Monday, October 27, 2008

COMMENT: America killing off Islam?

Recently I was scanning some comments left on a Washington Post blogpost by associate editor and lawyer Wajahat Ali. One comment went something like this ...

Why Americans are skeptical of Islam and Muslims, besides the 9/11 and now 5 Muslims tried for a terror plot on Fort Dix ?

Because Islam is easily compared to Communism. Both are intolerant, violent and expansionist ideologies. Only difference is one does it in the name of Allah the other does it in the name of equality for all humans. Both are failed idelogies. When America can ban and destroy Communism, then why not Islam?
Did America destroy communism? Or did communism implode? Or was it a victim of stronger forces such as nationalism?

Is this really a case of America destroying an ideology? Is Islam just an ideology? What about America's core must necessarily contradict the core of Islam? Indeed, what is the core of America?

Is America a society built on religion? Perhaps more Americans are on the surface becoming more convinced about the need for certain forms of conservative Christianity to play a role in politics. But How long will this trend last?

Communism was imposed on many people living in communist countries by force. The same is true for Islam in many countries. It's little wonder that so many young people living in Iran have turned their backs on faith. And if Islam represents a regime that murdered two of my daughters, I'd probably join the faithlessness of Afghan asylum seeker Abdul Azeem Rajabi ...

He had reason to fear the Taliban in 2001. His family had connections to the previous communist government, and as if this wasn't reason enough for the Taliban to want him dead, he had given up his Islamic faith and had married outside his tribal group.

The Taliban came looking for him and captured his father, who refused to say where his son was. So he was beaten with electrical cords. "When he came home he was unable to walk or talk or sit," the son says in the documentary.. "His entire body was blackened with bruises."

He died two days later. So Mr Rajabi fled to Australia, leaving behind his wife and children, in hiding in Iran, waiting until they could join him.

How his two young daughters came to be killed by the Taliban a year later is a tragic consequence of Australia's refusal to grant this Afghan father asylum when he came begging for refuge ...

For other people living in nominally Muslim societies, Islam represents a liberating force, one that guarantees them security and a source of certainty. They include people living in the United States.

So can America destroy Islam? Does destruction of an entire faith represent a realistic goal for the world's only remaining superpower? Does anyone else have anything to say about these questions?

Words © 2008 Irfan Yusuf

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