At my old job, a while ago, we were sitting watching the tv in the staff room. The news was on, and one of the stories featured Sarkozy. Involuntarily, I grimace.
A colleague asks me, “So you’re not a fan of Sarkozy then?”.
“Definitely not. I’m just glad I’m not a French Muslim.”
“I can understand that”.
“Yeah, I have to say, the U.K is definitely a good place be Muslim, compared to most countries in Europe.”
“Then why do we have such violent extremists here?”
“I don’t know… I don’t understand it at all”.
I didn’t know what else to say. His question was a valid one and I did not know how to answer it.
I have to point out something that is very obvious, but rarely stated:
Violent extremists are just as frightening and perturbing to Muslims as they are to Non-Muslims, because they care as little for the lives of other Muslims as they do for anyone else. To them, we are either not true believers, or we should be happy to die.
Indeed, death will come to us all, as Allah the Almighty and Glorious wills it, but it’s fair to say that I don’t want to be blown to bits while sitting on a bus and I’m sure my coreligionists feel similarly.
So why do these people attempt or carry out such violent acts? Firstly, I do not accept U.K foreign policy as a valid excuse or justification. The vast majority of the U.K people are opposed to the Iraq and to intervention in Afghanistan. The 15/02/03 protect against the Iraq war was the largest in U.K history. I was there and can testify to how colossal it was.
I’m tired of whataboutery. We know our deen. Injustice in Iraq, Palestine or anywhere else will not be stopped by a burning car at Glasgow airport. Such acts are not just futile, they are gravely sinful. The vast, overwhelming majority of Muslims know this, so why are some deluded into thinking otherwise?
The key phrase here is deluded. Their mind has been deceived, twisted. How has this happened?
Brother Tariq Nelson and Brother Hood, both wrote excellent posts about the cult mentality of some Muslims and Muslim movements.
Recently, at a programme of presentations aimed at converts to Islam, I attended a talk by a charity called the Cult Information Centre (CIC). The talk focused on what a cult is and their techniques of psychological coercion. The congruence with cases of suicide/attempted suicide bombers were astounding.
CIC defines psychological coercion as having two basic principles:
1. If you can make a person BEHAVE the way you want, you can make that person BELIEVE the way you want.
2. Sudden, drastic changes in environment lead to heightened suggestibility and to drastic changes in attitudes and beliefs.
So what now? I think a key is to educate our young about the dangers of such groups and thinking. Just saying “These actions are haraam”, is not enough, we must equip our community to recognise the tactics of such groups and why they are dangerous.
Some people at the talk were unhappy that a non-Muslim was talking about such things to Muslims. It’s seen as dirty laundry. Well this ‘dirty laundry’ affects everyone and we need to fix it, without squeamishness or short cuts.
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