First of all – this isn’t an Islamophobic criticism of the religion. Its an objective observation after researching the viewpoints and ideologies of many of its congregants.
I’ll keep this short. Religions, for the most part, generally have some form of hierarchical structure in terms of their leadership. Orthodox Jews have a chief Rabbi, Catholicism has the Pope, and so on. Islam has similar figureheads who serve various symbolic purposes. For a bit of insight into Islamic leadership, here is the Wikipedia entry. I thought about this for awhile, and I’m confused as to why there seems to be such a divisive disconnect within the Muslim community.
If you listen to radicals, they’ll tell you that the Quran clearly states that followers of Allah are intended to “terrorize” the nonbelievers. For a direct example of this, here is a link to a CNN interview of a couple radicals who voice their belief system. However, in a vastly conflicting approach, non-radical Muslims will say that Islam is a religion of peace, and in no way condones violence or harm to innocents.
Doesn’t it seem like someone needs to communicate a little better? Where are the leaders of the Islamic community? Isn’t it their responsibility to iron out inconsistencies such as these so they can create a cohesive, well-defined religion? Sure, religious texts are oftentimes written in a way that’s open to interpretation. That said, I would think its the responsibility of leadership to ascertain a consistent message – otherwise they’re basically allowing their religion to become two completely separate ideologies. I strongly doubt this trend of radicalization will end unless the leaders of Islam step up and get their congregants on the same page.
At the end of the day, I truly hope that we can figure out a solution to this rapidly growing problem our society is facing. Unlike traditional conflicts against sovereign nations, an ideological war isn’t something that can be ended by signing a treaty. Ultimately, only two possibilities exist that will will end this “war” – some form of compromise, reform, or tolerance on the jihadists behalf, or the annihilation of those that share these radical beliefs. Personally, as a humanitarian, I would hope we can accomplish the former through some sort of reform. If not, however, I’m an advocate of ending these heinous acts through whatever means necessary. Innocent people do NOT deserve to live in fear. And anyone that intends to harm innocent people….is not innocent themselves, and deserve to be dealt with.
Let’s hope for the best.