Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Narrowing Ground

First there was no connection between terrorism and Islam because the terrorists were occupied by Israel. Then it became clearer that Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Russia, Spain, England, India, and the United States were also targets. So that wasn't it.

Then there was no connection between terrorism and Islam because the terrorists were grindingly poor and oppressed and had no hope in this world. Then it emerged that the 9-11 terrorists were mainly from wealthy families. So that wasn't it.

There was no connection between terrorism and Islam because the terrorists were from corrupt undemocratic countries where the Western countries had been demonized. Then it emerged that the London subway bombers were born and raised in Britain. So that wasn't it.

Then there was no connection between terrorism and Islam because the terrorists, even though they were fully exposed to Western society, were marginalized, did not feel included. Now it emerges that several of the conspirators in the Scottish airport bombings are doctors practicing in the UK and Australia. So that isn't it.

When does it become time to admit that there is no connection between terrorism and Islam only because it is an article of faith that there isn't?

4 comments:

  1. Dvoichek10:41 AM

    The Gardens of the Righteous: some two hundred years after the death of Muhammad, his followers began to seriously and systematically catalogue traditions associated with the prophet of Islam and his early followers. These collections became the Hadeth and went through several redactions: Persian legal scholar Ismail al-Bokhari (810-870), Abul Husain Muslim (819-875). After these three scholars, there were three later recensions of Hadeth resulting in The Six Authentic Compilations. The Syrian jurist, Imam Nawawi (1233-1278) compiled an analytical digest of The Six Authentic Compilations and named the work The Gardens of the Righteous. This body of work exerts a strong influence on Muslim faithful and essentially highlights the religious values enshrined in the Hadeth and lesser Hadeth.

    Nawawi’s method was to quote a passage from the Qu’ran and then list a number of variant stories from Hadeth (in this case The Six Authentic Compilations) to illustrate the spiritual message contained in the Qu’ranic text. Below are three examples from Nawawi’s work. I leave the reader to make the necessary conclusions:

    Sahl ibn Sa’ad relates that the Honorable Prophet said: patrolling the frontier for a day is better than the world and all it contains. Your being allotted a strip in Paradise no wider than our horsewhip is better than the world and all it contains. Being occupied with striving in the cause of Allah for a morning or an evening is better than the world and all it contains. (Imam Nawawi, Gardens of the Righteous, On Striving in the Cause of Allah)

    Abu Bakr ibn Abu Musa Ash’ari relates that he heard his father say in the face of the enemy: The Honorable Prophet said: The gates of Paradise are under the shadow of swords. Thereupon a man of lowly condition stood up and inquired: Abu Musa, did you indeed hear the Honorable Prophet say that? He answered: Yes. The man then turned towards his companions and saluted them in farewell. He then broke the scabbard of his sword and threw it away and walked with his sword into the enemy ranks and fought till he was killed. (Imam Nawawi, Gardens of the Righteous, On Striving in the Cause of Allah)

    Abu Hurairah relates that the Honorable Prophet said: He who dies without having fought in the cause of Allah and without having thought of it in his mind dies with one characteristic of hypocrisy within him. (Imam Nawawi, Gardens of the Righteous, On Striving in the Cause of Allah)

    All dates C.E. Note that the English translation of the word “Striving” is the Arabic lexeme “Jihad”.

    Dvoichek

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  2. Dvoichek, that is a high level of erudition. Are you Barnabbas the Dutchman, or someone else?

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  3. Dvoichek12:56 PM

    No, I am not Banabbas the Dutchman - that is an impressive moniker though. In re-reading the post I made above, I notice a correction – Nawawi made his commentaries on the Qu’ran from his own work The Gardens of the Righteous, which derived from The Six Authentic Compilations (last paragraph).

    In my view, the use of the variant stories from the Hadeth can create a great deal of angst and religious guilt in Muslims who for all appearances are Westernized professionals. Part of the internal struggle "Jihad" that these Muslims perform within their own spiritual journey tends to pit the westernized portion of the psyche against their idealized Muslim self. In the Hadeth, there is no clear dividing line between personal spiritual stuggle, or "Jihad", and the external struggle, again "Jihad" waged on behalf of the Dar-al-Islam. For extreme Muslim Clerics, the Hadeth used in couterpoint with the Qu'ran, is very high-quality grist indeed for a mill intended to prey upon the perhaps guilt-ridden, selfconscious, and for all outward apearances, westernized followers of Islam.

    Just some thoughts on the subject of your interesting post.

    Dvoichek

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  4. Thanks for this very impressive post. Yes, you seem to be right and it should be said aloud.

    Last week I was reading a lengthy article in Newsweek about Muslims in the United States. Well, this state of affair was considered to be be "Americas greatest asset".

    Georg

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