In the wake of the ghastly suicide bombings in Paris and Beirut, it has again stoked a debate on whether radical fundamentalism can be delinked from religious extremism, in particular Islamic extremism or not.
According to Umer Ali, a student writing in Pakistan daily 'The Nation', while the far-right in the West blames the whole Muslim world terming the manifestations of violence as a result of the extremist ideology due to the refugee crisis, the Western left has totally absolved the refugees from being the culprits because they were fleeing from this very phenomenon in Syria.
Ali feels that a series of incidents in the Muslim world have raised concern whether such extremist ideology is deeply embedded in Islamic philosophy or not.
Atheists face death sentences in 13 countries, all of which were incidentally Muslim, according to a Reuters report.
An Afghan woman was stoned to death in Afghanistan for refusing to marry someone against her wishes and stoning laws are part of Iran Penal Code.
Amnesty International claims that 151 people were executed in Saudi Arabia this year, which is the highest in two decades.
The situation is particularly grave in Iran where two poets were condemned to flogging for just ‘shaking hands with females’.
Ali feels strongly that all these incidents indicate that Islam is deeply engrained with an extremist ideology by following a deeply fundamental version of Islam.
“Muslim world, on the whole is drenched with intolerant extremists following the literalist and fundamental version of Islam.
The fundamental mistake committed by Muslims all over the world is statements like 'Terrorism has no religion', 'Terrorists don't represent Islam'. Rather than being in denial and delusional, let's accept the fact that these terrorists ARE Muslims and they DO represent an interpretation of Islam – which most Muslims reject.”
Ali believes, “Neither equating the whole Islamic world with terrorism, nor giving sweeping statements, acquitting it from the responsibility, is the solution. Islam needs a reformation and Muslims need to be educated about changing world realities and evolving societies. West, on the other hand must realize that invading countries for the actions of few is not a viable solution, for it only helps radicalize more minds.”
You can read the full blog here.
(Umer Ali is a journalism student who studies and writes about Pakistan and its history.)