Saturday, July 21, 2007

Moderates and Bombings

Dr. Juzar Bandukwala

Moderator's notes:

Three items are included here below by ; a) Dr. Bandukwalas b) Hasan Suroor and c) Dr. Javed Jamil.

i) When Juzar talks about beware of the new convert, he is talking about those Jihadist and not the normal persons converting.

ii) It was Madeline Albright, Secretary of State, who responed to the question that the death of thousands of Children was worth it. What a criminal mind!

iii) Leave the Muslim world to Muslims, meaning the average day to day Muslims, and not the Taliban Muslims.

iv) Dr. Juzar Bandukwala used to live in the United States and has returned back to Gujarat, India to serve the mankind there, where his services were most needed.

iv) What the extremists are doing is abhorrent, we have to do every thing possible to have them demand proof from their extremists teachers to show them where in Qur'aan they were ordered to kill others.

Mike Ghouse

Article continued:

I have read through Hasan Suroor's
article in the Hindu.I have already written on the
bombings in the Times. Suroor would classify that ' as
a state of denial'. My own son Azeem, settled in New
York has views that parallel Suroor's. But Suroor
loses his balance by quoting extensively from articles
by two ex Jihadist . We have to beware of the new

Suroor would like Muslim intellectuals and leaders to
stop blaming Iraq, Palestine and a horde of other
historical issues for the Jihadist behaviour. While I
cannot defend Al Queda type, how do I ignore the role
of the West in what has happened to Muslim lands since
the last hundred years. Even Iraq was a creation of
the West, in that three ethnically and culturally
distinct units were merged into one and called Iraq.
Incidentally Churchill noted, in 1920, 'that we could
have selected a better name, as this one is so similar
to Iran'.

Note that Saddam was a Western favorite in the Iran
Iraq war of 1980-85. They even gave him chemical
weapons, to help finish off Khomeini's Iran.
But once
he turned his interests to another Western client
state Kuwait, he was attacked in 1991.Even prior to
the 2003 invasion, the economic blockade of Iraq , may
well have killed thousands of children . When asked
about it, the then US Secretary of State replied that
it is a price that has to be paid as a collateral

In the past five years civilian deaths in Iraq, by one
estimate is about 6 lakhs. There is hardly any horror
expressed on that count. But one unexploded bomb in
Glasgow can get the whole world fuming at the horror
of the jihadists. Can we consider the Glasgow
bombings as a collateral damage, for the war inflicted
on Iraq by Blair, just to please Bush ?

Wise people in the West, in particular Pope John Paul
ll and President Carter, have realised the terrible
dangers of Western attempts at regime change in
Muslim countries . Iranian revolution of Khomeini
would not have been possible had the CIA not joined
the Anglo Iran oil company in overthrowing and then
killing the elected Prime Minsiter Mossadegh in 1953.
His crime : He was against that company paying more
taxes to a British Government, and much less royalty
to Iran , from where the oil was extracted.

Today the tragedy of Palestine coupled with the client
states of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan does burn a
fire in many Muslim minds. Western perfidy has only
resulted in the strengthening of characters like Bin
Laden, who himself was invited by the CIA to fight
the Russians in Afghanistan . But once communism was
defeated, the West quietly abandoned him and his
friends. It is that anger that burns within them.
It has become a fashion to blame moderates and
intellectuals for not condemning the Jihadists.But
Western policy has weakened moderates throughout the
Muslim world, by the total support for autocratic
dictators that toe the western line.

Yet we shoulder on, urging our community to turn
towards quality education, towards business as a
wealth generator, and towards the rights of women, as
so wisely enshrined in the Quran. It is remarkable
that Muslims do listen to us, although we lack both
money and man power. I consider that as a sign of
Allah's Grace. Note that our fight is with both : Al
Qaeda and also with the western colonial mentality. We
recognise that Lal Masjid Maulanas can destroy the
nobility and beauty of Islam.

But leave the Muslim world to Muslims. We can manage
our own affairs. I hope the price paid in Iraq is so
high, that no future Western leader will ever repeat
Palestine or Iraq .

Only our heart knows the pain.


Debate or denial: the Muslim dilemma
Hasan Suroor

More Muslims need to realise that Islamist terrorists are not simply "misguided" individuals acting on a whim but that they are people who know what they are doing and they are doing it deliberately in the name of Islam.

Judging from much of the Muslim reaction to the latest Islamist outrage ¡½ last month's attempted bombings in London and Glasgow ¡½ the community seems to have talked itself into a default position in relation to violent Muslim extremism. The same old arguments are being flogged again betraying an unwillingness to acknowledge either the scale of the problem or its nature. The fear of making the community or Islam look bad has created a strange silence aroun d issues that lie at the heart of the Islamism debate.

Broadly, the Muslim argument is that it is all down to a host of external factors. Top of the list is the western foreign policy, especially with regard to the Palestinian issue, compounded by the invasion and continuing occupation of Iraq. Then there are social and economic reasons such as lack of education and high rate of unemployment in the Muslim community ¡½ again attributed to external causes such as racial or religious discrimination.

In other words: don't blame us; it is all other people's doing. We are only the victims. As someone who feels the same pressures as other Muslims, I wish this was true. But it isn't. It not all other people's doing. We are not just the victims.
I used the term 'default position' as an euphemism. There is a more robustly appropriate term, which is being increasingly used to describe the Muslim position: denial. The view that Muslims are in denial of the extent of the problem and their own responsibility in dealing with it is no longer confined to right-wing Muslim-bashers. Even liberal opinion has started to shift.

Appearing on an NDTV panel discussion last week, I was struck by how closely my two distinguished co-panellists ¡½ one in New Delhi and the other in Bangalore ¡½ stuck to the 'default' position. They kept refer ring to "looming images" from Iraq and Palestine; and to the frustration and "anger" bred by American and British foreign policy. There were obligatory references to social deprivation etc., etc. And as for the three Indian doctors suspected to have been behind the London-Glasgow plot, they were simply "misguided" individuals acting alone.

There was much hand-wringing when the anchor underlined the fact that Muslims had been behind all recent acts of terrorism. Yes, it was worrying. Of course, the community condemned any violence committed in the name of Islam, a peaceful religion. And, indeed, there was need for introspection and discussion. But all this was hedged in with so many "ifs" and "buts" that the whole debate seemed like a huge exercise in denial. At least up to the point where I was cut off because the satellite time ran out.

It is the response of a community that sees itself under siege and is irritated that every time a Muslim does something silly it is expected to stand up and apologise. Add to this the prevailing Islamophobia (it is pretty widespread, make no mistake about it), and it is not difficult to understand why Muslims are in this defensive mood. But how long will they continue to shy away from facing the truth? And the truth is that many of their assumptions about the underlying causes of extremism are flawed. Every fresh terrorist attack chips away at the idea that foreign policy and socio-economic factors are the sole drivers of Islamist extremism, making the Muslim default position more untenable.

Hassan Butt, a reformed British extremist, recalls how "we used to laugh in celebration whenever people on TV proclaimed that the sole cause for Islamic acts of terror like 9/11, the Madrid bombings and 7/7 was Western foreign policy." Writing in The Observer, he said if he was still stuck in his old ways, he would be "laughing once again" at suggestions that the June 29-30 failed attacks were motivated by anger over British foreign policy.

Mr. Butt criticised Muslims and liberal non-Muslim intellectuals and politicians for failing to recognise the "role of Islamist ideology in terrorism" ¡½ an ideology that, according to another lapsed extremist Shiraz Maher, preaches a "separatist message of Islamic supremacy" and seeks to establish a "puritanical caliphate." Mr. Maher knew Kafeel Ahmed, the Indian who tried to blow up Glasgow airport and is now fighting for his life in a hospital in Scotland.

Both Mr. Butt and Mr. Maher were activists of Hizb-ut-Tahrir, one of Britain's most controversial radical groups with a long and notorious history of recruiting potential jihadis in mosques and on university campuses. Mohammed Siddique Khan, who masterminded the 7/7 bombings, was a member of Hizb at the same time as Mr. Butt. The July 7 attacks were widely attributed to the invasion of Iraq and other west-inspired "atrocities" against Muslims. According to Mr. Butt, though many extremists were enraged by the deaths of fellow Muslims across the world "what drove me and many of my peers to plot acts of extreme terror within Britain, our homeland and abroad, was a sense that we were fighting for the creation of a revolutionary state that would eventually bring Islamic justice to the world."

Arguably, defectors are not the most reliable of people and there is, inevitably, an element of exaggeration in what they say about the organisation they have left and of their own role in it. Yet, so long as we are careful to remember where they are coming from and don't allow ourselves to be mesmerised by their insiders' account, they remain our best guide to understanding the world they have left behind. It is only an ex-extremist who can help us get a glimpse of what goes on inside an extremist organisation and sometime that can change our perceptions of an issue in a fundamental way. So, when people like Mr. Butt and Mr. Maher debunk some of the most widely held assumptions about the nature of Muslim extremism it is important to pay heed. And they are not the only ones. Ed Husain, another ex-Islamist, has written a whole book ( The Islamist) warning against complacency.

First and foremost, Muslims must acknowledge what Ziauddin Sardar, one of Europe's most prominent Muslim scholars, calls the "Islamic nature of the problem." Islamist extremism has not descended from another planet or been imposed on the community from outside. It breeds within the community and is the product of a certain kind of interpretation of Islam. And, in the words, of Mr. Sardar, terrorists are a "product of a specific mindset that has deep roots in Islamic history."
In a seminal essay, "The Struggle for Islam's Soul" (New Statesman, July 18, 2005), Mr. Sardar argued that Islamists were "nourished by an Islamic tradition that is intrinsically inhuman and violent in its rh etoric, thought and practice" and this placed a unique burden on Muslims as they tried to make sense of what their co-religionists were doing in the name of Islam. "To deny that they are a product of Islamic history and tradition is more than complacency. It is a denial of responsibility, a denial of what is happening in our communities. It is a refusal to live in the real world," he wrote.

Mr. Sardar's views are significant. He is a practising Muslim with deep grounding in Islamic theology. He was deeply upset by Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses and is often involved in verbal duels with Islamophobic commen tators. But as he points out because he is a Muslim and it is in the name of his religion that terrorists are acting, he believes it is his "responsibility critically to examine the tradition that sustains them."

More Muslims need to realise that Islamist terrorists are not simply "misguided" individuals acting on a whim but that they are people who know what they are doing and they are doing it deliberately in the name of Islam. However perverted their interpretation it remains an interpretation of Islam and it is not enough to condemn their actions or accuse them of hijacking Islam without doing anything about it.

Let's face it; there are verses in the Koran that justify violence. The "hard truth that Islam does permit the use of violence," as Mr. Butt points out, must be recognised by Muslims. When Islam was in its infancy and battling against non-believers violence was deemed legitimate to put them down. Today, when it is the world's second largest religion with more than one billion followers around the world and still growing that context has lost its relevance. Yet, jihadi groups, pursuing their madcap scheme of establishing Dar-ul-Islam (the Land of Islam), are using these passages to incite impressionable Muslim youths. Yet there is no sign of a debate in the community beyond easy platitudes, and it remains in denial.

Dr. Javed Jamil's Comments:


Maqbool Siraj is my friend and a very sensible young man with a good insight in the world affairs. But I am sorry to say that his latest article has come as a shock to me. It is totally off balance with unqualified endorsement of West and Westernism and the pinning of the responsibility on Muslims alone. Such an approach can please none by the perpetrators of tyranny and injustice. Obviously, this cannot bring any solution to the problem of terrorism. Western prosperity is a bottle of champagne which may appear to be a sign of prosperity and celebration but has inside nothing in store except diseases and destruction. This is high time we separated the scientific and technological advancement that West has made from the political, social and economic agenda it pursues. While sciences should be accepted and further developed there is no reason why a social, political and economic agenda that banks on the commercialization of human weaknesses, misuse of sciences for attainment of domination and exploitation of the weak should be embraced. If scientists have brought comforts, the forces of economic fundamentalism have brought Global Warming, disintegration of family system, high crime rates and suicides and huge economic disparity not only among different nations but also among different people of the same nations.

Though Ulema are indirectly responsible for the rise of terrorism it is ridiculous to blame them for the high-tech “terrorists”. If some doctors and engineers have become “terrorists” it is most probably not due to the influence of clerics; mere reading of daily newspaper is enough to arouse extreme feelings in certain groups of people. If terrorism is to be uprooted, all the factors contributing to it will have to be tackled, simultaneously, not one after the other. The rise of terrorism can be attributed to three major factors: Western (mainly American) policies, failure of official response by Muslim countries and failure of Islamic clerics to take the governments to task. American policies have shown glaring paradoxes:

First, while the West does not tire of espousing the cause of democracy, it has shown scant regard for the same when it does not suit its interests. The US continued to give Shah Reza Shah Pahelvi of Iran, a monarch, whole-hearted support against the wishes of the people of Iran; he in fact survived on this support. The rise of popular movement against him and the replacement of monarchy by Islamic democracy must have been a welcome change for the US if it was a real supporter of the rights of people. Instead it chose not to let the Republic of Iran function smoothly. It has been busy putting all sorts of pressure on the elected government and organising rebellion against it. When an Islamic political party emerged victorious in Algeria, the US did not allow it to hold reins. The Army got in and the civil war that ensued consumed thousands of lives. The “lovers” of humanity and democratic rights of the people kept smiling. What on the earth can explain the souring of America’s relationships with important Muslim democratic countries like Malaysia and Iran and its backing of the monarchies? The US is fooling itself if it thinks its campaign of bringing democracies to the Islamic world will help its cause. Whatever the US plans for Iraq and Afghanistan, the governments there will ultimately land in the hands of Islamic revolutionaries. In Iraq it will happen sooner than the US can expect. The Muslim masses do not tolerate the US; the democratisation is therefore not going to help it. If it thinks it can manipulate political groups within these countries, this strategy is not going to work.
Second, while the US wants every other country to honour “international opinion”, it hardly cares itself for what the world thinks about it. The overwhelming opinion of the world was against the invasion of Iraq; it still chose a course itself and treaded it along with a handful of its followers. It disregarded the UN, which it thinks must always submit to its demands. The truth is that “International community” for the US means nothing but America, and “international opinion” means nothing but the opinion of the President of America. The “champions” of democracy would not tolerate democracy in the UN. The fate of the world should be decided not by the mutual consent of all the countries but by the will of the lone Super Power.

Third, while the US would not waste a minute in declaring the actions of terrorist organisations as barbaric, it would do everything, civil or barbaric, to satiate its lust of power. The US forces killed thousands -- the estimate varying from a minimum of 150 to the maximum of 600 thousands -- of innocent Iraqis. The responsibilities of all killings in Iraq after the invasion fall on the US. It made open attempts of the assassination of the President of a member of the UN, and later put rewards on his and his men’s heads. Its soldiers tortured, molested, humiliated and sexually abused Iraqi prisons; the worst inhuman treatment was reserved for the prisoners at the Guatanama Bay. While it regards the death of innocents as “collateral damage”, it is not going to accept that the loss of innocent lives in terrorist attacks may also be labelled as collateral damage.

Terrorism would in all probabilities not have emerged had the governments in Muslim countries not been blindly pursuing the American line. If they had even allowed the masses to demonstrate peacefully, things would not have got that far. Terrorism is an act of frustration; when the governments do not act the way the masses want it to, some groups emerge from among them, which use the means available to them to try to stall the march of their detractors. While wars are the method of the strong to subdue dissent, terrorism is the weapon of the weak to challenge the mighty. Terrorism is worth condemning but less than the full-fledged wars by the strong nations against the weak. Terrorists must be condemned but in the same breath American government must be condemned. For its heavy-handedness in dealing with other countries, its exploitative policies at the global level, its attempts to hijack all international institutions including the UN, its support for social evils, even their export for its own economic ends and for its unjust policies towards the genuine grievances of Muslims.

Third, Muslim masses want to see clerics perform their religious duty without fear or bias. Clerics have failed to understand, at least put into practice, the real mission of Islam: bringing peace to the whole world. The fact is that they have hardly any idea of what is happening in the corridors of power at the global level; they have been a virtual failure in recognising the demands of the emerging world and planning an Islamic response to them. The world has become a haven for the forces of evils; evils of all kinds are destroying the individual, family and social lives of the people. But clerics are only busy eulogising their mentors, religious and political. This provides an opportunity to those to step in who have the will and courage to challenge the devil but not the following to pursue their goals in a peaceful manner. They have no option but to resort to undesirable if not entirely prohibited means.

The Western analysts have also responded to the “terrorist” problem rather childishly. Most of them have used it as an alibi for venting their own hatred or misgivings about Islam and Muslims. They have demonstrated a partisan approach. They have culled from the pages of history a few isolated incidents where Muhammad (Peace be upon him!), as the Head of State, ordered the execution of a few persons who were busy masterminding rebellion against the on-rushing revolution. They forget that this order of the execution of less than ten persons was preceded by amnesty for the whole city of Mecca. They also ignore that even the most modern heads of state try to protect their countries from visible threats by openly or clandestinely ordering the execution of the biggest tormentors. When Khomeini punishes the leaders of the enemies of Islam, the whole world yells in unison. But when Bush orders the killing of the current and former heads of state and a number of other enemies of the US and puts rewards on their heads, the world keeps quiet.

Dr Javed Jamil
Executive Chairman
International Centre for Applied Islamics

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quraan burning

Planned Muslim Response to Qur'an Burning by Pastor Jones on September 11 in Mulberry, Florida

August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas

Mike Ghouse
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916

Mirza A Beg
(205) 454-8797


We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.

Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”

God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.

We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration ( held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.

Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.

As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.

We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.

We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.

We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.

Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.

Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.

We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.


Thank you.


The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.