By Inas Younis, New
13 December 2015
I am grateful to all
my Christian friends for cultivating my understanding of Christianity and
introducing me to the radical Mercy and love that is central to Christian
teachings. Jesus is one of the most highly revered prophets in the Islamic
tradition. When a Christian commits a mass murder in the name of Jesus, I do
not equivocate about whether or not this has anything to do with Jesus or
Christians or the Christian faith. I know for a fact that there is no
relationship between the two. And I am quick to defend Christians against
anyone who suggests otherwise. I don’t just base this on my interactions with
Christians. I base this on my actual understanding of the Christian religion,
which is one of peace and love.
Hatred is a natural
psychological response when you are led to believe that you are the object of
hatred. But it is not a religious response. It does not matter whether you are
a Christian or a Jew or a Muslim, hatred and God cannot co-exist in the same
heart. That is a metaphysical fact that should have simplified our
understanding of which behaviors are motivated by God and which ones are
motivated by our prejudices and lust for power.
The anti -Muslim
rhetoric may have reached biblical proportions, but certainly not because of
biblical teachings. When Jerry Falwell Jr. exhorts the masses to kill Muslims
with statements like, “.. We could end those Muslims before they walked in, and
killed them” I just feel embarrassed for my country. The obscenity of this kind of language should
mortify all of us.
Of course, Falwell
does not have a monopoly on this type of speech. There isno shortage of anti western sentiment
growing within various cult groups, most of them backed by the Wahhabi
religious aristocracy in the Middle East and elsewhere. Bigotry is a natural
psychological response to chronic fear, but again, it is not a religious one.
The United States is now witnessing a fraction of the fear that plagues the
majority of the third world and naturally, it too is gravitating towards
bigotry and xenophobia. But what makes this brand of ideologically based fear
far more dangerous is that it is almost always coupled with a kind of
Just as ISIS is on a
mission to carry out its apocalyptic self fulfilling prophecies, so are the
‘One World Order’ conspiracy theorists of the white supremacy movements that
have been percolating throughout America since the industrial revolution. The
truth is, all world dominance manifestos are alike. They are all driven by a
primitive need to ascribe moral and political significance to a man’s tribal
identity. All world dominance manifestos
are so boring and antiquated that they confuse our 21st- century minds. They
are so beneath us that they are beyond us.
But they are pervasive
because nothing exonerates ignorance and evil more easily than the sanction of
state power. When racism is sanctioned by the state it evolves the status of
divine sanction in the minds of the people. Evil needs multi layered disguises
and religious extremism is only the first layer, state power the second, and
killing the opposition is the third and last. When a nation has gone the way of
hate, there are no facts that will disabuse them of their fictions. Any
resistance only reinforces their narrative. And so we can no longer afford to
dream our way out of a problem that we slept our way into. What we are
witnessing now, on all sides of this global conflict, is the political
manifestation of a psychological phenomenon that has been marinating for decades.
Radicalism and violence are nothing new. Violent interpretations of Islam or
any religion or secular ideology are not actual interpretations that have
withstood the test of mental processing.
They are merely recycled manifestos, and if you have heard one fascist
utopian manifesto, trust me, you have heard them all. Evil knows no variety, it is established by
forced conformity, and is always the same force camouflaged by different
Many Muslims and
non-Muslims are insisting that Islam needs a reformation, forgetting that the
tyranny we are witnessing is actually the product of a reformation. Most
religions start out puritanical and modernize over time. Islam took the opposite course. It started
out flaming with liberalism. It granted
its followers unprecedented freedoms and established a trajectory towards
increasing freedoms. Islam was a
religion built on the fluidity of ageless principles designed to evolve with
the times. It granted women property rights at a time when women were themselves
considered property. Non Muslims sought
the protection of Muslims because Islam mandates the legal protection of
Christians and Jews against persecution.
This was the esprit de corps that led to the expansion of Islam until it
was truncated by the so called “reform movements.”The most recent historical
blows against Islam suppressed the process of independent reasoning, which is a
very important legislative arm of the Muslim tradition. And it replaced it with
an imitative approach to religion that focused on the enforcement of
limitations on thought and behavior.
It is not totally
inaccurate to suggest that Muslims are in a state of Jihad (struggle). But the Jihad that most informs our efforts
is the spiritual Jihad against the false interpretations born out of the
extremely orthodox Wahhabi sect in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is a prime
example of a government monarchy that is genuinely oblivious of its own
corruption and criminality.
As the holy Quran says
in Chapter two verse eleven “And when it is said to them, ‘Do not cause
corruption on the earth,’ they say, ‘We are but reformers. “ It goes on to say that although it is
unquestionable that they are the ones who are the corrupting the earth, they
are not capable of perceiving it. This
reinforces the notion that only God can alter the perceptions of the
spiritually blind, rendering our campaign to educate haters as futile as it has
proven to be.
So if there is to be
any reform movement, it should not be a movement to change Islam, but rather to undo the corruptions
perpetuated by that central governing body currently presiding over our holy
sites. What started out as a stunted little sect has grown into a malignant
cancer, no thanks to the carcinogens
produced by our greed for oil.
Every brand of fascism
currently taking root, whether it’s ISIS or its many diluted versions
throughout the world wants moderate Muslims to feel so disenfranchised and
hated by the mainstream world that they begin to question their loyalties. The
first part of their mission is to embolden their ideological soul mates in the
western world to take revenge on moderate Muslims on their behalf. They want
the non Muslim world to stop providing us refuge and to persecute to the extent
that we begin to doubt our allegiance to the values of life and liberty. And they intend to do this by ensuring that
those values stop working for us.
They may succeed with
the first part of their mission as evidenced by the demonization of Muslims in
the media. But they will not succeed
with the second part, which is to get Muslims to turn against those values.
Some American Muslims may have betrayed their religion by not being more
outspoken against the religious establishment that has co -opted the teachings
of Islam in order to maintain political power.
But American Muslims have never betrayed their country. We have been lamenting US foreign policy day
one. We have pleaded that the United
States stop enabling the murdering mad men of the Middle East, but to no avail.
We all bear some responsibility to fix this problem. But we cannot fix what we refuse to diagnose.
And until we atone for our militant complacency we will never be able to move
forward. As the world begins to acquire
moral certainty about the power of political freedom, we cannot afford to
develop the kind of moral amnesia that is threatening to destroy the integrity
of our own free society. There comes a time when a nation must choose between
its economic interests and its social stability. That time is now. If the free
world is ever to claim the kind of power that only moral certitude can grant
it, we must simply do the right thing.
And God bless America.
Inas Younis is a freelance writer residing in Kansas.
She has written for Muslim Girl Magazine and her work was featured in the
anthology Living Islam Out Loud. She contributed this article to New Age Islam.
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