It seems kind of out of place to talk about the rise of radical Islam when Muslim marauding bands slaughtered Muslims and non-Muslims from the beginning of the seventh century, and Islam has taken many areas of the world throughout the centuries that followed. Maybe we should have called the article the Latest Rise in Radical Islam or the Modern Day Rise in Radical Islam. Regardless, we learned many atrocious historical facts about the rise of Islam in the seventh century in our introduction, so let us just deal with the rise of radical Islam today.
Islamic fundamentalism is the belief by Muslims that Islam needs to return to the earlier days of Islam, to the fundamentals, living life as Muslims did in the days of Muhammad. Islamic fundamentalists or Islamists are Muslims within radical Islam that will commit violent terrorist acts and those of that same ideology that support but do not commit terrorist acts, find their beliefs in a literal interpretation of the Quran. It is the goal of the Islamists to return to the days of Muhammad by taking over the world with their ideology and any who refuse to comply with this, Muslim or non-Muslim, are to be destroyed. Before moving into the differences between Islamic fundamentalists or Islamists and Islamism (moderate Muslims), let us talk about literal interpretation and what it means.
Christians interpret the Bible literally as well. The way the Bible is interpreted literally is, we attempt to get back to what the Bible author meant by the words that he used. We also must determine if something is prescriptive or descriptive. When idioms are used, figurative or symbolic language is used, it is not taken literally by evaluating what the words mean to us. Jesus said I am the door for the sheep.” Is Jesus literally a door for literal sheep? No, Jesus likening himself figuratively to a door and of a figurative sheep. Jesus is the door or way for his sheep, i.e., disciples to receive eternal life. By virtue of his ransom sacrifice, sheep (disciples) can approach God and be saved. Therefore, the interpreter must get at what the author meant by his use of figurative, symbolic, idiomatic, hyperbolic meaning and then this is what is taken literally.
As far as prescriptive and descriptive, the interpreter must determine what the author penned is simply informing us about something or is giving us something that we must continue to do. Many Scriptures are a historical narrative, which is descriptive. This does not mean that we cannot learn valuable insights into God, his values, his thinking, some principles behind the historical narrative. However, just because the Israelites formed an army to take back their land that was given to Abraham or defend themselves; this does not mean that Christians should form armies. Just because Peter washed Jesus’ feet, this does not mean that we must establish some feet-washing ritual. Therefore, interpretation is not subjective (your opinion) if one knows the rules and principles of correct interpretation and applies them in a balanced manner. It becomes subjective when we begin putting our twenty-first-century mindset into what the author meant. Even so, the Quran is not the Word of God.
Differences Worldviews Within Islam
Islamic fundamentalists or Islamists and Islamism (moderate Muslims), are separated by their belief systems. Islamists believe that the world needs to be converted to Islam. Some Islamists believe that is accomplished by growing Islam in a country until they have reached a certain population level and then it is a revolution through social and political action. Other Islamists believe that the world becomes a caliphate, an Islam state under Sharia Law through acts of terrorism. Moderate Muslims desire to live under Sharia Law too but how to get there and the size of a role it plays in their life is far different. Moderate Muslims go about life, some even adopting the ways of their host country while trying to evangelize Islam along the way. Both are committed to implementing Sharia Law, but the Islamists or the radical Muslims want to do so through subterfuge, coercion, and violence, while the Moderate Muslim seeks to do so through evangelism. The moderate Muslim will treat women and children with respect but does realize that Sharia Law does not lend itself to that ideology. The Islamists and radical Muslims subjugate women and children as property that is to be owned, having half the value of a man.
Sadiq Khan, London’s first Muslim mayor that we spoke of above, had described moderate Muslim groups as “Uncle Toms,” which is a highly offensive term for a black man who is thought to be too solicitous of or subservient to white people. Thus, Mayor Khan was saying that moderate Muslims are too subservient to Westerns or Western ideology. One of Iran’s highest clerics apparently stated, “revolutionary Islam is the same as pure Muhammadan Islam,” Ayatollah Tabatabaeinejad recently said, “Some say our Islam is not revolutionary Islam, but we must say to them that non-revolutionary Islam is the same as American Islam. Islam commands us to be firm against the enemies and be kind and compassionate toward each other and not be afraid of anything …”
According to an Arabic language article The Truth about the Moderate Muslim as Seen by the West and its Muslim Followers, by Dr. Ahmed Ibrahim Khadr in 2011: “Islamic researchers are agreed that what the West and its followers call ‘moderate Islam’ and ‘moderate Muslims’ is simply a slur against Islam and Muslims, a distortion of Islam, a rift among Muslims, a spark to ignite war among them. They also see that the division of Islam into ‘moderate Islam’ and ‘radical Islam’ has no basis in Islam — neither in its doctrines and rulings nor in its understandings or reality.” Khadr tells how moderates and radicals differ. The radicals, whom he calls the “true Muslims,” will offer aid to Muslims, especially those willing to carry out Jihad. On the other hand, moderates, which he calls “false Muslims,” ally themselves with Western nations.
Khadr goes on to note the many ways that moderates and radicals differ. For instance, radicals (“true Muslims”) aid and support fellow Muslims, especially those committed to jihad, whereas moderates (“false Muslims”) ally with and help Western nations.
Distinctions below were made in Khadr’s article are:
- Radicals want the caliphate to return; moderates reject the caliphate.
- Radicals want to apply Sharia (Islamic law); moderates reject the application of Sharia.
- Radicals reject the idea of renewal and reform, seeing it as a way to conform Islam to Western culture; moderates accept it.
- Radicals accept the duty of waging jihad in the path of Allah; moderates reject it.
- Radicals reject any criticism whatsoever of Islam; moderates welcome it on the basis of freedom of speech.
- Radicals accept those laws that punish whoever insults or leave the religion [apostates]; moderates recoil from these laws.
- Radicals respond to any insult against Islam or the prophet Muhammad — peace and blessing upon him — with great violence and anger; moderates respond calmly and peacefully on the basis of freedom of expression.
- Radicals respect and revere every deed and every word of the prophet — peace be upon him — in the hadith; moderates do not.
- Radicals oppose democracy; moderates accept it.
- Radicals see the people of the book [Jews and Christians] as dhimmis [barely tolerated subjects]; moderates oppose this [view].
- Radicals reject the idea that non-Muslim minorities should have equality or authority over Muslims; moderates accept it.
- Radicals reject the idea that men and women are equal; moderates accept it, according to Western views.
- Radicals oppose the idea of religious freedom and apostasy from Islam; moderates agree to it.
- Radicals desire to see Islam reign supreme; moderates oppose this.
- Radicals place the Koran over the constitution; moderates reject this [assumption].
- Radicals reject the idea of religious equality because Allah’s true religion is Islam; moderates accept it.
- Radicals embrace the wearing of hijabs and niqabs; moderates reject it.
- Radicals accept killing young girls who commit adultery or otherwise besmirch their family’s honor; moderates reject this [response].
- Radicals reject the status of women today and think that the status of women today should be like the status of women in the time of the prophet; moderates oppose that women should be as in the time of the prophet.
- Radicals vehemently reject that women should have the freedom to choose partners; moderates accept that she can choose a boyfriend without marriage.
- Radicals agree to clitorectomies; moderates reject them.
- Radicals reject the so-called war on terror and see it as a war on Islam; moderates accept it.
- Radicals support jihadi groups; moderates reject them.
- Radicals reject the terms “Islamic terrorism” or “Islamic fascism”; moderates accept them.
- Radicals reject universal human rights, including the right to be homosexual; moderates accept them.
- Radicals reject the idea of allying with the West; moderates support it.
- Radicals oppose secularism; moderates support it.
This author cannot sound the alarm loud enough that readers need to understand the breakdown of the mental disposition between:
Radical Islam: These are the Muslims of Islam that are willing to carry out Jihad, blowing themselves up or blowing up others for the furtherance of the Islamic State and growing a worldwide caliphate run by Sharia Law. There are 1.8 billion Muslims in the world and only 0.01 percent of them are radical. That sounds low until you do the math, i.e., 18 million Muslims are radical. The next category of Muslims will add even more weight to the number of radical Muslims.
Fundamentalist Islamists: The fundamental Islamists are Muslims that share the same ideology as radical Muslims. However, they are not willing to carry out Jihad in order to achieve the goals. Nevertheless, they back the radicals, they even financially support the radicals, and they definitely evangelize the radical ideology. In the Western world, we could triple the number of Fundamentalist Islamists to the radicals. However, in Islamic countries, the number is far higher, so we could simply say that the 18 million radical Muslims have the support network and backing of 108 million other Muslims. These fundamentalist Islamists are great recruiting grounds for the radicals.
Moderate Muslims: The moderate Muslim makes up the rest of Islam. While these Muslims are willing to conform to the Western world and support their host country, over 60 percent of them still believe that Sharia Law should be the law of the land in which they live, and they will vote in that direction if it ever comes up for a vote. This segment of Islam that are truly moderate need to be more vocal, Many Muslims have fought for Western countries, defending freedom of Western ways of life against radical Islam on the battlefields. The moderate Muslims that have not had that chance to defend freedom should use their voice to speak out against fundamentalist Islamists and radicals, as well as Sharia Law.
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