Liberals are unable to accede that people have knowingly and willingly rejected secularism; and not only that, but rejected it for Islam
Continuous news streaming of bombings in Muslim countries from Pakistan to Iraq; Muslims illegally capturing obscures bits of territory and then promptly going about slashing, chopping and stoning; a constant trickle of young western born Muslims trapped planning bombing operations – these examples of violent Muslims are abound.
A cursory assessment, which is all that can be expected in an age of 24-hour bite size news and analysis, would indeed suggest Muslim intolerance.
Attempts by some Muslims to explain the background to these situations are dismissed as justifications for the violence. Muslim grievances are seen as perceived and by implication not real. It is further argued that other nations and people have similarly compelling grievances yet these people don’t resort to violence and mayhem. They therefore conclude that it must be Islam that makes Muslims react violently.
A portfolio of hard and soft western interventions is then pursued to address the so-called menace of violent Islam – tailor made for the war on terror narrative.
Grievances aren’t a figment of our imagination, merely perceived by “hate-filled Muslims”, but real. 200 years of European colonialism of yesteryear; today’s western invasions of Muslim land; duplicity in international law that finances Israel to arm while denying the Palestinians basic necessities and infrastructure such as steel construction piping; western political, economic and financial propping of brutal dictators that oppressed the masses up until the Arab spring, when we are led to believe it suddenly dawned on the west that these were indeed unrepresentative leaders that Muslims had little regard for. The American Patriot Act or anti-Muslim legislation in Europe against mosques, minarets, hijabs and niqabs that deliberately lumps criminal behaviour with fairly harmless Muslim activity and thereby marginalises a significant minority population making them feel no better the second class citizens.
A brief look at history shows people of all backgrounds’, religions and ideologies have physically resisted military invasion, oppression and denial of basic rights. Therefore, those who argue that others have grievances like Muslims but do not respond with violence are disingenuous and plainly wrong. Indeed, when it suited the west, as against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the resistance was classified as freedom fighters and supported by America.
In reality, the liberal west is intolerant of any challenge to its ideology and political Islam is seen as that challenge. Liberals are unable to accede that people have knowingly and willingly rejected secularism; and not only that, but rejected it for Islam. Political Islam, Islamacists or Islamists are used interchangeably by the west to describe unpalatable tenets and paint them as barbaric, violent and intolerant. Muslims are then driven to not only disassociate themselves from “Islamism” but raise their voices against it.
At the same time, the west is in no position to lecture Muslims about violence having presided over World I and II that led to death and destruction on an industrial scale. The overwhelming majority of Muslims want a Muslim world independent of western influence. As such the call for political Islam is articulated by many, yet commentators disproportionately focus on those said to be espousing violent means. The overwhelming majority are working politically to bring about not just another secular Muslim state (we have over 50) but a state whose constitution is rooted in Islam with the rule of law, representative government, and rights for all its citizens, Muslim and non-Muslim. A call by ordinary Muslims for their own system in their own lands. The portrayal of this as violent and intolerant is fundamentally a colonial ruse to maintain the status quo.