CHARLOTTE, February 18, 2014 – One of the biggest complaints about the way Muslims respond to the world around them is their inability to accept blame for anything. The extension of that problem is that anyone who criticizes Islam is regarded by the Muslim community as an enemy.
Whenever a significant event occurs anywhere in the world involving Islamic jihad one of the most notable aspects of the aftermath is the silence of so-called “moderate” Muslims. Such non-responses only further perpetuate negative perceptions about Islam. Therefore, when a Muslim actually does speak out, it reverberates with a thunderous roar because such observations are so rare.
In an article written for the Saudi Arabian daily Al Watan, Dr. Jibrin ‘Ali Al-Jibrin, a sociology professor at King Saud University in Riyadh, has boldly expressed opinions about Islamic culture that are long overdue. In the story as reported by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Dr. Al-Jibrin states “Muslims fight each other and thereby do themselves more harm than their enemies do; despite this, they prefer to blame others for their situation and believe in conspiracy theories about global plots against them, instead of dealing with their wretched situation.”
Using Arabic-style English, which is frequently rambling because that is the nature of his native tongue, Dr. Al-Jibrin’s message is still understandable when he writes, “An observer of our situation would find a group of people angry at everyone around them and obsessed with conspiracy theories, who believe that the (entire) world is conspiring against them. We accuse each other of heresy and later beg Allah to destroy our enemies because they are the ones who brought us to this state, even though none of our enemies forced us to place our finger on the trigger or fire at other Muslims.”
Even more to the point is the fact that tribal bickering among Muslims has been an on-going process for the past 14 centuries, which the professor readily admits later in his article. Citing two major battles, Jibril writes, “This reality is not a product of the current age. Muslims have been in this state since the miserable Battle of the Camel (656 CE), in which the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad) fought each other and killed thousands of the best men and Koranic reciters of the Prophet’s generation; through the Battle of Siffin (657 CE), in which Muslims became divided and killed each other; and up to acts of massacre of Muslims by Muslims later on.”
Give Dr Al-Jibrin high praise for his openness and honesty.
Professor Jibrin becomes even more vocal when he claims, “Some of us think that the nations around us have nothing better to do than persecute us and do us harm, and that they are the reason we kill each other. This might be a psychological mechanism (used) to deny (our) bitter reality. Despite all this we receive assistance from these (nations) in order to rid ourselves of the evil (done by) some of us (i.e. other Muslims], but after these (nations) are done (assisting us), we curse them (and wish) doom and destruction (upon them).”
Profound observations, to say the least, when presented by a powerful voice from the inside.
In conclusion, the professor calls for an Islamic enlightenment to propel followers of his faith into the future. “We must discard some of the misguided thoughts that control our present and replace them with honesty with ourselves and a realistic view that does not blind us to our full situation. Maintaining this state without enacting any change – first within ourselves, and later in our everyday reality – is a guarantee of chaos and the loss of hope in coming generations.”
Strong and powerful though his words may be, Dr. Al-Jibril’s call to action will likely be ignored by those who prefer to remain in the darkness of despair. Islam in its purest form is a fatalistic enterprise. Those who adhere most fiercely to its tenets are so ingrained in their beliefs that they cannot bring themselves to accept any other way of life.
When the cold, bleak shroud of winter finally yields to the blessed warmth of the summer sun, most people savor the light and bask in its radiance. Most people. But there are always those few who prefer to stay hidden in the shadows, living within that sinister realm of deception and fear.
Professor Jibrin ‘Ali Al-Jibrin has emerged from the darkness. We can only hope that others will hear his message and follow.
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe. Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com).
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