Saturday, January 31, 2015

What Happened to Islam?

"What happened to Islam?" Azeem Ibrahim uses this question to open his essay for the Chicago Tribune, which has been published online by the Athens (Georgia) Banner-Herald with the headline Wahhabi perversion of Islam sows seeds of terrorism.

Ibrahim argues that

Wahhabism isn’t Islam — it is a cult movement that uses Islamic terminology and has hijacked the religion using petrodollars. In the process, its adherents are killing and maiming more Muslims than people of other faiths . . .
Wahhabism came out of what is now Saudi Arabia in the 18th century, and became the state-supported religion of that country when the current royal family took over.

Ibrahim notes that Wahhabism spawned the Muslim Brotherhood, which in turned spawned both al Qaeda and the Taliban, and states "The global propagation of a doctrine that has been a parent to jihadism impedes counterterrorism efforts."

He has some observations about other religions, as compared with Islam:

All religions have their extremists. Self-described pastor Terry Jones caused an international furor when he threatened to burn the Quran. The Ku Klux Klan has been parading nominally Christian symbols like Bibles and crosses for centuries. But these movements are seen for what they are: cults that appropriate the symbolism and style of a religion for their own amoral ends. Yet when voices like Anwar al-Awlaki, or before him, Osama bin Laden, preach that Islam requires murder — a straight reversal of the truth — their message finds fertile ground.
He wonders why that is, and he asks "How did Islam come to this point?" What may be an answer to Ibrahim's question is here.

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