Muslim extremism; some insights on its root causes.


Few months ago I have posted an article titled “Takfeer phenomenon” and “Muslim authorities versus terrorism”, where I have raised a legitimate concern and that is; “Why is it all terrorist attacks in the world today are committed by Sunni Muslim extremists?”. My attempt was not aimed at the integrity of my Sunni Muslim brothers nor their respected Sunni scholars whom I have benefited from their extraordinary knowledge, rather it was raised out of care and concern about the millions of wonderful Sunni Muslims who deplore and reject the philosophy of extremism out of their good humanity but not necessarily out of the dictates of their doctrine. And to shed some light on these concerns so that we may all try to unlock such mystery and try to understand the true reasons of this despicable disease of terrorism which inflicts the Sunni doctrine. But unfortunately the Sunni extremism phenomenon have smeared the image of the beautiful aspect of the Sunni Muslim teachings, and have devastated the hopes and aspirations of true Sunni Muslims and have created a real psychological and spiritual crises among the majority of Sunni Muslims today. This serious issue have created an internal spiritual struggle within many of them and perhaps cause some of them to abandon Islam all together. I believe that the Sunni Muslims today face a great theological challenge towards the legitimacy of their perception and the purity of the Sunni teachings. But I also believe that their rejection to such recent phenomenon of Muslim violence and hate is the first step towards redefining and purifying of their teachings and adopting a new compatible approach towards the new challenges of life. This is not intended to give a munitions to my Shi’a Muslim brothers against the the Sunni brothers. I have tried to be impartial in this issue and I have also alluded to the negative teaching of the Shi’a doctrine below.

Now due to the importance of this issue I am republishing those articles along with some interesting comments and replies to shed some light on these concerns which are challenging our Muslim people.

Post #1

Takfeer Phenomenon

In my other posts I have been frank in being critical of both Muslim sects, Sunni and Shi’a for it is done out of care and concerns. Whatever the criticism might be I always consider both of them to be Muslims because both profess “There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is His last messenger” which is the principle line which separate between being a Muslim and non-Muslim according to the teaching of the Prophet of Islam.
So this time I would like to zoom in more on the Sunni faith due to what is happening in the world today in relationship to Muslim terrorist activities.
Again I would like to reiterate the fact that I am neither Shi’a nor Sunni rather I am “Muslim Haneef” and I learn from both school of thoughts, so no one could accuse me of being bias for I have been critical of both sects for the sake of Islam.
Sunni and Shi’as are my brothers in Islam and I feel I am obliged to point out to whatever I think is negative in their philosophy. So I do not intend to offend any Sunni Muslim in this essay and I present my sincere apology to all good Sunni Muslims throughout the world or at least to those who happen to read my essay, for being honest about some negative aspects of the Sunni faith.
Having said this I would like to present a very harsh and honest reality about the Sunni branch of Islam and sincerely ask the following question: Why it is most, if not all, terrorist attacks in the world today are committed by Sunni Muslim extremists?
Sunni faith and teaching seems to be inflicted by the horrible disease of terrorism for its seeds are very much ingrained into their teachings. There are many historical accounts which refer to this fact. I prefer not to go into details of these accounts for I do not wish to give ammunition to Shi’a Muslims or to non-Muslims to instigate hate against my Sunni brothers. I invite all Sunnis to read their history with open eyes.
In recent years this disease have evolved into a new philosophy of hate which is called “the Takfeer” or “the declaration of infidelity” this phenomena is extremely disturbing and capable of destroying their faith in the long run or it is already taken its tolls. This phenomenon has become very evident in their declarations and speeches. Sunnis might say that this is not limited to them only but also the Shi’as are doing the same thing against the Sunnis. It is true that some Shi’as are guilty of this kind of hate philosophy but there is a difference. In the case of the Sunnis, their practice of “Takfeer” does not stop at its verbal declaration or for the purpose of classification in relationship to jurisprudential matters; rather it goes beyond that to the point of shedding the blood of the condemned group.
Muslims should know that declaring someone or any group to be ‘’Kafir-apostate” does not mean it is lawful to shed their blood. We can see this from Surat Al-Kafiroon 109. In this Sura Allah (SW) instruct the Prophet Mohammad to leave the apostates alone after being warned:

109:1-6 ( SAY: “O you who deny the truth! I do not worship that which you worship,and neither do you worship that which I worship! And I will not worship that which you have [ever] worshipped, and neither will you [ever] worship that which I worship. Unto you, your moral law, and unto me, mine!)

So if Sunnis dose not consider Shi’as to be Muslims it dose not give them the right to shed their blood. The same thing applies with any other apostate groups.
This means that “Takfeer” verdict is not a license to kill. If it is, then there are millions of people in our world who are classified, according to Islamic rules, to be “Kafirs” such as, Buddhists, Hindus, and any other polytheists; dose this mean Sunni scholars condemn to death all those “Kafirs-apostates”?
In fact “Osama bin abi Sufyan” or as he is known “Osama bin Ladin” shed the blood of all Shi’as, moderate Sunnis, Americans, British citizens and God knows who is next.
So I raise a legitimate question to all of the Sunni brothers;

“Why it is all terrorist attacks in the world today are committed by Sunni Muslim extremists?”

I am certain that not all Sunnis condone the philosophy of violence but the question here, as to why are there, within the Sunni branch of Islam, fertile grounds for the emergence of such hate toward their perceived enemy.

Comments to Post #1; Takfeer Phenomenon

Here is comment offered by Br Irshaad Hussian on June 2, 2007, at 10:25 pm, regarding my concerns raised in my post “Tekfeer phenomena”; with some updating and elaborations:

“Salaam katib

“But is the tekfeer not pronounced by only certain offshoots of the Sunnis – and among those only a few groups go so far as to legitimize the shedding of blood on the basis of the tekfeer. Most Sunnis (followers of the 4 schools) disavow such actions as reprehensible. So is it a Sunni problem or an indicator that the influence of certain extremist elements has (in recent times) overshadowed traditional Sunni teachings? Perhaps this is a case of politics subverting religion – the danger is that the damage they do is great especially the damage done through twisted interpretations of religion which allow or encourage the wholesale slaughter of civilians. But this is a case of political expediency or desperation twisting religion, not traditional Sunni Islam pronouncing tekfeer and approving of the killing of innocents. What do you think?”

Katib’s response:

“So is it a Sunni problem or an indicator that the influence of certain extremist elements have (in recent times) overshadowed traditional Sunni teachings?”

– First, I could not disagree with the facts you have alluded to and these are to be true to great extent. Having said this, such factors you have mentioned are very much essentially interrelated to each other and influenced by the doctrine of faith. The scale of extremism is greatly influenced by the level and type of distortions which inflict the theological doctrine. If the doctrine is fundamentally flawed then it would lead to a grand scale form of extremism; the majority would actively engage or condone extremism. When you have a distorted doctrine you will have the fertile grounds for extremism. But the phenomena of extremism are a fact of life and you will always have such people in every religion who will try to distort the doctrine for their own political gains. But what makes this situation different is that the majority of Sunnis are not acknowledging such flaws and they do not realize that these flaws are very much ingrained in their philosophy since the early stage of Islam.

But if you take the western people and other world communities, with its various religions, and the problem of extremism you find it not very much prominent in comparison to the Sunni Muslim extremism. The reason I believe is that the western people have abandoned their church, by separating church and state in recent history and they have separated the role of religion in respect to the political systems of the non Muslim societies. So as a result of this socio-political collective action, by the western and the non Muslim societies, the influence of their corrupted religious doctrine has been limited. Hence the extremist’s influence has been neutralized and its effects are contained and brought to a safe level which would not disrupt life.
So the progress of such extremist elements in any society is really conditional to the overall legitimacy of the foundations of the embraced philosophy and the role of religion in the political affairs of its people. In the Muslim world we see religion plays a major role in the political affairs of Muslims directly or indirectly ; whether in respect to a secular or non secular society. In the Muslim world we see that the Muslim religious establishment is often very powerful and greatly influence the majority of Muslims. Furthermore, if such flaws are not addressed by followers and not acknowledged, and nothing is done to deal with it then the influence of these extremists on their followers will be very effective. These extremists will have an easier task in recruiting the young of society members and they will succeed in misguiding them and ultimately succeed in their political agendas.

As I mentioned in my post, that most if not all major terrorists acts are committed by Sunni extremists. For example, none of the 9/11 hijackers is Shi’a Muslim or a non Muslim; none of the London bombing is Shi’a
However, the extremists’ influence factor is always the main dynamic force to sanction such problem. But if the Sunni doctrine was not flawed at the fundamental level then you will not see the problem of terrorism very prominent within the Sunni followers. And in comparison if we take the Shi’a doctrine which, I also believe, suffers from some level of corruption but not at a fundamental level which is the reason for seeing the problem of terrorism within the Shi’a followers not as prominent as with Sunnis.

So I can say that it is a combination of theological flaws on a fundamental level and the extremist elements, and the role of religion in people affairs, all would lead to lethal and dire consequences as we are witnessing within the Sunnis branch of Islam.
I thank you for your thoughts.

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Post #2

Muslim authorities versus terrorism

Once again I would like to reiterate my purpose of this critique of the Sunni faith which is truly out of care and love, for they are my brothers in Islam. Sunni brothers must re-examine their teachings and re-evaluate its legitimacy and its true connection to the universal principles of Islam. Sunnis seems to accept the idea of committing suicide to kill as many people as possible in the name of “Jihad”
Some Sunnis may say that such disease is only harbored by the “Wahabi and Salafy” branch of Islam. This is true to great extent but the other sects of Sunnis may condone such behavior or keep silent. In other words we can say that the “Wahabis and the Salafies” may actively plan, orchestrate, finance and execute terrorists activities, and the other Sunni groups either keep silent or condone it. There are a lot of Suuni Muslims have protested the terrorist activities of the Sunni extremists in particularly those who live in the West. But I truly believe that their protest is not emanated from their Sunni teachings rather it is emanated from their good inner humanity. These moderate Sunni Muslims are wonderful people and deep inside they take the love of humanity at heart but they are trapped in this distorted Sunni beliefs by virtue of their cultural circumstances. I also believe that their open mind and moderation in their views is because of their being in the West which had helped them to appreciate Islam’s universal values and not be greatly influenced by their distorted doctrine. Such voices are the minority and may Allah protect them from the wrath of these Sunni terrorist elements.

The contemporary renowned Sunni Muslim scholar Dr. Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian who serves as the dean of Islamic Studies at the University of Qatar, whom I used to respect, issued a religious decree for all Muslims to join Holy Jihad war in Iraq. His Fatwa has contributed to the murder of nearly 500,000 innocents Iraqis and foreign workers. His action was beyond his jurisdiction as Muslim authority. He has no rights to interfere in the Iraqi political affairs for Iraq is a sovereign state and only the people of Iraq have the right to decide its destiny and how to deal with the occupation problem.
Iraqis were able to elect their own government and are dealing with the foreign forces with high level of wisdom to take their country back. In addition Iraqis have their own political and religious leaders and very much competent to handle the occupiers. They do not need Qaradawi or Zarqawi or Zawahiry to teach them their religious obligations.
What is really amusing about Qaradawi’s stand against the foreign forces in Iraq and other religious authorities that he is issuing his religious decrees from the same land where the Central Command of the American forces, CENTCOM, is based and where all the military planning, logistics and whatever was needed for the invasion of Iraq and to maintain their presence in that region.
The same amusement applies to Zarqawi and Osama Bin Abi Sufyan, their native countries- Jordan and Saudi Arabia- are very much controlled by the Americans, but they seem to give blind eyes to it. Such people have no legitimate cause and they intend to subjugate people to their perverted philosophy.
This is the problem with many Muslim clergies today that they suffer from an acute form of multiple personality disorder. They think they could declare Jihad any where in the so called Muslim land or non-Muslim land. In Iraq, 12 Million Iraqis, in an historic event un-matched in the modern history of the Middle East and in the modern world, went to the polls under the threat of bombs and terrorist intimidation, and voted in newly democratic government.

I remember asking my brother, who lives in Iraq now, the morning of election and asked him “are you going to vote in this dangerous environment? His answer to me was unforgettable and I could sense the true ancient Iraqi spirit reflected through him. His response to me was “I am now walking with my entire family, four kids and wife, towards the ballot boxes and I have sudden strange feeling of challenging those Muslim terrorists” and while he was saying this I heard the sound of bombs and AK47 shots over the phone from overseas, my brother then asked me “do you hear the sound of these bombs” I said yes, and then I said to him how can you risk your life and your family for casting a vote. He said “believe me brother I have not felt this before in my entire 40 years in Iraq that I feel the sense of humanity within me which I have never experience before and I must vote today regardless of the consequences” I still remember vividly his tone of voice which was very jubilant. After this telephone conversation I began to deeply reflect on what my brother had told me. His words were ringing in my ears the whole day. The reason for this feeling on my part is because I know my brother as a simple man who dose not venture very much in any simple event and his main objective in life is to provide for his family and he is not affiliated with any political party in Iraq. What he told me had profound impact on my vision towards my inherited Muslim knowledge and political views. He said “I felt the sense of humanity within me” ; this statement made me ponder a lot, for he is feeling his humanity under the the occupation forces. These feelings of his have emerged only after the Americans took charge of Iraq. This is truly a dilemma for me to digest. He had never felt his humanity under a Muslim regime but felt it with the help of the “Kafirs!!!!!!!!!” What really strange about this is that I have also shared the same feelings when I have landed on the Canadian soil or “Kafirs!!!!!!! 25 years ago.

Now back to the issue; some may say the newly elected government is very corrupt, I say yes it is, but mainly because of the infiltrations of the same terrorist’s within the Iraqi government. If all Iraqi factions supported this government we will not see the same level of corruption and carnage.
The problem with Muslim religious authorities today is that they are living in a fantasy world of their own. They are still living in the dream of the Abassyed era or the so called “the golden era” or the Ottoman empire period and can not seem to wake up from this dream. They Dream about the former Muslim empires where Muslim scholars were able to exercise their religious authority over their Muslim subjects within their Muslim territories. But today things are different where Muslim lands have become small independent sovereign states. All Muslim nations are committed to their flag and constitution. In reality there is no such thing of united Muslim land with united political leadership. In fact Muslim nations are so disunited politically for they are led by dictatorships or by false democracies.
In recent history we had witnessed military conflicts among Muslim nations and were settled with the help of the non-Muslim powers. For example, Iraq invaded Kuwait and none of the Muslim countries were able to liberate it but it was through the non-Muslim western coalition led by the United States of America. Saddam Hussian’s Army had attacked the Kurds in the North in 1991 and the Shi’a in the south where thousands were killed and displaced; but none of the Muslim countries move one solder against Saddam’s Army but once again the “Kafirs” came to the aide of the Muslims!!! the Americans and the British army imposed a no fly zone. But at the same time the Muslim governments, Saddam’s like regimes, had imposed a no fly zone against the Iraqi people from entering their territories by imposing a severe visa conditions.

Those regimes are so afraid of each other’s infiltrations and often lead to military conflicts as we have witnessed in recent history. But despite of their political independence and their determination in safe guarding their borders and affairs, we find      that Muslim religious authorities often interfere in the political affairs of other Muslim nations by crossing their jurisdiction in issuing religious decrees of murders under many pretexts. By doing that in essence, they are reflecting their impotence in establishing a Muslim empire so that they can bring back the atrocities of the Abassyed, Umayiad, Ottomans and other brutal Muslim empires.

Katib

Comments on Post #2; Muslim authorities versus terrorism

“Hafsa said on March 8 2008

“Brother, I think that you are wrong in saying that Sunni Islam inherently supports or condones suicide bombings, etc. and that those of us Sunni who oppose this practice do so from our own sense of consciousness but are trapped when we try to address the issue theologically.
1) Suicide bombings are a relatively new phenomenon among Muslims (Sunni or Shia) and have their genus outside Muslim communities (Sri Lanka, Japanese kamikaze, etc.)
2) There is little dispute among Sunni scholars that suicide – killing oneself – is wrong and in fact a sin.
3) There are also fairly well defined rules recognized by the majority of Sunni ulema on what constitutes a combatant and valid targets in war.
The fact is, that given political realities talk of martyrdom for suicide bombers and praise for their deeds is attractive to many Sunnis and Shia in the Middle East.
It is also a psychological comfort – as families, like the family of the young man who opened fire in that Jerusalem yeshiva the other day would find it easier to speak of him as a martyr than as a murderer.
So, anyway, it is just completely inaccurate for you to lay the blame for current twisted methods of warfare and resistance (because in some situations the tactic is seen as the only option or the easiest option) at the feet of Sunni theology.
As a Sunni, I see little difference between Sunni and Shia theology at base on this matter. Suicide=sin. Killing innocents (women and children) = sin.
But if anything, in theory, I would think sanctioning of suicide tactics more likely to be justifiable/plausible for Shia, as your ulema are more dynamic in their rulings (a marja could decide that suicide bombing is an acceptable tactic, in a given situation, whereas Sunni ulema with the exception of the Salafis/Wahabis who believe in open ijtihad are much more constrained by history in how they can rule) and because there is a far better developed culture of martyrdom amongst Shia.
Further, Wahabis/Salafis are often not opposed in Sunni circles because they have come more prepared than anyone else to do theological battle.
We may disagree with their interpretations and conclusions, but often the Salafi/Wahabi in the room has done the most study of the Qur’an and hadith and can quote from them (albeit passages (taken out of context to bolster his position) at will, he has also read widely from other Islamic literature.
The ordinary Sunnis in the room can only think, “I don’t agree with this person and don’t think that what he says is Islam, but am not prepared to debate him on a theological basis.”
**Saying that, is not the same as saying that there is no valid opposing theology.**
At any rate, the traditional Sunni viewpoint is that ordinary Muslims should not be taxed with developing theological positions – that such is the job of the learned ulema.
Increasingly, one sees them stepping up on these kinds of issues. Hamza Yusuf, Zaid Shakir, Abdur Raheem Green, Abdullah Hakim Quick, Abdal Hakim Murad, Tariq Ramadan…”

(Hafsa comment ends here)

Katib response to Sister Hafsa comment:

Assalamu alaikum Sister Hafsa

First I sincerely appreciate your courage to take on these kinds of discussions which are very sensitive and challenging. And I also thank you for your open mind and your constructive method of dialogue.
Just to clarify one important point before any further elaborations on your concerns. You seem to suggest that I am member of the shi’a Muslim school of thought when you said “..suicide tactics more likely to be justifiable/plausible for Shia, as your ulema..” I am not sure what made you reach this conclusion, for I have indicated in many of my other posts that I do not subscribe to any school of thoughts rather I am “Muslim haneef” but I learn from all Muslim and non Muslim school of thoughts including the Sunni and Shi’a teachings. In addition I can tell you that your claim that is “suicide tactics more likely to be justifiable/plausible for Shia, as your ulema..” is not accurate according to what I know about the Shi’a faith but I will leave it to my Shi’a brothers who happen to read your comment, to elaborate on it.
It is important for me to emphasize that the Sunni school of thought, aside from its negative aspects, has offered a great wealth of Islamic thoughts and wisdom, and I am personally indebted to it. There are great Sunni scholars and writers throughout history whom I and must honor and be grateful to their contributions to the Islamic thoughts.

Furthermore, I would like to clearly state my position towards all types of suicide bombings whether it is committed against civilians or military targets, in an occupied land or not, I strongly condemn all types of suicide bombings regardless of the objectives. This kind of act represent, in my humble opinion, a despair from God’s mercy and failing to abide by God’s commands in being patient and steadfast in the face of hardship and calamities.

Having said this, I must tell you that I am in agreement with many points expressed by you. But I would like to further elaborate on them.

You said “.. I think that you are wrong in saying that Sunni Islam inherently supports or condones suicide bombings, etc.”

-I honestly would like to be wrong on this assumption but unfortunately all the evidences on the ground lead to that notion. What I am suggesting is that Sunni theology may forbid the killing of the self, which is deemed as “sin”, but at the same time they contend that using all necessary means to execute a holy war “jihad” that would include suicide bombings and other types of bombings.
For example they condone suicide bombing as a legitimate tactics against all Israeli population, civilians and non civilians. They contend that all people living in the occupied land are considered to be living in a war zone “dar alharb” and they further state that there is no distinction between a combatant and non-combatant, rather all are considered combatants as long as they occupy the Muslim land. It is important to remember that life is sacred and that the life of an unarmed Jewish person, living in the state of Israel, is as sacred as any other human being. We as Muslims must abide by our Prophet guidelines in respect to the rules of engagements or at least respect the international laws in this regard. Unfortunately many Muslims have no respect to their Prophet’s teachings nor have any desire to honor the laws of the international community.
It seems all of the recent Muslim Jihadi movements who condone and uses suicide bombings, against civilians and non civilians targets, as a legitimate method of Jihad are belong to the Sunni branch of Muslims. For example “hamas” in Gaza are Sunni Muslims and suicide bombings are their hallmark. And all other Palestinian Muslim militias who resort to the suicide bombings are also belong to the Sunni branch. Perhaps there are some Shi’a Muslim groups, such as “hezballah in Lebonon” who have resorted to suicide bombings in recent history; particularly against the US marine in 1982. But if you compare between the Sunni suicide bombing and the Shi’a-although I personally condemn all forms of suicide bombings under no circumstances, we find the Sunni Jihadists do not distinguish between combatant and non-combatant. So in the case of suicide bombing committed by the Shi’a hezballah we find the target was a military one, but in the case of the Suicide bombings which are committed by the Sunni jihadists are both of civilian and military targets. In fact if you look at all the major suicide bombings and all other types of bombings throughout the world are committed by Sunni Muslims.
Perhaps you may say those attacks are mainly committed by the Wahabi/Salafi branch, but you must remember that the wahabi/salafi are belong to the “hanbali sect of the Sunni branch of Islam and not Shi’a. Also if you take Hamas they are Sunni Muslims. And the “abu saif in Philipines” are Sunnis; “ansarulSunna in Iraq” are Sunnis; and all of the terrorist activities in the western world in recent years are committed by Sunni Muslims who are born in the west.

You said “Suicide bombings are a relatively new phenomenon among Muslims (Sunni or Shia) and have their genus outside Muslim communities (Sri Lanka, Japanese kamikaze, etc.)”

-Yes it is new but what I am saying is that the root causes for such deadly tactics are as a result of the inherited flaws in the Sunni teachings. So it is not so much of the exact types of tactics or the nature of the methods of attacks, whether it be in the form of suicide bombings, car bombings, flying civilian airplanes into buildings, all of these deadly methods are as a result of the inherited flaws within the Sunni teachings.
In other words, there appear to be serious flaws in the Sunni teachings which have given the fertile grounds for these kinds of fanatics and gave the required environment for harboring terrorism. I do not know how many innocent people should die before we Muslims acknowledge these flaws. For further elaborations please refer to my other post titled “Takfeer phenomenon “ In that post I have given a reply to one concern asked by Br. Irshaad which is similar to your concerns, and here is my response for your convenience:
“The scale of extremism is greatly influenced by the level and type of distortions which inflict the theological doctrine. If the doctrine is fundamentally flawed then it would lead to a grand scale form of extremism; the majority would actively engage or condone extremism. When you have a distorted doctrine you will have the fertile grounds for extremism. But the phenomena of extremism is a fact of life and you will always have such people in every religion who will try to distort the doctrine for their own political gains. But what makes this situation different is that the majority of Sunnis are not acknowledging such flaws and they do not realize that these flaws are very much ingrained in their philosophy since the early stage of Islam.
But if you take the western people, for example, you will find the problem of extremism not very much prominent in comparison to the Sunni Muslim extremism. The reason I believe is that the western people have abandoned their church, by separating church and state in recent history. So as a result of this socio-political collective action, by the western societies, the influence of the Christian corrupted doctrine has been limited. Hence the extremist’s influence has been neutralized and its effects are contained and brought to a safe level which would not disrupt life.

So the progress of such extremist elements in any society is really conditional to the overall legitimacy of the foundations of the embraced philosophy. And if such flaws are not addressed by followers and not acknowledged, and nothing is done to deal with it then the influence of these extremists on their followers will be very effective. These extremists will have an easier task in recruiting the young of society members and they will succeed in misguiding them and ultimately succeed in their political agendas.
As I mentioned in my post, that most if not all major terrorists acts are committed by Sunni extremists. For example, none of the 9/11 hijackers is Shi’a Muslim or a non Muslim; none of the London bombing is Shi’a and the same with all the major world terrorism today.
However, the extremists’ influence factor is always the main dynamic force to sanction such problem. But if the Sunni doctrine was not flawed at the fundamental level then you will not see the problem of terrorism very prominent within the Sunni followers. And in comparison if we take the Shi’a doctrine which, I also believe, suffers from some level of corruption but not at a fundamental level which is the reason for seeing the problem of terrorism within the Shi’a followers not as prominent as with Sunnis.
So I can say that it is a combination of theological flaws on a fundamental level and the extremist elements, both would lead to lethal and dire consequences as we are witnessing within the Sunnis branch of Islam.”
And please for more on this issue read my post titled “Ali and Umer are what Muslims need”

You said “At any rate, the traditional Sunni viewpoint is that ordinary Muslims should not be taxed with developing theological positions – that such is the job of the learned ulema.”

-It is worth noting here that it is very clear, and as a common knowledge to all, that issuing religious decrees is really out of control among the Sunni followers and in fact has played a major role in the growing problem of fanaticism in the Sunni school of thoghts. You find in the Middle East that merely a part time Imam of a mosque is issuing “fatwas” In other words there is no proper guidelines within the Sunni religious establishments to control such problem. Surprisingly, such problem is not a major challenge to the Shi’a religious establishment, for they seem to have some kind of viable rules for issuing religious decrees.

You said “Increasingly, one sees them stepping up on these kinds of issues. Hamza Yusuf, Zaid Shakir, Abdur Raheem Green, Abdullah Hakim Quick, Abdal Hakim Murad, Tariq Ramadan…”

-I have listened to some of these speakers, I must tell you that I truly admire them for their open mind and courage to show a positive image of Islam. And I believe they are the hope to save the great wisdom and all the positive aspects of the Sunni teachings. Their positive views, in my opinion, are true attempt to distance themselves from many of the negative aspects of the Sunni doctrine and they have tried to focus on the many wonderful teachings and wisdom of the Sunni School of thoughts. On several occasions I have the honour to meet in person Br. Abdullah Hakim Quick in Canada, and I hope more people like him in the Muslim world.

Thank you for your inputs and God Bless you.

katib

end of post of comments of Post #2

——————————————————————————-

I will be posting more posts on this important issue in the future in sha’aAllah

Katib

Posted on November 1, 2008, in Current Issues, Islam, Islam Versus Muslims, Islam Versus Shi'a & Sunnis, Islamic History, Muslim Theology, Muslims & The Western World, Muslims and terrorism, Politics, Religion, Resources, Shi'a Theology and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Salams brother,

    Very good post bro! It is sad that there are still many unsolved issues between Sunni and Shi’a, since both are muslims and believers of same God. It has been written:
    “Those who believe (in the Quran), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians…and (all) who believe in God and the last day and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.”
    Quran, 2:62

    Extremists and terrorists misconcept true meaning of jihad.
    “Fight in the path of God those who fight you, but do not aggress. Surely God does not love the aggressors. And fight them where you come upon them, and send them out from where they have sent you out, for persecution is a worse thing than fighting. And do not fight them at the Sacred Mosque (in Mecca) unless they fight you there, but if they fight you, then fight them back. That is the reward of the rejectors. Then if they cease, so God is All-Forgiving, Gentle. And fight them until there is no more persecution and the religion is for God. But if they cease, so let there be no hostility except against wrongdoers.”
    Qur’an 2:190-193

    It is very common that Muslims who choose to speak up against extremist are being criticize and called anti-Islam especially due to fact that extremists often pick up popular Muslim and Arab causes (like Palestine) to justify their acts. There for there should be stressed very clear, that islam and terrorism has nothing in common.

    regards
    Amina

    p.s. I found that some time back and since it complements this subject would like to ask you, what you think of it: Fitzgerald: 95 things that fuel Muslim extremism from http://jihadwatch.org/archives/013525.php

  2. Waalaikumassalam sister Amina

    Thank you for adding your voice to reject Muslim extremism. I am very happy to see you conscious of this problem in the Muslim teachings, after citing these beautiful Quranic verses which have been misinterpreted and manipulated to serve the interests of these Muslim extremists.
    And as for your question regarding the `jihad watch`link, I think this site is making good efforts to condemn these terrorist activities and that is a good thing. But I must point out here that the posted list which is called “95 things that fuel Muslim extremism” represent only a reactionary behaviour of Muslims towards these provocations but does not address the real root causes of such reactionary behaviour. A true Muslim must not get provoked to commit further crimes and to get even or commit revenge. And nothing should fuel a Muslim anger towards these provocations if there were no negative teachings in our doctrine. These ingrained extremist views and teachings provide fertile grounds to harbour these violent sentiments, within the heart, so that when it is provoked the result is a violent reaction without any restraints, and exercise of patience which is a hall mark of a Muslim.
    Thank you for your input and continue to spread the message of peace.
    God Bless

    Katib

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