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How to Tackle Terrorism and Reduce Islamophobia Against Muslims in the West

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Booker Prize winner Ian McEwan has said that criticising Islam is not racist, however, the credibility of such an argument would depend on the nature of the criticism, particularly since he appears to ignore that the majority of terrorists are non-Muslim. Regarding the latter point, we must instead consider why Muslims are the primary focus of anti-terrorism strategies, with the resulting impact of being negatively stereotyped as a group. It is due to views such as McEwan's and the associated rises in Islamophobia that organisations such as the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) are now working on addressing the areas of concern by educating and spreading knowledge about Islam and Muslims.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of stereotyping as a result of the message given and received by government security services and public sectors in scrutinising Muslims and forwarding names of those suspected of radicalisation. There’s no exact science to what should warrant a suspicion, other than subjective opinions about anyone who prays at a Mosque, wears Islamic dress or disagrees with the war on terror. This is just one example of strategies that alienate good Muslims rather than dealing with the bad ones.

Consequently, racism and attacks against Muslims are on the rise, and a lot of work needs to be done in response. However, it is counterproductive when those focusing on the issues are apostates, ex-extremists and liberals who have their own agendas which involve drawing negative attention toward Muslims. Yvonne Ridley rightly argues this is an increasing phenomenon,

The fashion for being Islamophobic is stronger than ever in the media and it doesn’t help when you have more self-confessed extremists and Islamists scuttling to kiss and tell their stories than a pack of WAGS past their sell-by date

The likes of failed extremist turned failed counter-extremist, Ed (ashamed of his full name) Husain), cause negative attention against Muslims in identifying the “radical threat among us”  in order to sell advice to the government as counter-extremism experts. This in fact ignores the very important point that Muslims as a community are not the problem, and we can understand this by acknowledging the following key points.

1. The Muslim threat is quite simply not factual as the majority of terrorist incidents in America and Europe are carried out by non-Muslims. Official FBI records show that only 6% of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil from 1980 to 2005 were carried out by Islamic extremists.  The remaining 94% were by other groups (42% by Latinos, 24% by extreme left wing groups, 7% by extremist Jews, 5% by Communists, and 16% by all other groups).

Europol's annual report, titled EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report shows that for 2007, 2008 and 2009, only 0.4% of terrorist attacks were attributed to Muslims. Of the 99.6% of terrorist attacks in Europe by non-Muslim groups; 84.8% of attacks were by separatist groups completely unrelated to Islam and Leftist groups accounted for over sixteen times as much terrorism as radical Islamic groups.

I’ll take this opportunity to note that the above statistics came to my attention via  Loonwatch, who are more credible than other Muslims who falsely claim to be helping our cause, and in ending the audience for Islamophobic fears and propaganda at such radical sites as Fellowship of the Minds, The UK Libertarian, Atlas Shrugs and The End Time.

2. With all the propaganda and prejudice towards Islam generated by the actions of one man (Osama Bin Laden) in conjunction for the West’s quest for oil, it should be no surprise that many Muslims want US/UK forces out of Islamic countries and approve of attacks on US troops (allegedly). It should be no surprise that some Muslims agree with some of the supposed goals of Al Qaeda while strongly opposing attacks on civilians. Nor should it be a surprise that some Muslims express support for enhancing the role of Islam in Western society, but also favour the benefits of globalization and democracy. We must be clear in our understanding that expressing support in any of these areas does not make a Muslim a terrorist, or warrant a terrorism strategy being employed against individuals or communities.

3. Contrary to popular opinion, it is not the Muslims' responsibility to publicly condemn terrorism or anything else. However, as the majority of Muslims do not promote or participate in terrorism, it is instead the responsibility of the rest of the world to acknowledge this.  This would enable Muslims to increasingly seek the victory of Islam through identification of its negatively radical elements and seeking a solution through lasting engagement with global non-Muslim communities. I am of the opinion that such a shift would encourage those Muslims who do promote and engage in terrorism to rethink their beliefs and actions.

4. Western societies must stop listening to the likes of Wafa Sultan and Ed (ashamed of his full name) Husain, as those who make their fame and fortune through book sales and consultations which effectively slander Islam while fueling moral panics about Muslims should not be considered objective sources.

5. Islam as a religion does not pose a threat to the West or elsewhere.  Islam means the readiness of a person to take orders from God and to follow his message of unity, submission and peace. Those who do otherwise are not acting in accordance with Islam, and the West should truly strive to promote this.

To conclude, thankfully there is work in progress, which is paramount if we are to address the inherent Islamophobic undertones that pervade western society and to highlight that there is no clash of civilisations. It is important that we strike the balance between addressing the behaviours of inappropriate and dangerous radical elements within the Muslim community, while also educating non-Muslims that Islam and Muslims are a positive part of mainstream societies. As Obama once said, "the cycle of suspicion and discord between the United States and the Muslim world must end", and this message is as relevant to all other western countries. 

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  • http://www.the-end-time.blogspot.com Elizabeth Prata

    Having an opinion about a religion does not make one “phobic.” It makes one opinionated. Are those who refuse to accept the One True God’s Word in the bible, “bibliophobic? Or “Christophobic?” Hardly.

    Thank you for the link, I hope that people who read what I wrote understand that Christians like me have love and compassion for all peoples, but also recognize the creeping danger of Islam to any nation as a terroristic religion having negative impacts on that nation.

  • http://radicalmuslim.blogsome.com/ jamal

    …actually Elizabeth, since you start your article at End of Time with “Here is how to secure and protect Western civilization (from Islam)”, and end with “We are at war”, I’d call that quite a bit more than just an opinion you have about Islam.

    For someone claiming to promote the message of Jesus I’d suggest you reread his message.

  • http://www.the-end-time.blogspot.com Elizabeth Prata

    Jesus’ message was that He was the one true God. He draws people and keeps them through love, not force. Jesus message was harsh to those in false religions and to others who refuse to accept His sovereignty despite evidence of it. He was loving when He needed to be and he was ruthless when He needed to be. Remember, Jesus is God and God was pretty explicit in both Testaments.

    We ARE at war, it is a war in the physical, (World Trade Towers destroyed; Achmadinejad will “annihilate hated Israel”) and it is a war in the spiritual. The west is at war.

    The way to secure and protect our nation is to do what the Netherlands is doing. Geert Wilders has the exact right idea: using persuasion and democracy to protect the values and ideals that are more in keeping with the Christian message. Jamal, you personally might be a peaceful person but the all-pervasive worldview of Islam is negative in the extreme.

    Last, it is trendy to call any person differing with one’s point of view as “phobic.” But it is not a correct attribution of a perspective. It is simply a different opinion.

  • http://radicalmuslim.blogsome.com/ jamal

    Actually nowhere in the bible did Jesus say he was “the one true God”, in fact he implied otherwise such as in John 5:30, Matthew 19:16-17, etc, just as the bibe(s) recognises the significance of both Ishamael, Gen 22:2 and Muhammad, John 14:16. but thats another conversation.

    Back to the subject, by your words and in your article and follow-up comments you do appear to have and promote a phobia and fear of Islam, I suspect based on hatred, but I do respect your opinion.

    Nonetheless, this is a shame because as you recognise the peace in me (which is correct) there are millions like me so please look a bit beyond the stereotype, which I think the relevant pervasive worldview is increasingly acknowledging.

  • http://www.theuklibertarian.com Davy

    Hi, I run the “radical site” The UK Libertarian.

    We’d always like to hear counter-arguments to anything we say, and we have a fairly moderated forum if anybody would like to come and state the Muslim case in response to anything that’s been said.

    Thanks.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Geert Wilders has the exact right idea

    Riiiight. Spreading hate and fear is the right idea.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Oh, and Elizabeth: the west is always at war. Has been since WWII (probably before then, too). Do you really think the state of constant conflict in the west is the result of “terror” or do you think it’s possible that there’s something else afoot?

  • Jordan Richardson

    Jesus’ message was that He was the one true God.

    Absolutely not.

    The message of Christ was wholeness and renewal, not theistic conceptions of “God” or his assertion of such. Christ tore religion apart, constantly, and did more to deconstruct the notion of exclusive religion and creed than most modern Christians dare admit.

    This whole exclusive church thing is a pretty modern invention, as is the Trinity doctrine and the rapture.

  • Arch Conservative

    Yawn…………

    Is it time for brunch yet?

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Contrary to popular opinion, it is not the Muslims’ responsibility to publicly condemn terrorism or anything else.

    For lack of a better word — BULLSHIT. It is most certainly incumbent upon peace loving Muslims to rise up against their own and say “no more bloodshed”. Just as it is incumbent upon Christian leaders to admit the role of the Christian Church in demonizing and destroying Muslims due to their faith. The days of the Crusades are over and it seems to me the only ones harboring the perpetual grudge are Muslims. We need to discontinue the manufacture of intolerant succeeding generations for the ills of the past. What’s done is done; let’s admit it, let’s move on and forge a new paradigm. We didn’t ask for this war but we most certainly can cease the reproduction of blanket hate and discord.

    I am of the opinion that such a shift would encourage those Muslims who do promote and engage in terrorism to rethink their beliefs and actions.

    Perhaps Muslims should rethink their leadership. If America wasn’t so dependent on the oil fields of the Holy Land, I believe that we would have severed all diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia 50 years ago. The sad thing is that Muslim terrorists don’t even see that their terror leaders are in it for the same thing as Western leaders — power and cash.

    Western societies must stop listening to the likes of Wafa Sultan and Ed (ashamed of his full name) Husain, as those who make their fame and fortune…

    And “Eastern” societies must stop this nonsense that the West is out to destroy their so-called “culture”. It’s a constant circle jerk between the societies with peace loving people caught in the crossfire of a band of thugs — the “holy trinity” of Jew, Christian and Muslim fanatics who are less interested in celebrating their God and more interested in secular wealth and its power.

    Islam means the readiness of a person to take orders from God and to follow his message of unity, submission and peace.

    Can I have a hit off your hookah? Since when does God demand submission from humanity? That flies in contrast to the free will He has given us. If Muslims sincerely believed in this so-called “unity” promoted by the faith, they would be the first in line to strike down the terrorists who operate in their midst claiming they are fighting for the “cause”.

    As Obama once said, “the cycle of suspicion and discord between the United States and the Muslim world must end”, and this message is as relevant to all other western countries.

    And Obama’s rhetoric is empty as the government checking account.

    The way I see it, we’re trained to think that everything is black and white; East and West; right and wrong; Liberal or Conservative; Judeo-Christian vs. Islam. It’s not all that cut and dry. Until religious zealots themselves cease the divisive rhetoric they do nothing but insult the very God they claim to serve.

  • Clavos

    Hell of a good comment, Silas!

    Props, man.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Thank you, sir.

  • ahmet

    to silas kain..

    if that is ur suggestion.. that muslims should tell their own people to stop bloodshed.

    then please tell us, from which country shall we take our forces out, in which country are muslims invading or occupiing.

    if you just not be hypocrate.. then pls do exactly what u r advising.. get ur terrorist forces out from different countries and stop shedding more blood. and start working on ur own house.. first fix ur house.

    if you are so christian then answer one questoin: only one question “who wrote the gospel of methew, john, luke and mark”?

    if you have names please tell everyone in this world.

  • zingzing

    silas: “Since when does God demand submission from humanity?”

    eh? first commandment? is that the first one? i dunno. not the one about boiling a kid in its mother’s milk. that’s just a silly commandment.

    other than that, i think you oversimplify things, or at least let the us off the hook for doing their own part a lot of the time. either way, it asks the muslims to solve their problems from within while ignoring the fact that we’re no angels.

  • Boeke

    “first fix ur house.” There it is, the stumbling block to progress. The excuse for every kind of bad behaviour.

  • Boeke

    This is pretty crazy, and was the excuse for the Crusades:

    “Jesus’ message was that He was the one true God. He draws people and keeps them through love, not force. Jesus message was harsh to those in false religions and to others who refuse to accept His sovereignty despite evidence of it. He was loving when He needed to be and he was ruthless when He needed to be.”

  • http://radicalmuslim.blogsome.com/ jamal

    Silas, leaders of allied forces began this war and even now the real reasons behind it are shrouded in controversy, hence the inquiries. SO yes you did ask for it and yes it is for all those on the side of humanity to speak against it. I’d expect you to understand this point since you appear to acknowledge that the war on terror is underlied by the quest for oils and enegry resources.

    Regarding your points about religion in the “east”, I you ever happen to go to the region (or research it) youll find that different religions have lived together for hundereds/thousands of years and its actually the politicians that create the instability. You’d also find that things such as terrorism are widely condemned, arrests and condemnation are publicised, however different perspectives of what terrorism is would depend personal experiance.

    About the only thing I agree with you on is Obamas rhetoric being empty, but this doesnt mean it cant be fulfilled by the people. Maybe you are trained to think that everything is black and white; East and West; right and wrong; Liberal or Conservative; Judeo-Christian vs. Islam. Some of us are trying to make a difference and it begins with state of mind.

  • zingzing

    i’d like to see this “evidence” of “His sovereignty.” and it’s strange how this description of jesus kinda mirrors the christian perception of islam… why is one so right and the other so wrong? it’s like “my dad can beat up your dad” on a cosmically pathetic level.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Jamal,

    It is such a delicious irony. The Wahhabi bastards started a war on the west during WWII, when they sided with Hitler against Britain. They continued that war in trying (unsucessfully) to extirpate my country, Israel, and they call for the death of Jews and of Israel EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK. The Wahhabi pigs attacked the USS Cole, tried to bring down the World Trade Center in 1993, and succeeded in doing so in 2001. Wahhabi-inspired terrorists have killed thousands of Israelis, in addition to thousands of others.

    But the west cannot be heard to complain. It was western bankers who gave ibn-Saud the money to conquer Makka and Medina, and who gave him leave to turn your faith into a murderous nightmare of sexual slavery, sexual exploitation, apartheid and suicidal terror.

    I love it, Jamal. Especially the part where you look like you defend all of this.

  • http://radicalmuslim.blogsome.com/ jamal

    Ruvy,

    On the point of “your country”…

    Last year your country (Israel) brought down Lebanon. This year you attack Palestine. Next year probably Iran if you have your way.

    For over 60 years the people of Palestine have been butchered by the murderous Israeli Government and the Israel Defence Force (IDF). Hundreds of thousands of innocent Palestinian men, women and children have been displaced, maimed and killed! Billions of dollars of civilian infrastructure destroyed! Immense amounts of suffering!

    The Zionist Israelis who suffered at the hands of Hitler’s Nazi regime, have created their own Holocaust and Ethnic Cleansing against Palestinian people. Not all Zionists or Israelis support these atrocities, but those Zionists and Israelis that do War on Palestine are effectively the new Nazis, the real Terrorists!!

    …But the west cannot be heard to complain. In fact, they fund your weapons.

  • http://radicalmuslim.blogsome.com/ jamal

    Ruvy, the figures relating to death, destruction and displacement for Palestinians are well documented. For me, the history of the conflict is unimportant, what is important is that the atrocities stop. I’m surprised you think people in the UK support Hitler, in the main Hitler is a hated figure. In fact what Hitler did to the Jews is hated just as what the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians is hated.

    It’s disappointing you cant have a fairly objective conversation.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Jamal,

    Where did you get the idea that I said that the Brits supported Hitler? The British aristocracy and government had no problem with the Nazis murdering off the Jews for them: from their point of view every Jew who survived would be one they would have to later fight because they fully intended that there was to be an Arab Western Palestine under their strong influence – just like Eastern Palestine (Jordan). That’s why they never did anything to stop Hitler’s murder of the Jews in Europe.

    But once the British government realized that Hitler was intent on dominating Europe, they viewed him as an enemy – and as you say, hated him. Perhaps you are misreading this: The Wahhabi bastards started a war on the west during WWII, when they sided with Hitler against Britain.

    Due to the natural Jew-hatred and the Wahhabi bullshit spread for four decades in Britain, Brits hate Israelis and Jews – and consider the word “Zionist” the way they used to consider the word “Jew” – a curse word. So, through their distorted lenses of reality, they tend to hate what we “do” to the resident Arabs – conveniently forgetting how much more viciously and hatefully other Arabs treat “Palestinian” Arabs originally from the Land of Israel.

    I hope you’ve had a pleasant day, by the way….

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Jamal –

    Whatever you do, don’t pay too much attention to Ruvy. In every culture, every religion there are those who sow hatred against others…and there are those who see danger and hatred in everything the ‘others’ do and say. Ruvy is one of the latter. Truth be told, after what the Jews have gone through over the centuries – genocide, ghettoes, all manner of persecution and scorn – can one blame them?

    That said, I’ve posted before that the greatest threat that Jews and the Muslims face are trinitarians – the ones who claim ‘Christianity’. I am Christian, and we in the Church of which I am a member are not trinitarians – like the Muslims and Jews, we believe that only God is God; however, we believe that Jesus Christ is His Son and is our Savior…but Jesus is not God. He never has been and never will be, and He never preached any differently.

    But back to my point – please have patience, for you and I both know that the great majority of Muslims are quite peaceful…and that trinitarian ‘Christians’ have killed more people in the name of God than have adherents of any other religion. In fact, I’ve found (from Herodotus and the Catholic Encyclopedia) that trinitarian beliefs seem to stem from Baal-worship in ancient Babylon.

    Just food for thought….

  • jamal

    Thanks Glenn. Agree with you on the crusaders but we could probably debate the trinity until the end of time!

  • http://radicalmuslim.blogsome.com/ jamal

    Unfortunatly the British government is not listening to any suggestions and heads blinkered along with its own anti terrorism agenda delivered by government stooges who in fact make the problems worse.

  • Andrew

    As far as I can see there is an enormous difference between the animal rights activists and the anti-abortion activists in the FBI report on terrorism and even the white supremacists. The Moslem terrorists spread terror to frighten people quite generally like the 19th century anarchists but also as a kind of collective punishment of citizens. It is that that makes them so dangerous to society.

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