Terrorism, for the past few decades, has become synonymous to radical Islam. This, in principle, is untrue. Yet, this correlation has its reasons for existence. Global terrorism, if one may prudently define such a thing, has its roots in the Arab and the Middle-east regions. However, the origins of the modern-day terrorism are not the making of either the Arab or the Middle-east to a majority of extent. The seeds of modern-day terrorism were sown by western commercial interests in the region, particularly Oil trade, in particular by the United States of America. Under the umbrella of introducing democracy in the aforementioned Islamic regions, which traditionally have been aristocratic monarchies or military dictatorships, commercial interests of the United States played a major role in destablising the region and turn it into the mayhem that it is today. That being said, there is no point crying over spilt milk now. One must look for ways to solve this major global issue before it threatens the very elements of civil society. In context of such a solution, religion – in this case Islam – has been at the center of all debates. It has in fact, for a vast majority of cases, been the only point of argument, and one cannot separate the issue of ‘Global Terrorism’ from Islam. I will address this precise issue today.
It is a common misconception that Islam is more aggressive and a more radical religion in comparison to its other counterpart – Christianity. Without getting into the depths of sectarian formations within each, one must look for reasons behind such a conception. What issues dominate this cultivated idea of Islam being more dangerous than the rest? What percentage of this conceptual idea actually holds true in the current scenario? As always, I intend to approach this in lists and in terms of contextual correlations.
I. Is Islam fundamentally more voilent than, say, Christianity? No. It is not. Bible has incited many generations to stone the homosexuals, practise sectarian and racial violence, undermine and abuse womanhood, and spread hatred against disbelievers. Islam has done nothing different than what Christianity has. This misconception is false and needs to be rebuked. However, one may ask then that what led to such a misconception on a global scale? This brings me to my next point on the list.
II. Is the current practise of Islam more violent than Christianity? Yes. Unfortunately, ‘time’, in this case, has played its role. While Christianity had a set of major and strong atheist movements in the past 4-5 centuries, Islam had remained isolated from any such developements. Purely on the basis of aggregate statistics, there is a heavy following of fundamentalist Islam today than of fundamentalist Christianity. Both religions, while fundamentally similar in preaching despicable ideas, have evolved differently in time, especially in the past 4-5 centuries. This disparity is causing more trouble than anything else today and is single-handedly responsible for progression and propagation of terrorism in the Islamic world. Why did this come to pass? Probably, fear of extremist persecution and isolation – in terms of libertarian advancement – from the west. One may wonder, where am I going with this?
An idea: We need atheist movements within Islam. For long, Islam has been the victim in the hands of terrorists. For long, followers of Islam have suffered from the global bias against them. In an ideal world, one may practise a faith one may choose. In reality, victimisation of muslim world will stop when fundamentalism in Islam stops. It is time to recognise that fundamentalism – theoretically good or bad – has done no one any good in practise in the long run, and it is time for people to take matter in their own hands. It is time for the people of the muslim world to shed beliefs that were laid down for a much basic, simpler and idiotic human generation. There is no room for fundamentalism and peace in the same neighbourhood. We need more open-minded and brave muslims today than we ever have. Fundamentalism must go before peace can be brought to this wretched planet.
– Avneet Singh