Monday, March 17, 2003

Misconception about Islam or Muslims’ misunderstanding

Sheikh Tantawi has approved a communique issued by the Islamic Center for Research at Al-Azhar University titled "A Call to the Civilized World and to All the Peace-loving Forces," that called for Arabs and Muslims across the world to be ready to defend themselves and their faith.For many Muslims, conspiracy theory is inspiring thought. As the communiqué stated:
” … it is in accordance with logic and with Islamic religious law that if the enemy raids the land of the Muslims, Jihad becomes an individual's commandment, applying to every Muslim man and woman, because our Muslim nation will be subject to a new Crusader invasion targeting the land, honor, belief, and homeland… Our Arab and Islamic nation, and even our religious faith, Islam, are a main target of all the military forces, who are targeting millions of people from among our nation, as well as our faith, everything sacred to us, and all the sources of wealth and power of the Arabs and the Muslims. The first manifestation of this will be the attack on Iraq, the occupation of its land, and the seizing of its oil resources."

I think that they have not yet thought about a simple question whether Saddam is a Muslim when he has killed million Muslims directly or indirectly and invaded his neighbors. Could they ignore his brutal Slaughtering in Kurdistan and the south of Iraq?
It stated
"there is a big difference between terror and Jihad in Islamic religious law. Jihad in Islam means self-defense, and the defense of property and honor. If the enemy invades the land of the Muslim, Jihad becomes an individual's obligation."

But they do not answer this question what they do, if a dictator (who runs an Islamic country), invade other countries? Do they support his actions? I think they miss even simple rules of human rights.
Also there is another basic question, has God sent prophets and religions for human beings or human beings are created for religions. It seems people like Islamic leaders, Muftis and Mullahs make decision about other people ‘s lives; in fact they invite people to worship them in the name of God and his prophet. They have become the curtain between God and his creatures. When a group claims all authority on behalf of God and his prophet, they become freedom takers.
Another Egypt Mufti, Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, told
"martyrdom [i.e. suicide] operations, in which the Palestinians blow up targets of the Israeli occupation, are actions that are 100% permitted according to Islamic religious law, and it is forbidden to facilitate [the American forces'] attack of a Muslim country... Any attempt to invade Iraq is forbidden by Islamic religious law and by morality, and Islam forbids it, and even commands its believers to resist attempts at invasion and occupation. Islam is against striking any Arab or Islamic city, whether it be Baghdad or in Palestine."

He talks about 100%. Who is sure what he thinks or says is hundred percent right.
Robin Wright, the global-affairs correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, says,
” In the largest and poorest Muslim countries, moreover, problems common to developing states, from illiteracy and disease to poverty, make simple survival a priority and render democratic politics a seeming luxury. Like their non-Muslim neighbors in Asia and Africa, most Muslim societies have no local history of democracy on which to draw. As democracy has blossomed in Western states over the past three centuries, Muslim societies have usually lived under colonial rulers, kings, or tribal and clan leaders.”

It is usually said that the West has a misconception about Islamic world. But I think the problem is Muslims’ misunderstanding about Islam since many Muslim hold similar fundamentalistic concepts about Islam.
Now compare this communiqué with what Rachid al-Ghannouchi's a Tunisian popular philosophy teacher and speaker says:
"Islam did not come with a specific program concerning our life", "It brought general principles. It is our duty to formulate this program through interaction between Islamic principles and modernity." Believers are guaranteed the right of ijtihad [practice of divine science and theology] in interpreting the Koranic text. Their empowerment is complete since Islam does not have an institution or person as a sole authority to represent the faith [like Muslim leaders, muftis or mullahs]--or contradict their interpretations. "The democratic values of political pluralism and tolerance are perfectly compatible with Islam.Ghannouchi concedes that Islam's record in the areas of equality and participation has blemishes. Previous Muslim societies were built on conquest. But he contends that the faith has also traditionally recognized pluralism internally, noting the lack of religious wars among Muslims as proof of Islam's accommodation of the Muslim world's wide diversity. Citing the Koran, he explains that Islam condemns the use of religion for material or hegemonic purposes: "O mankind! We created you from a single [pair] of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other, not that ye may despise [each other]" (Sura 49:13)"

Maybe because of thinking independently Dr. Hashem Aghajari, a prominent academic in Iran, was sentenced to death for alleged blasphemy and insulting the clergy since he merely said in his speech that people are not monkeys to follow clergies!!.

(posted by Iman)

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