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    Islam: Misunderstood throughout the World

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    Islam: Misunderstood throughout the World

    Message  Admin le Mer Juil 21, 2010 2:57 pm

    Islam: Misunderstood throughout the World ::



    Islam: Misunderstood throughout the World


    James A. Bill (professor of government and director of the Reves Center
    for International Studies at the College of William and Mary in
    Virginia) writes - 'By the turn of the century, for the first time in
    history, the number of Muslims (those who practice Islam) will have
    surpassed the number of Christians in the world.

    Islam is a monotheistic religion, civilization and way of life now
    practiced by 1.1 billion people. Easily the world's fastest growing
    religion, Islam is not confined to the Middle East. It is a truly
    universal force. More Muslims live in America today than all the
    Presbyterians and Episcopalians put together.

    There are more than 1,200 mosques in the United States and 1000 mosques
    in England, where the Muslim community has established its own national
    parliament. There are more Muslims in Indonesia than in Egypt, Iran,
    Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia put together. More live in Malaysia than
    in Jordan, Lebanon and Kuwait combined. Nearly 20 million Muslims live
    in China.

    Wherever one looks, Islam is on the move. As the people of many
    societies find themselves rootless, disconnected and alienated, they
    increasingly seek help in a comforting Islamic ideological refuge. In a
    world of incoherent violence, widening inequities, political corruption
    and shattered families, many are massing behind the green flag of
    Islam. This is essentially a populist movement, a bubbling up from
    below, a march of the distressed, the dispossessed and the oppressed.
    ....

    … Although the great bulk of Muslims seek to improve their status
    through quiet, moderate and pacific means, violent methods have been
    adopted by fringe groups—elements also present in Christianity and
    Judaism. Oblivious to their own profound ignorance and often harboring
    crude political motivations, many Western opinion leaders consistently
    label all Muslims with words such as 'aggressive', 'militant' and
    'uncivilized'. Islam is the 'religion of the sword'; Muslim activists
    are 'terrorists,' and Muslims countries that challenge Western policies
    are 'outlaw states'.

    Muslims themselves maintain quite a different worldview. It is in the
    deepest interest of the United States to attempt to understand this
    perspective. In brief, Muslims see themselves as the afflicted, not the
    afflictors; they feel themselves desperately on the defensive, not on
    the offensive; they consider themselves the objects of violence, not
    the initiators of violence. In sum, Muslims across the world consider
    themselves victims. In support of their position, Muslims will take
    their Christian and Jewish neighbors on a quick tour of the world. They
    inevitably begin with Bosnia, where nearly 200,000 Muslims have been
    slaughtered by Serbian Christians. Muslims are horrified and sickened
    by the fact that 22,000 Muslim women, aged 9 to 82, have been raped by
    Christian troopers. Muslims wonder privately about the weak and very
    late Western response.

    In Kashmir, Indian occupying forces violently oppress Muslims, killing
    thousands of Kashmiris. Elsewhere in India in December 1992 and January
    1993, violent Hindu mobs went on a rampage in Bombay, killing over 800
    Muslims, destroying 5000 Muslim homes and forcing 200,000 Muslims to
    flee the city. Mosques were firebombed and mothers watched as their
    sons were pulled from their homes and slain or burned alive. In
    Tajikstan and other places in Central Asia, the Communists have made a
    comeback and, with the help of Russian troops, have attacked and killed
    more than 20,000 Muslims. Another 350,000 have been forced to flee.

    Even in China, Muslims find themselves under heavy military pressure.
    Chinese troops oppress Muslims in the western province of Xinjiang.

    Even in many of the predominantly Muslim countries of the Middle East,
    Muslims find themselves under attack where the leadership is
    essentially secular. In Iraq, Saddam Hussein continues his war of
    genocide against the Shi'ites in the south.

    In Algeria, when the Islamists scored a surprise victory in the
    December 1991 elections, the regime declared the election null and
    void. Since then, Algeria has been the scene of a bloody civil war. The
    government blames Islamic fundamentalists of striking terror in the
    very same areas where they had received majority of votes from. The
    governments explanation of fundamentalists unleashing waves of terror
    in their own strongholds, sounds very plausible indeed and casts
    shadows of dound over the credentials of the secular government
    instead.

    In Egypt, Hosni Mubarak's regime, facing widespread disaffection of its
    people, pursues a policy of torture and execution of members of the
    Muslim opposition. In March 1993, his troops fired upon 500 unarmed
    Muslims at prayer in the Rahman Mosque in Aswan, killing nine and
    injuring 50. In the West Bank, another more widely publicized mosque
    massacre occurred a year later in Hebron when a Jewish settler killed
    30 in a group of praying Muslims before the survivors could beat him to
    death. This litany of anti-Islamic violence is recognized and recited
    by Muslims everywhere. The situation is exacerbated when Muslims
    incredulously find themselves labeled as terrorists and when Western
    governments encourage their secular Middle Eastern allies to confront
    Muslim populist movements with brute force. One result of these Western
    perceptions and policies, of course, is that they begin to radicalize
    the huge mass of moderate Muslim believers. Meanwhile, the extremists
    on the fringes become more active and militant.

    A vicious cycle of misunderstanding, misguided policy and increasing
    violence has been set in motion. Before this vicious cycle begins to
    spin wildly out of control, it is essential that non-Muslims make a
    major effort to slow it down. Such an effort will, as the very first
    step, require that stereotypes be discarded.

    Second, recent history shows that the application of force is not
    always an effective way of countering a system of deeply held ideas and
    beliefs. The steady flame of resurgent Islam will not be extinguished
    by the breeze of bullets or the blast of missiles. A recently published
    report in Washington Post, confirms Islam to be the fastest growing
    religion in the United States despite hostile government policies and
    negative media stereotyping, only goes on to prove the truth of this
    statement. It is time for everyone to take a crash course on Islam.
    More recently, CNN too published a report, first of US kind ever done
    in this part of the World, titled as: Islam in US - Growing and
    maturing.'

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