Tuesday, July 08, 2008

"Islam will defeat terrorism" - a translation

From the Jordan Times:
"Islam will defeat terrorism" was the title of an international conference that organised in Moscow last week by the “Fund for Support of Islamic Culture, Science and Education”.
Whew, that's a relief. Let's look at the details:
The final statement of the conference, issued at the end of two days of intensive, but cordial, deliberations by participants representing Islamic cultural and interfaith institutions and organisations from all over the world, affirmed the need to emphasise the sanctity of all people’s dignity, their life and their property, warning that any violation of these rights constitutes a grave religious sin, as well as a heinous human crime.
Translated into terms the Western audience might understand:
"Dignity" - if a Muslim is insulted, he is justified in killing you.
"Property" - if a Muslim ever owned property it belongs to Muslims forever, and anyone else who says he owns it may be killed. Think Spain (Andalusia).

Paradoxically, this statement is much more easily used to justify terrorism than to combat it. Of course, since they didn't bother to define exactly what "terrorism" means, saying that Islam is against terrorism is fairly meaningless.
The statement confirmed other significant principles, such as: 1) “peace and justice are basic standards for governing relations between individuals and societies, and war according to Islam is a state dictated only by the occurrence of aggression or injustice, and should cease with the disappearance of such causes”;
This means that the definition of "justice" and "injustice" is purely Islamic, and Islam will refuse to accept anyone else's definitions. Again, the result can easily be the support of what any sane person would call terrorism. The word "justice" is the most-used keyword against everything Israel does, because all actions are viewed through a lens that cannot accept - on an ideological level - the existence of a Jewish state on what is perceived as Islamic lands. Israel's very existence, in Islamic terms, is pure "injustice." It is not only a short journey from there to terror against Israeli civilians - it is a logical next step.
2) “Islam is a religion of life, peace, healthy environment, development and coexistence amongst all people”;
As we have seen in the past, Islamic conceptions of "coexistence" is usually "Islam will dominate, dhimmi religions will be tolerated as second class, infidels will be erased from the planet."
3) Islam does, in clear and absolute terms, reject and condemn terrorism, those who finance and support it and those who tend to exploit its horrifying consequences for their purposes and interests.
And as the article goes on to say:
In fact, many participants’ statements rightly included condemnation of terror, as well as virtuous calls for eliminating such evil from our world. They described terror as the pestilence of the time or as a barbaric human epidemic. But most were referring to terror as an abstract phenomenon, with the ambiguity allowing unrestricted opportunity for anyone to apply the condemnation to his own “terrorist enemies”.

But defining terrorism has never been an easy matter, and therefore it would be unrealistic to expect the Moscow meeting to accomplish what others for decades have failed to achieve. And despite the vagueness, the underlying objective was to distance a modern version of Islam not only from terror, but also from providing advocates of violence and terror with religious justification for their evil actions.

Unfortunately, the conference attendees' final statements could be used exactly for such justification.

Until Muslims realize the inherent contradictions between their stated stand against terror and the details that can be used to justify it, they will continue to be rightly blamed for not doing enough to fight true terror from a purely Islamic ideological/religious perspective.

OBL's justifications for his fatwa against the United States that led to 9/11 fit exactly into the statements that came out of this conference that supposedly preaches moderation. He felt that since US troops were on sacred Saudi territory and that the US was not treating Muslims with proper dignity.

It is not too heartening to see an Islamic "anti-terror" conference whose statements can be used to support the most heinous acts of terror.