CHARLOTTE, NC, January 17, 2016 – Hugh Fitzgerald wrote an analysis of Islam in early January in which he presented a poignant history of the religion and how to cope with it in the modern world. Perhaps most meaningful however, he suggested a solution to the problem.
Fitzgerald is managing editor of a blog in The New English Review titled The Iconoclast. His column about Islam was written from an intellectual perspective that is rare when discussing the subject of Islam which inevitably stirs emotions on both sides of the debate.
Fitzgerald’s conclusions were not necessarily earthshaking, or even new, but he presented them in a reasoned manner that made them seem plausible.
First, he asked several questions and, in the process, explained why comparisons between Islam and Christianity as well as Muhammad and Christ have little validity other than being used as tools to “justify” the actions of Islamists.
“Is it not true that Muslims pray five times a day Mecca-wards, that they emulate the mores of 7th-century Arabs, that upon conversion they assume Arab names, that they — ideally — read the Qur’an only in Arabic, and with an Arabic Tafsir (Commentary)?” asked Fitzgerald. “All this is so very different from those Christian missionaries who translated the Bible into every tongue they could.”
Fitzgerald then asks: “Is it not true that the Arabs, through Islam, have discouraged any local interest in pre- or non-Islamic histories, but have encouraged interest, among so many in non-Arab Muslims, in Arab and Muslim history? Our aim should be to always and everywhere seek to find existing or potential fissures within the Camp of Islam, and to steadily widen them merely by adducing the truth.”
National commentators have attempted to “discuss” the question of Islamic jihad, but the problem every broadcast journalist faces is an ever-present cloud that hangs over their heads. No matter how frank or open the effort to educate the public may be, anchors must always “clarify” the concept that ALL Muslims are not terrorists, that the great percentage of Muslims are peaceful and that Islam is being “hijacked” by extremists.
Every commentator qualifies their statements by using the term “radical Islam” as though there are two distinct versions of the faith.
Are there sects in Islam? Yes. Do they have differences? Absolutely. Are those beliefs accepted by every Muslim? Of course not.
When reduced to the lowest common denominator however, Islam has one goal and only one, to make Islam the one true religion in the world. Various factions of Islam may choose different methods of accomplishment, but world domination is the ultimate aim.
What Hugh Fitzgerald understands that most people in the West do not is that while Islam is fighting non-Muslims around the world, it is also conflicted within itself.
We always hear the argument that “Muslims kill more Muslims than they do non-Muslims.” But do we know why? It’s because Sunni Muslims, for instance, do not regard Shia Muslims as true believers. Therefore, to a Sunni, a Shiite is almost as much of an infidel as a Jew or a Christian. Certainly neither side considers the other to be a “true” Muslim.
Writes Fitzgerald, “in the immediate Middle East, think of the Kurds, a non-Arab Muslim people treated by the Arab Saddam Hussein with great ferocity. His Arab troops killed 182,000 Kurds, employing chemical warfare at Halabja, and he moved hundreds of thousands of Arabs into the Kurdish areas to ‘arabise’ the Kurds.
“And outside the Middle East, the cultural imperialism of the Arabs has caused resentment among the local Muslims, all the way to Bangladesh and to Indonesia, especially in Java.”
In other words, if there were no Jews or Christians, Islam itself would implode from within because the religion is founded on hatred. And therein lies the secret to the solution.
“Everybody and his brother now knowingly refers to the “Shi’a and the Sunnis,” says Fitzgerald, “but without any suggestion of knowing when the schism occurred, and what it was about, and why it matters.
“In a sense, it doesn’t matter to us, the Infidels, when and where and why the Sunni-Shi’a split arose. What matters is our attitude toward that split: whether we deplore it or welcome it.”
Rather than attempting to bring Western values to the Middle East, why not let the factions of Islam destroy each other from within?
As Fitzgerald sees it, “ideally, neither side will win, but both sides will continue to go at it, losing men, money, materiel, destroying infrastructure, and in general creating a mess in one more Muslim country. And in one more such country, mistrust and hatred between Sunni and Shi’a can only deepen. Again, why would that be — from our point of view — a bad thing?”
Ask yourself, why, indeed, would that be such a bad thing?
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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