Islamic Fundamentalists are achieving considerable success in promoting the idea that America and the West are waging a war on Islam. Algesira and other media outlets give great attention to the deaths of Muslims especially when Israel or America is involved. Actually America has acted to protect Muslims on many occassions. In addition by a tremenedous order of magnitude most Muslims in the modern world have been killed by other Muslims. Rarely do Arab media outlets give attention to these killings even when thousands of Muslims are killed including women and children. We do not fully understand why the fiction of a war against Islam has such resonance in the Arab world or why large-scale attrocities against Muslims are largely ignored when committed by other Muslims.
Islamic Fundamentalists are achieving considerable success in promoting the idea that America and the West are waging a war on Islam. Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya, and other media outlets give great attention to the deaths of Muslims especially when Israel or America is involved. In contrast they give rrlatively little attention to Muslims killing Muslims, especilly when non-Arabs are being killed. Also they give little attention to Mudsims killing Christians. Ironically any fair assessment of the number of people actually being killed, the vast majority of the people being killed are Muslims killing other Muslims. This indisputeable fact is constantly supressed in the Arab and other islamic media.
An important point here is that most of the killing of Muslims today is not done by the Jews or Western countries, but by Muslims and Muslim countries. Some of it is the result of secular Muslims like Saddam Husein. But large numbers of people are being killed by radical Islamic regime or radical Islamic terrorist groups. Here a former Muslim radical describes the thought process. He tells us that
radicals and extremists "argue that, since there is no pure Islamic state, the whole world must be Dar ul-Kufr (The Land of Unbelief)." And then "since Islam must declare war on unbelief, they have declared war upon the whole world. Along with many of my former peers, I was taught by Pakistani and British radical preachers that this reclassification of the globe as a Land of War (Dar ul-Harb) allows any Muslim to destroy the sanctity of the five rights that every human is granted under Islam: life, wealth, land, mind and belief. In Dar ul-Harb, anything goes, including the treachery and cowardice of attacking civilians." [Butt]
Fundamentalist muslems have proven very succesful in convincing the Aran and Islamic world in general that Islam is under assault from the West in general and America in particular. Osama Bein Laden is only the most extreme manifestation of the fundamentalist movement in Islam. Some see this as a developing cultural war between Islam and the West. The centrality of the Palestinian-Isreali conflict in the Arab mind has plasyed a major role in radicalizing the rest of the Arab world and the the Muslim world in general. Another factor is the nature of Whabism in Saudi Arabia and the willingness of Saudis to use oil money to support fundamentalism throughout the Islamic world. In fact, the idea that America leads a Western assault on the Arabs and Islam is so absurd that it is surprising that the notion has gained such currency, not only in the Islamic world, but even in Europe. The actual facts is that the major killer of Arabs has been Saddam Hussein and fundamentalist Iran. America has in fact intervened to protect Arab and Islamic people in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Darfur, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kurdistan (nothern non-fly zone in Iraq), Saudi Arabia, and Somalia (humanitarian mission). No other country (including Islamic countries) has acted so forcefully to protect Islamic people. It also shoiuld be noted that many of the countries listed are not oil producing countries and that the United States acted primarily for humanitarian reasons. The reason that the notion resonates is that there are fundamental differences between fundamentalists and the West on issues like democracy, freedom of religion and
expression, fights for women, and many other aspects of modern life.
By a tremebous order of magnitude most Muslims in the modern world have not been killed by Jews or Christians, but rather fellow Mislims. Rarely do Arab media outlets give attention to these killings even when thousands of Muslims are killed including women and children. Rather than a Christian, Hindu, or Jewish war against Muslims, the vast majority of Muslims being killed in the modern world are being killed by other Muslims in a variety of ethnic, national, political, and religious conflicts. It is understandable that media outlets cover the news when Muslims are killed. What is mnot understandavle is the why the Muslim press does not accurately report the extent of killings by Muslims of fellow Muslims.
Here we have just begun to prepare alist. The Sudanese civil war as involved the northern Arabs killing souithern Black Christians. The Civil Wr began in 1983. A power sharing agreement was signed June 5, 2004. The United Nations approved a peace keeping operation on June 11, 2004. The power sharing agreement between the Sudanese Government and southern rebels settled the administration of three disputed central region. Details of the cease fire are to be negotiated. Talks are schuled to begin June 22.
The Indodenia military has been involved in killinhs on AChe, a largely Christian island. This may be more of a nationalist conflict than Muslims killing Christians, but it is a conflict we will look into.
Compared to the instances of Muslims killing Muslims, we note relatively few instances of Christians killing Muslims. The most serious modern instance has been the wars resulting from the break up Yugoslavia, especially Serbs killing Bosniana and Kosovars and to a lesser extent Croats killing Bosnians. We have noted on Islamic websites they list Filippino Christians killing Muslims. We know nothing about this conflict atr this time.
The issue at the center of the Muslim-Jewish conflict is of course the Israel-Palestine dispute. This is a very complex issue and one we have just begun to address. We do not yet have estimates of people who have died in the conflict. Any assment has to taken in account the fate of Jewish communities in the Arab world and in Islamic countries like Iran and Pakistan. Another matter which has to be considered is Palestinians in Israel who are some of the few individuals in the Middle East who actually are able to vote in real elections.
The history of South Asia since the 15th century has been one of conflict between Muslims and Hindus. This was supressed by the British Raj, but flared up again with independence (1946). Very large numbers of people were killed in the sectarian rioting during the independence period. The issue of Kashmir resulted in three major wars and continuing hostility between the two states. Veru largevnumbers of people have been killed. The largest number occurred in the sectarian violence associated with independence (1946-47). We do not at this time have actual estimates of the deaths.
In actuality, it is Islamicists that have pursued the war against Islam and Muslims. In addition to attacking people of other religions, Islanicists also attack Muslims of other sects. While working on this page, the question occurred to us, why are Muslims involved in so many instances of Sectarian strufe with peoples of so many other religions (Christians, Hindus, and Jews as well as sectariann strife among Islamic sects). We could understand conflicts with one of these religious groups. That would suggest that as the Fundamentalists charge that a war is being carried out against Islam. But we do not see other major instances of conflicts between other religions such as conflicts where Chridtans are killing Jews and Hindus or Hindus are killing Jews and Christians. The conflicts around the world in which religious strife is involved is to our knowledge amost always involve Islamic groups with other religious groups.
There are thoes in the West that have bought into this war on Islam thesis, to varying degrees. President Bush's critics charge that his policies in Afghanistan and Iraq have caused or intensified Islamic terrorism , often forgetting the Islamic terror attacks that have predated both interventions. Similar cfriticism has been leveled at Primeminister Blair. One of the formost is the mayor of London, Ken Levingston. A former Islamic radical gives us an isight into the terrorist mind. "When I was still a member of what is probably best termed the British Jihadi Network - a series of British Muslim terrorist groups linked by a single ideology - I remember how we used to laugh in celebration whenever people on TV proclaimed that the sole cause for Islamic acts of terror like 9/11, the Madrid bombings and 7/7 was Western foreign policy. By blaming the Government for our actions, those who pushed this "Blair's bombs" line did our propaganda work for us. More important, they also helped to draw away any critical examination from the real engine of our violence: Islamic theology. The attempts to cause mass destruction in London and Glasgow are so reminiscent of other recent British Islamic extremist plots that they are likely to have been carried out by my former peers. And as with previous terror attacks, people are again saying that violence carried out by Muslims is all to do with foreign policy.
For example, on Saturday on Radio 4's Today programme, the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, said: 'What all our intelligence shows about the opinions of disaffected young Muslims is the main driving force is not Afghanistan, it is mainly Iraq.' I left the British Jihadi Network in February 2006 because I realised that its members had simply become mindless killers. But if I were still fighting for their cause, I'd be laughing once again." [Butt]
We do not fully understand why the fiction of a war against Islam has such resonance in the Arab world or why large-scale attrocities against Muslims are largely ignored when committed by other Muslims.
Butt, Hassan. "I was a fanatic...I know their thinking, says former radical Islamist," Daily Mail July 2, 2007.
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