By Andrew L. Urban.
If terrorism by Jihadists such as (but not only) ISIS is not about Islam, what is it about? If it is not about Islam why do they claim it to be very much about Islam?
The apologists (Muslims and non-Muslims) who try to extricate Islam from the blame are perhaps trying to shield Muslims from being collateral blame damage in the global discourse on terrorism. It doesn’t work. Not only does it look foolish and disingenuous, it is counter-productive: the claim simply backfires; when terrorists acclaim allah as they slaughter other (“wrong”) Muslims and of course everyone else; when they declare they are doing the work of the prophet Mohammed as set out in the Koran; and when they are dying for martyrdom in his name.
While it is tempting to satirise the cry that terrorism is ‘not about Islam’, that would be to disrespect the genuine well meaning behind it. Well meaning but utterly foolish.
It is worth considering in this context how rampant are the Jihadi accusations of decadence and sins of the West. Their moral position is based on Islamic teachings about modesty of dress, subjugation to religious strictures and abstinence, among other things. It is these (and many other) moralising sermons that underpin the self-righteous attitudes of Jihadi members. We have to take them seriously: they are prepared to die for these beliefs. The fact is, they can’t see the moral double standards of these attitudes and their violent actions. They decry Western women’s liberal attitudes and dress, for example, while enslaving their own women, not to mention rape and genital mutilation.
So as they are claiming moral superiority based on their faith – then it is surely about Islam.