Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam
souls across the world continue to mourn the victims of mass killing in
Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, which left at least 50 innocent men and women dead
and 53 wounded. This was the worst mass shooting in American history. As the
brainless abuser and wife-beater, butcher of this incident, Omar Mateen
reportedly pledged his allegiance to the ISIS in his final moments, let us take
the issue in a broader theological perspective that ISIS represents.
In a recent
issue of the online English mouthpiece of the ISIL “Dabiq”, the extremist
jihadist writers demonized the Western world as ‘a function of liberalism and
democracy polluting the hearts and minds of Muslims’. In the view of radical
jihadist ideologues democracy and liberalism are the worst forms of ‘un-Islamic
governance’. This is why the Islamist clergy of the extremist outfits, Boko
Haram, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), al-Qaeda and ISIS, declared the Muslims
serving the “Mushrik (polytheist)-majority” countries as apostates whose blood
can be shed.
then, the top American Muslim moderates engaged in spiritual guidance,
politics, media, academia, business, entrepreneurship and other lawful pursuits
are in the hit list of the ISIS’s target killing. To name a few, the American Sufi scholar Hamza
Yusuf, the Indian-origin EU Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue Waqar Azmi,
Conservative Party ministers Sajid Javid and Baroness Sayeeda Warsi and Hilary
Clinton's advisor Huma Abedin are on top of the list released by the ISIS in an
article titled "Kill the Imams of the West" in Dabiq (April - May
2016). The article states the reason why these moderate Muslims along with 20
other top Western Muslim leaders should be killed:
not overlook the overt crusaders, those who don’t even wear the cloak of Da’wah
(Islamic preaching), but instead directly involve themselves in politics and
enforcing the laws of Kufr (disbelief)”.
all those on its hit list as “Murtad” (apostate or ex-Muslim), the ISIS
ideologues glorify the potential murderers of these Muslims exhorting their
blind Islamist adherents in the western world to "wage jihad with the
resources available to them”.
deplorable and unsettling situation is that there is no evolution of any
successful strategy to control the ongoing online radicalization even in the
US, a country of the best techno-savvy people. Why the online de-radicalisation
is too gigantic a task for the American anti-terrorist agencies to accomplish?
We still fail to understand it. When the government-led high-tech teamwork is
not able to battle the jihadist radicalisation, why should one wonder then, if
the executives from Apple, Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, MTV to Buzz feed have
failed to tackle the online onslaught of the so-called Islamic State.
surprising is that hardly any impact is made by rebuttals of the ISIS’ jihadist
theology by the world’s anti-extremist Islamic thinkers. The voluminous global
anti-terror Fatwas which were respectively launched in UK, India and USA have
left no practical impression, though they were in-depth and very critical. The
anti-extremist Western Islamic scholars like Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri argued that
blaming the ISIS’ radicalization entirely on American foreign policy and
military ventures in the Middle East or elsewhere is not viable. “While the
political factors do play out in the process of radicalisation, too often the
theologically-based narratives which underpin the ideology of the extremists
are downplayed or underestimated”, he wrote.
Islamic scholars should, however, think
seriously why they are being so ineffective. Ulema must introspect if they are
themselves downplaying or underestimating the theologically-based narratives
which underpin the ideology of the extremists.
these moderate Islamic thoughts do inspire the mainstream American Muslims in
their attempt to counter extremist messaging on social media. Their constant
efforts and concrete inputs to counter online ISIS radicalisation are
well-considered. Todd C. Helmus, Erin York and Peter Chalk jointly conducted a
research within the RAND Homeland Security and Defense Centre and explored how
the moderate American Muslims are seeking to counter the extremist online
messaging, which is growing in the cloak of Islamism in the US.
moderate American Muslims are working for peace, dialogue and harmony among
Muslims and people of other faith traditions. It has become an absolute must.
But along with this, they must work hard to critique and expose as false the
arguments of radical Islamist terrorists, who seek to disguise their violence
in a pseudo-religious garb. I would conclude with an emerging voice of the
progressive western Muslims. Ro Waseem, for instance, writes in his article
entitled “Muslims have a moral responsibility to address ISIS's bastardisation
of Islam” published in International Business Times (dated March 23, 2016):
nothing to do with Islam! has become the standard response by well-meaning
Muslims to jihadist attacks. As a Muslim myself, I find it grotesque to observe
the impunity with which jihadists murder innocent civilians, chanting the name
of God who, in the Quran, likens Himself to a womb: “The Most Merciful and
Compassionate”……Clearly, as things stand, ISIS has something to do with Islam.
Not everything, not nothing – but something…..This might seem like a semantic
point, but it is nonetheless a necessary one.
long as we don’t acknowledge that there is a serious problem within some
aspects of mainstream Islamic discourse, we cannot possibly expect Islamo-fascism
to fade into oblivion. Indeed, if it is religious legitimacy we want to deny to
ISIS, we simply cannot afford to beat around the bush any more while the
monster runs loose….As long as religious dogma trumps fundamental human rights,
our condemnations will remain devoid of moral courage – the courage to confront
life-long dogmas that one may have been brought up with”.
sane voice came from Ghanem Nuseibeh, the founder of Cornerstone Global
Associates and a senior visiting fellow at Kings College, London, writes in an
article dated March 22, 2016:
“I find it
extremely distressing that, as a Muslim, the teachings of the extremist
Islamists, both Sunni and Shia, are louder than any other. Islam is now defined
by extremist teaching. Irreparable damage is being inflicted on Islam on a
daily basis. The voice of Muslim moderation is faint, and in many cases
non-existent……The fight for the heart and soul of Islam will be a long one. The
world will defeat terrorism only when the moderates of the Muslim world win
that battle……Only when the world unites in tackling the intellectual roots of
extremist Islamism will we be able to defeat groups like Daesh, Hezbollah and
al-Qaeda. And only when those groups are defeated and their ideologies
eradicated will the Muslim world be saved from rampant human right abuses”.
and Waseem, there is a growing number of progressive Muslims particularly in
the US and in the west in general who maintain that Islam as enshrined in the
Quran is diametrically different from the Islam that is advocated by the Muslim
clergy and self-serving Mullahs. Hence, they actively challenge the passive
mentality that condones irrationality and a breach of fundamental human rights
in the disguise of Islam.
A New Age Islam columnist, Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi
is Delhi-based classical Islamic scholar. He can be contacted at
Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic
Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism
If Islam as enshrined
in Quran is dramatically different to that advocated by the Mullahs and
self-serving clergy; then that must be the source of the problem. One would
think that it is essential to analyze the source and recognise the elements
that provide it the capacity of causing the problem. Then by prioritizing, they
must be eliminated one by one.
No amount of academic
and ivory tower proclamation are going to achieve this, although they are
sincere in intent. Action is required on ground level and with mobilizing the
masses. Risks are there but history is replete with examples of such
To expect the church
operatives to abdicate their lucrative jobs and prestige and do themselves out
of employment is a very illogical expectation. What other industry will employ
It is a good read. What do you think of ISIS, al Qaida, al
shabab, Boko haram, Taliban, Jemma Islamiyah, Abu Sayyaf, Ansar al sharia,
Ansar Bayt al maqda and other minor Jihadist groups? They belonged to political
Islam, hell-bent on creating a caliphate. They hate the West for many reasons, but
mainly of democracy that won’t help their cause. They love dictatorship with
zero accountability that can be easily manipulated for war. These Jihadi groups
will never listen to Islamic scholars. They may listen to political power
centers in Riyadh and in Tehran. If Saudi king Salman and Ayatollah Khamenei
can say as Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba said “I am ashamed as a Muslim over
terrorist attack. I see terror as an off shoot of Islam for which Muslims
should be ashamed” then changes can occur; at least mullahs and imams shall
change their sermons and condemn every terrorist act.
The conundrum in the Middle East involves, dictatorship,
Sunny-Shia divide, Wahhabism, political Islam and ISIS barbarism, involvement
of Russia favouring Assad, dilemma of US whether to support whom Sunny or Shia
The reality is there are few visionary leaders in the Middle
East. Majority of Muslims as per Aljazeera’s poll support ISIS.
Allah says emphatically “Where there is no vision people