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It is obvious that some of the secular Western intelligentsia continue to fluctuate in their opinions regarding terrorism.
In fact, part of the secular Western mind continually appears to maintain a politically correct intellectual approach toward the violence of terrorism: for example, some Western intellectuals seem to insist on separating Islam as a religion and Muslims as people from all acts of terrorism, without recognizing the complexity of the problem.
For instance, even if one argues that terrorists do not represent Islam and that their violent acts do not reflect a general Muslim propensity toward violence,however, as an Arab and as a Muslim, I acknowledge the fact that all terrorists claim to be Muslims! In other words, it is becoming very simplistic to maintain a politically correct line of arguments against an increasing terrorist violence.
As a Muslim individual, I do recognize a deeper problem in the current Islamic culture, for instance, the lack of a united Islamic anti-terrorist discourse in the Muslim world, which specifically addresses violence committed in the name of Islam.
I argued in an article published earlier in the Arab Times that we as Arabs and Muslims carry on our shoulder a moral responsibility to fight terrorism committed in our name. Recognizing this moral responsibility in defending true Islam requires however the beginning of an internal, intellectual Islamic debate about the reasons which allows a group of maniacs to easily hijack the peaceful messages of our faith and create mayhem around the world.
We as Muslims should begin a genuine debate among ourselves about our own problem with those who claim to represent us. Whatever debate Western intelligentsia begin about the “true” causes of terrorism would always be faulty because it is clearly only Muslims who can effectively address their own cultural problems with terrorism.
The defectiveness of any Western discussion about the causes of terrorism springs from the fact that the root of the problem rests in the current Islamic culture. Terrorists who justify acts of violence against innocent people continue to announce to the world that they are defending Islam; while we see few Muslims counter arguing against this nihilistic discourse. Our religion require us as Muslims to be always fair and just in what we do and what we say.
For example, in Surah Al-Maeda, verse 8 God says: “O you who believe, stand up as witnesses for God in all fairness, and do not let the hatred of a people deviate you from justice. Be just: This is closest to piety; and beware of God. Surely God is aware of all you do.”To be just, fair and truthful in today’s world is to declare one’s total refusal of terrorism in all its forms. I would even argue that those fanatics who attempt to hijack Islam should not silence tolerant and open-minded Muslim individuals. The battle against terrorism and violence should always begin in Islam and among Muslims.
By Khaled Aljenfawi