor) “This dilemma is compounded by Europe’s hidden secret: The Europeans do not see Muslims from North Africa or Turkey as Europeans, nor do they intend to allow them to be Europeans. The European solution to their isolation is the concept of multiculturalism — on the surface a most liberal notion, and in practice, a movement for both cultural fragmentation and ghettoization. But behind this there is another problem, and it is also geopolitical.”

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