Muslims Scandalize Islam

Posted in Islam | 16-Nov-10 | Author: Bedran A. Habeeb

The terrorist assault on the Our Lady of Salvation church in Baghdad for which the terrorist organization al-Qaeda claimed responsibility was an incident that does not achieve any goal except bringing shame to Islam. The Christian minority in Iraq is not an active group in politics or the economy of Iraq inciting terrorists to undermine their role with this heinous act. They are a peaceful and non-violent community which has done nothing to be avenged for and are not responsible for any negative development in the ancient or modern history of Iraq. They can not even have any reaction to this aggression so that they could be dragged into a game or plot that an external force might want to lure them into. Therefore, al-Qaeda and those behind the attack took the issue of terrorism to a new level which only holds scandal, embarrassment and shame for us Muslims whether or not we want it.

A few years ago, I did not care what Islam was or what the Islamists did. In absolutely no plan in my life has Islam, as a religion, been involved, though I respect it as a peculiar culture and have no problem with it. But in recent years I have realized that we intellectuals have to behave differently. If we decide not to belong to this religion and the culture of our community and decide to not defend it, the irresponsible and irrational tendency of these empty-headed men will drag us into big trouble.

In the past ten years, the re-emergence of Islam with its current radicalism in the Muslim world is the fault of the hypocrisy of those groups who govern the Islamic and Arab countries. They flatter religious figures and give them chances while they "the authorities" have nothing to do with religion. This religious revival is also to be blamed on the cowardice and double-stranded attitude of the media organizations and the intelligentsia of Muslims altogether who always flatter clerics without themselves holding religious convictions. They never once ask themselves the ethical question of what brings all this hypocrisy and unethical play together with the work of the intellectual - which must, by nature, be ethical.

Culture descends from above downwards. The culture and customs of any nation reflects the culture of those in power.Ssociety does not produce a different culture from that of the officials; even if it does it will not be an active culture. I saw images of a university in Yemen on TV, the girls in the university - who were around 20 years old - revealed only the holes of their eyes from their whole body, they were all in black from head to toe, while all the contemporary means of communication in that country like the internet, TV and satellite are available to the people. The regime of the country wants to keep the nation as backward as possible so that it can keep governing them, on the one hand, while it shows the outer world a modern picture and opens the country to the advanced technological means that show the image of a breath-taking and fascinating life there on the other. In this medium, only the culture of hate shoots out its roots. As a general habit, when a man can not reach a purpose he will get upset and this keeps eating away at him. The Islamic community, thanks to this hypocrisy, has become the hub of terrorist thoughts, hatred and violence for which first the educated authorities and the media are to blame.

In his last years in power Saddam Hussein, who led a secular regime for 35 years, launched a return to faith campaign as a last means of fooling the Iraqi community. Hussein's successors, which America brought to power thinking they would establish democracy and equality, dragged al-Qaeda into Iraq. As a result, there are cities in Iraq - possibly the majority of Iraqi cities except for the Kurdish ones - where you can not find one woman in the entire city's market places who is not in black with a head scarf. I am citing this example because the freedom of women is an example of the openness of the society. In the general elections, all the Iraqi votes go to the Shia Islamic parties loyal to Iran and the Sunni parties, friends of al-Qaeda. I wonder what culture of tolerance can grow in such a society. What future is ahead of us while we yawn, waiting for democracy and a bright future? I wonder who might, in this country, have shed some tears for the Christians a few days ago. I believe only in the Kurdistan Region there was some kind of sympathy, I can not think of any other elsewhere in Iraq.

This is a comprehensive situation in our country and all the Arab and Muslim world. Even in the Kurdistan Region, this hypocrisy of power, the intellectuals and the media in the face of the clergy and the Islamic parties can not be hidden, while both the clergy and the Islamic parties are originally one and the same. These two are not different in their thinking and culture which belong to 1,500 years ago, being cultivated again today in a fertile land to produce a tendency towards religion. To belong to this time and to be an active element in the life of mankind, we have to first respect ourselves before asking others to respect us. We must first put an end to the role of those empty-headed individuals in the direction of the society in contemporary life. What I am saying is not anti-religion, all the better way to respect Islam, in my opinion, is to remove the clergy and religious parties or restrain them completely.

Otherwise, leaving them free rein will provide them with the opportunity to bring us more shame and finish us altogether. So, there is no alternative but to maintain the reputation of Islam because we are Muslims (like it or not) no matter what non-religious system we establish, and however we pretend to be or whatever picture of ours we present.