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Message to the United Nations:
ISlam and Terror

Abstract The goal of the paper is explain the reasons of Middle Eastern culture of violence. Why does it exist, and what is keeping its flame alive. What is producing terrorists one after another? The main reason for such culture is the misinterpretation of the Islamic beliefs. Islam as a theory of religion is innocent from such a culture. Moslems as a practice are responsible for the culture. It is very important to distinguish between Islam and Moslems. If we accuse Islam to be the reason for this culture, then we are simply generalizing our opinion overall Moslems. But with recognizing the problem in interpretation of any Islamic group, we are taking the first step in reforming the Islamic world, by recognizing the existence of peace advocating groups as well as the violent ones. The reason for hating America in the Moslem World is an outcome for the American policy in the last fifty years. Lately, America recognized this fact, but it was to late. The 9/11 already took place. Even when America tried to solve this problem, it only made things worse by the war on terror. If you understand the nature of terror, then you will know that you can’t fight with guns and helicopters, simply because you can’t see it. The war should be intellectual against the ideas the are filling the minds of the public with. America must improve its picture in the Moslem World, only by then It can start reforming it from within Islam itself. Islam and Terror Nobody can deny the fact that the Middle East right now is the birth place for terrorists. Most of the 9/11 hijackers are Arabs. Ben Laden himself was born in Saudi Arabia. In Iraq, Terrorists are killing and slaughtering Iraqis and American soldiers every day. In Palestine, suicide bombers are blowing up restaurants and stores. It is highly suspected that the bombings of Madrid were made by Moroccans affiliated with AL Qaeda. Why did the Middle East change in the last decade from a peaceful culture to be the biggest terrorist factory in the world? The Middle East culture didn’t change a lot in the last century. People are still the same. The fact is that Middle East started exporting their Ideas just lately to the world. It is the 9/11 that awakened the world attention to the problem. But what is the reason for this violent culture? What makes a young man, who has his whole life ahead of him, kill himself and others? What is it that is more precious to him than his own life? A suicide bomber is not of course born a suicide bomber. There is a brainwash process that he goes through. This process start with a religious concept in Islam called the Penalty of Apostasy. It simply gives the right to the Sheikhs to say who among Moslems is a believer and who is not. The next step is to decide how to punish the non believers. Sheikhs should kill Moslems who stop worshiping God. Then, after marking and punishing the non believers among the Moslems, The Sheikhs start judging the world around them. It is the Moslems' duty to spread Islam allover the world, no matter how much this will cost, because this is what Jihad means. This is how Moslems in the Middle East start looking at the world. But does Islam really calls for such Jihad? In his book, Penalty of Apostasy, discussed Dr. Ahmed Subhy Mansour, a former scholar at Harvard University, and a former assistant professor at Al Azhar University in Egypt, the arguments the Sheikhs uses to support this concept in Islam. He first discussed The meaning of the word Islam in the Arabic language. It means: 1- Submission to Allah only, which means that we submit our selves to God only, He is the only one we should ask for help in the hard times and he is the one to thank in the good times. 2- The second meaning is peace, to worship God peacefully. Throughout the book, the writer urges the Islamic Fact that nobody has any any power over the other. God says in the Holey Quran, “And say: The truth is frot judging the world around them. It is the Moslems' duty to spread Islam allover the world, no matter how much this will cost, because this is what Jihad means. This is how Moslems in the Middle East start looking at the world. But does Islam really calls for such Jihad? In his book, Penalty of Apostasy, discussed Dr. Ahmed Subhy Mansour, a former scholar at Harvard University, and a former assistant professor at Al Azhar University in Egypt, the arguments the Sheikhs uses to support this concept in Islam. He first discussed The meaning of the word Islam in the Arabic language. It means: 1- Submission to Allah only, which means that we submit our selves to God only, He is the only one we should ask for help in the hard times and he is the one to thank in the good times. 2- The second meaning is peace, to worship God peacefully. Throughout the book, the writer urges the Islamic Fact that nobody has any any power over the other. God says in the Holey Quran, “And say: The truth is from you Lord. Then whosoever wills, let him believe; and whosoever wills, let him disbelieve. Verily, we have prepared the fire for the polytheist.” Also, in another verse Allah blames the prophet Mohamed for being upset with those who don’t believe in Allah, “And had your Lord willed, those on earth would have believed, all of them together. So, will you (O Mohammed) then compel the mankind, until they become believers?” So it is God’s job to decide who is a believer and who isn’t. The main duty of all Moslems is just to worship God, not observe how others worship him. In another research conducted by NED (National Endowment for Democracy organization), Dr. Ahmed Subhy Mansour searches for the roots of democracy in Islam. According to Dr. Mansour, peaceful interaction with other human beings lies at the heart of Islam. The values of peace, human rights, freedom of speech and belief, justice, equality, and democracy are all laid down in the Quran and should thus provide the foundations for any society that claims to be Islamic. The Quran invokes five rights to which everyone is entitled: the right to justice; the right to freedom of belief and speech; the right to wealth; the right to security; and the right to power. It is this right to power, which relates to modern conceptions of democracy. According to Islam, it is the community as a whole, not one person, that owns and exercises power. In a chapter on Al-Shura, the Quran describes Muslim society as one in which individuals manage their affairs through consultation. Shura represents the kind of direct democracy in which all people participate in meetings held to discuss community affairs. So long as they are peaceful in their dealings with others, members of the opposition have complete freedom to say and do as they please. Direct democracy takes place when members of a group, each representing himself or herself, come together to exchange views and arrive at decisions reached by the majority and applied by all. So If Islam as a religion is innocent from this culture of violence, what is the argument for those terrorists. Don’t they believe in Quran and its verses? In his book, Two Faces of Islam, discusses Stephen Schwartz, the president of the Islamic Pluralism Center, the gab between Islam and Moslems. Although I disagree with the title of his book because it means that there is more than one face for Islam, but the truth is that there are many interpretations of Islam, just like any other religion. In his book, however, describes Schwartz the profound philosophical and religious differences that distinguish traditional beliefs from the radical sects that have sprung up over the past fifteen hundred years. He focuses on Wahhabism, the puritanical sect to which Osama bin Laden belongs. The Wahhabism relays on strict interperation of the Prophet sayngs. They Understand Islam through books that have been written in the sixth century. Instead of looking at these books as an interpretation of Islam and Quran that only suits its time, they uphold it as if it was Islam itself. Looking at the time those books we written in, one can easily understand the reason for such a violent culture. This is the reason why this culture violence, but why didn’t the Moslem extremists start bombing the western world recently, although such beliefs are more than twelve hundred years old? Here comes the actual political reasons for the conflict between the Islamic fundamentalists and the rest of the world. The conflict for sure has political reasons besides its cultural reasons. It is a fact that the US has launched more than five military actions in the Middle East only in past fifty years. This generation grew up learning about the first and the second Gulf War. The generation before fought against Israel which was supported by the US troops in 1967 and 1973 wars. This generation that is forming right now is learning about America through what is happening in Iraq, take Abu Gharib prison Incident for example. The people of such states are very likely to believe that there is a war going on against their religion or even against their existence, and that is what exactly what Ben Laden and others like him use to brainwash the average Middle astern. Unfortunately, only after 9/11 did the American policy realize this fact. Now they know what kind a threat a group of people thousands of miles away may pose to the USA. So in order to deal with such a threat, they announce the war on terror, only to make things even worse. The average Arab looks at this war as if it is the final step in colonizing the Arab nation. Such a naïve understanding, however, still proves the failure of this policy. What the USA should really do is to launch an intellectual war against the culture of Terror, not to launch a war against terrorist, simply because you can’t find an enemy that you can’t see, but you can save others from joining such a trend. The US first should start improving its image in the Arabian minds. Only then, they can start reforming the Moslem World from within Islam. This brief tour of reasons and solutions to the Moslem world problem can come together with a few final thoughts. The Moslem is birthplace for many terrorists because misinterpretation of Islam. Those terrorists concentrate their on attacks on the western world, especially the US, because the shameful history of the American Policy in the region. Recognizing the problem after the 9/11 attacks, and trying to solve the problem, the US launches another war (the war against Terror) making things even worse. What America should really be doing is to launch an intellectual war against their ideas. References Mansour, A. (August 1993). Penalty of Apostasy: A historical and fundamental study, 1st edition, 15-49. Mansour, A. (2002, December 16). The Roots of Democracy in Islam.

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