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Mainstream Islamic Extremism

Yesterday I spoke on a topic that points out the some of the dangers inherent in a fundamentalist Christian view where the bible is regarded as the one true inerrant word of god. There, as I will again say here, I am not finger pointing at any one individual or group of individuals but I am discussing the inherent danger of dogma as far as it is found in what is considered to be Islamic fundamentalism or extremism which in my opinion is really mainstream Islam.When I think of Islamic extremism the first example that pops into my head is the 1989 fatwa calling for the death of the author Salman Rushdie. Yet that is not the one I want to discuss although it is a shining example. Second thing that comes to mind is the tragedy of 9/11/2001. Again a great example yet one I do not wish to discuss especially due to my loss on that day. A more recent example and the one I want to talk about is the 12 cartoons published in the Danish paper Jyllands-Posten on 9/30/2005.  After the cartoons were published, large crowds of Muslims gathered throughout the Middle East and Europe burning embassies, issuing threats, and even taking hostages, in protest of the cartoons. You would think this reaction was a bit extreme but you would be wrong. The problem was not that the cartoons were derogatory of Islam or Mohammad, the problem was over the fact that Mohammad had been depicted in any way. Many Muslims consider any physical rendering of Mohammad to be an act of idolatry. And in Islam, idolatry is punishable by death. Criticism of Mohamed or his teaching, as found in the cartoons,  is considered blasphemy. As it turns out, blasphemy is also punishable by death in Islam. So observant mainstream Muslims have two ‘reasons’

not accept less than a severing of the heads of those responsible

as was said by an Islamic preacher at the Al Omari mosque in Gaza when he was discussing these cartoons.

An example of some of the ‘non-extremist’ reactions was a joint statement by 17 Arab governments that called for the punishment of those responsible and quite comically, as well as sad, the other example again brings Salman Rushdie to light although he had nothing whatsoever to do with the cartoons. The leader of Hezbollah in Lebanon said that the whole episode could have been avoided if only the novelist Salman Rushdie had been properly slaughtered for writing “The Satanic Verses.” There are many more examples but I am fairly certain that these illustrate what is being said quite nicely.

It is time we recognized Islam for what it is and it is also time for followers of Islam to recognize that Muslim extremism  isn’t extreme. Mainstream Islam itself is an extremist rejection of intellectual honesty, equality among the sexes and genuine pluralism.

I hope I have shed a little light on why I consider, and hopefully Muslims will consider, the dogma of Islamic fundamentalism by whatever term you prefer to use extremism or mainstream Islam, is as politically incorrect as it is terrifying.  Islam is a faith of all fringe with no center. In Islam, we have a civilization with that is lost in time. Its like a time warp opened and Christians are pouring into the 21st century from the 11th century. The idea that Islam is a “peaceful religion hijacked by extremists” is a fantasy, unfortunately its a  particularly dangerous fantasy. Unless of course the picture on the right were true.

[tweetmeme source=”noreligionblog” only_single=false https://noreligionblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/mainstream-islamic-extremism%5D



6 Responses

  1. 1) Awesome skater pic I am stealing
    2) You’re right, of course. I’ve been thinking of how to do a video on Islam, but gosh the guilty “multicultural” little liberal girl in me feels more comfortable bashing my own old religion! Still, the “religion of peace” myth does need to be addressed, and if freethinkers don’t, then the only ones standing against fundie Islam will be the Christian Rednecks.

  2. I agree. Islam is not extreme — from THEIR point of view. It is from our western worldview.

    When Obama said he wanted to have dialogue with the Iranian leader, I giggled.

  3. You mean the guy that wanted to wipe Israel off the map? Yeah, that would have done tons for Obama’s image.

  4. LOL, yeah, that’s the dude.

  5. Thank you!! Yet yet another superior post, definitely the reason we come for your internet site frequently!

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