Da’esh that is fostered in our minds

I admit that I don’t feel well each time I hear the word “ Islamic” before the word “attack” or whatever is related to these words. Today attack in Mali is another quick example to the world’s hypocrisy. Sometimes, even if the victims are still Europeans or Americans, the fact that they are in the other part of the world where violence is becoming a norm, the world doesn’t react the same. I understand that it would be confusing to raise a flag of a country to victims who are not citizens of that country but the victims in France were all French?

This is just a fleeting thought.

The real reason for this article is our reactions as “Muslims” to such attacks. A French friend of mine was telling me yesterday how awkward he felt when Palestinians were apologizing to him for the attacks in Paris. I was expressing to him a pretty awkward sensation I had, and I told him in advance that my English vocabulary might not be fulfilling and accurate to this sensation. And of course, if he got me wrong I would easily as well quickly accuse his French English vocabulary). It was hard for me to say it, but I wanted to say it in front of a French in that particular situation. I said: “ the moment I learned about the attacks, I was taken aback for an instant. I was watching the panic that was overwhelming the atmosphere. I felt sad, bad, … but I also felt satisfied”. I was about to explain why, relying on the fact that he will misunderstand the word, thinking “satisfied” is not a word any average person uses in such a situation. But he quickly said that he understands it thoroughly, and that was why he couldn’t understand why the Palestinians here were apologizing.

This was a moment, despite its severe damage, a moment of a global unification. At that moment I felt that everyone is becoming Palestinian. I was happy that my friend was a lot more tolerant than me saying it loud: “ those who did it were Muslims, and this is just fine. We should ask ourselves why Muslims in France if they were French, are feeling this rage and hate. There is something about us, which we refuse to admit.”

It wasn’t much of a surprise to me later when I read about the French government decision in allowing 30 or 40 thousand refugees as a response to the terror attacks. It was a real moment of pride. And somehow, this took me to this feeling of how our world is becoming unified. If the French government decided to behave like the Israeli government for instance, by revenging and making sanctions and all those Israeli collective punitive actions, the situation would have just went to the worse. By doing this, the French government put those people into a corner. There is this critical factor that we are all missing here. All of us “spectaculars.” The indirect support these people have from oppressed, marginalized people around the globe.

But somewhere, going back to the beginning …

The stigma of Islam and terror being attached in one phrase is not something that Muslims are indeed not responsible for. The whole “phenomenon” of ISIS wouldn’t have taken place or such an echo if it wasn’t there somewhere within Islamic teaching. Teaching is not about a book we carry and follow. It is about a whole education system that combines so effectively with our daily lives and strengthens what is known as “ norms.” I am not sure if other religions and cultures are different from the Islamic cultures. But in this case, I can only speak about Islam. The rush of Muslims to defend themselves from these acts. The loud exclusion from ISIS is not out of pure, peaceful thinking. As much as there is trouble in the west today. There is trouble with Islamic teachings that have been fostered negatively inside our cultures for decades if not centuries. I cannot point to when did this start and where. I do understand this Islamic pride that has been defeated after ruling half of the world for centuries. There is something about Islam that turned into an act of mystification from one side and surrounded itself with conspiracy thinking from the other hand, that it ended up isolating Muslims inside a wall of conspiracies aired with the mystified history that eventually lost sense with itself.

The problem here is that we cannot blame anyone on this. I cannot even blame those Islamic scholars and muftis of the past century, because they contributed to the time they lived in. The problem is with us today, who insist on handling ourselves through the teachings of the past that in depth doesn’t have to do with Islam in its fundamental education, if we agree that the Quran is the base of islam. Those people worked effortlessly back then to explain, to put rules, whatever it may be that suited their time and undoubtedly was needed. When one sees that engine of mind- debates among scholars that went on to decades and even centuries to agree or defy or accept or denounce an idea, one cannot but respect how the Islamic mind was efficiently working.

Today … Muslim scholars don’t think. They decide to adopt old teachings and apply it to today’s life and persuade us that this was the God-given choice.

When Muslims rushed in putting the French flag in solidarity. It was an act of telling the world we are not ISIS. But somewhere the hypocrisy of the action was overwhelming. How come a Muslim agrees that Muslims and not making a statement kill another Muslim in Syria and Iraq and elsewhere? Why did the Muslim world fell so readily upon the creation of Da’esh inside the Sunni –Shiites dispute this way? How can a Muslim sympathize with the killing of a French (in this case) and show no remorse for the massacre of Muslims in Yemen?

If you cannot sympathize with another Muslim, how can you be genuine in your sympathy with the French in this case? If you believe that this “other” Muslim is deserving to die because of his “different” ways in believing in the same religion you hold, how can anyone believe that you felt the sorrow in the killings of the “French” people?

Why do we have to prove that we are not like that?

The answer is as simple as that we need to look deep into our fears of Da’esh. Da’esh is an outcome of an education and a culture of tribal thinking, patriarchal systems, and conspiracy thinking that dominates the walls of our very own homes.

I have to admit, each time I see a profile picture of a Palestinian, an Egyptian, an Arab, any Arab with the French flag I feel like, and it’s time to block. If we are a nation that lacks empathy with its people, how can we ever be believed with our emotions towards the others, that we think that they are in their very best “infidels”?

There is so much that needs to be changed within the Islamic structure of education, that should start by burning all Islamic teaching books except the Qur’an, and start reading it and contemplating about life and Islam within it. The more we work on this, the less complicate Islam will appear. The closer we get to a God that indeed is a Creator. No a God that is prejudiced and full of rage.

We claim to be believers when we have so many blocks of rocks in our beliefs that have nothing to do with faith in what we claim hope is.

I feel sorry for the victims of today in Mali, and a few days ago in Nigeria, and the daily victims in Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere where we don’t bother even to see.

I want to apologize for the continuous deterioration of the Muslim mind of today. I apologize for the ignorance that is so intensely built inside Muslim minds of today.

God said in the Quran: “Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.”

It is not the “Islamic terror” that we need to defy. It is the terror in our everyday teaching of intolerance, conspiracy thinking, and mystification of the past that we need to challenge..

Da’esh is an outcome of what is boiled in our heads.


      1. i will be honoured to be ur friend.. such encounter is much closer to human relations than most if not all other social media created outlets.. somewhere .. within what we write lies who we are . and if we manage to feel close .. this is the base of friendship.. thank u for being a friend .

      2. Thank you…I am honored…..I seldom re-blog but there comes a time when I read something that needs to get a bigger audience and your work is just such a topic…..chuq

  1. I understand and agree with all of the basic sentiments in this post. However, I must disagree with respect to the Koran, and I feel the same way about the Bible, Especially the Old Testament. These revered books of the Abrahamic faiths are filled with horrible things. They permit very easily interpretations which justifiably promote hatred, violence, separatism, and the like. Of course, wonderful and beautiful passages, and excellent sentiments can be found. However, for the most part, they are very dangerous books for us to use to guide our morality in this day.
    As far as I amConcerned, the golden rule is all we need, if we would just follow it. Everyone is equal, no matter where you come from or what you do, and do unto others what you would have done to you

    1. i think i disagree with your disagreement ))). I am not preaching the idea of Qur’an or holy books, I don’t know much of them and i cannot also pretend that i get what i get from the Qur’an in reading them . Part of this has to do with the mystical upbringing in perceiving the Qur’an. however, and i also dont claim i am someone who knows much on Qur’an . there rare places that doesn’t convince me , and i also managed to find my own explanations to it . we have to perceive these books first within their historical context . if we dismiss this , we definitely end up with your conclusion . at the same time we as muslems in this case are required to dismiss the historic fact because this is a holy book . it is not binding with time. the other aspect that derives from the historical context puts us in front of when and why a certain verse was formed . for instance when in a certain sura He says to kill the infidels wherever they find , it is a clear verse that speaks for a very specific battle in the time of Mohammad (PBUH). as i said before . the gap that has been created between the Quran itself as a text and the interpretation (we are talking about almost 200 years at least) was filled with all those abuses that we talk about today. in the basic islamic teaching , which of course we cannot do as public , because the mufti’s and policy makers decided it is them who decide what is meant and what is not. it is basic in islam that a muslim ( actually its says the believer) should follow what is written in the Quran and if he didnt find the answer to his quest , he should see what is mentioned in the prophet’s teachings ,and if he doesn’t , he should follow what his hearts tell him . in another occasion it says that every muslim who is an adult and sane has the right to ijtihad. what happened along the centuries was strictly politics. it is was the mufti and the sultan’s desires and wills that comprised the meaning of the quran ,and was orchestrated by hadith that is rarely true .

    2. i would also add, building on that , our relations with certain thinkers and writers. i am throwing down examples but they shouldn’t be in terms of comparison with holy books. when i read aristotle , i strongly believe as averroes has put it : if the Divine can have a characteristic of man , it is Aristotle . and yet , i am someone who resents and disagree with Aristotle’s views on women . and in a work that is as “divine” as his , one would think how can such a genius carry such ideas on women . but common sense says , that looking into the background, the history and the circumstances that occurred , his views can be understood. would this radical view of his make all his work irrespected . my answer is no . i could say the same thing about nietszche with less romanticising his lifestyle . his weirdness towards women .. but yet i believe the man was a genius . and i admit that i hold to his books as holding a holy book . but doesn’t his “fucked up” sides get his views defied . my answer is also no. ( i love this two men as u may notice)

      1. The problem is that as soon as some book is touted as the perfect word of the deity or deities it becomes dangerous, and those in power use them to incite land grabs, war, sectarianism, and to impose ancient codes of conduct.

      2. it is true … that is why the problem is not in the book. it is in the people . it should be our duty as people who believe that we r free to think for ourselves and decide for ourselves not to be dominated by those who manipulated any of those books and so many others . we should be free to build our own interpretations and our own ways of contemplating or not with that .

      3. It is so frustrating that this commonsense approach does not reach religious leaders. The world would be such a better place if it did. I really hope that it does not take too long for things to change. Hopefully, enough of us will be left when it finally does.

  2. Nadia, I agree with you, the Quran and the Bible too have passages of beauty and justice. And stories that Autumn Sky found repellent. But, those stories are told for readers to learn from, if as you both agreed, people use their own minds. What is most important for us all is to recognize our longing for union with the divine that resides in all humans when we see with the eyes of compassion and wisdom.

    1. we need to stop dividing the division of what makes the divine within us. it is sad that religons have gone to the extremities in their effects. but yet, it is not a book that leads.. it’s a whole set of ideals that makes us who were are and contribute to our worship\brainwash to a certain book instead of making it an inspiration.

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