By Adi Chowdhury
In the wake of the global phenomenon of jihadism that the world finds itself entwined in, Maajid Nawaz has offered insight into his take on radicalism on a recent LBC show. He compares denying the role of Islam in radicalism to ignoring the role of Christianity in the Inquisition.
Read his analysis below:
“Now some of the callers that we just heard have said an interesting statement. It’s a statement I often hear and it’s that that this terrorism this global jihadist insurgency has nothing to do with Islam.
Now I find that interesting because some of the evidence used there is that they say for example the jihadis, the attackers weren’t devout. Some of them ate pork, some of them drank, some of them went to nightclubs, some of them went to strip clubs.
“And I think that you know we’re in danger here of denying the problem that is staring us in the face.”
Just think for a moment how absurd it would sound if somebody said to us that the Spanish Inquisition had nothing to do with Catholicism or that the Crusades in fact had nothing to do with Christianity, when Pope Urban the second stood up on his pulpit and encouraged the peasants to go and fight and join this great crusade and their reward would be martyrdom and eternal paradise and bliss.
Even if those peasants weren’t devout, even if they knew absolutely nothing of their religion, is it realistic to say that part of their motivation was the promise that the Pope made them that they would have eternal reward for going to fight in the cause in God’s cause and in this holy crusade?
So I think it’s perhaps slightly unrealistic. It’s disingenuous ,I’d say, to claim that this problem has nothing to do with Islam.
There must be a way for us to acknowledge that this has perhaps something to do with Islam, not nothing and not everything, but something to do with Islam.
That something could be the promises made to these young angry men women who join groups such as ISIS and may not perhaps come from a devout background but want to make up for all of that and go straight on a one way ticket straight to paradise just like the peasants who joined the Crusades.”
As usual, Nawaz’s insight into this issue is valuable and thought-provoking.
At what point do we stop and realize that a very certain ideology has gripped the minds of many of those who flock to support ISIS? At what point do we stop persisting in our refusal to call out this ideology?
Of course, not all Muslims are terrorists, and not all of Islam is violent, as Nawaz elaborated. However, there are clearly certain aspects of an ideology as dogmatic as organized religion that is to be pinpointed as predominantly an origin of vehement resentment towards democracy and pluralism. These aspects include the loathing and fear of blasphemy. The inclination to punish disbelief. The urge to suppress and wipe out doubt. The belief that one certain religion holds the key to ultimate truth and thus deserves to be perpetrated as a way of life and thought for everyone. The idea that a Supreme Divine Being smiles down at you in your effort to spread His word, sometimes at the cost of other’s freedoms and liberties.
These aspects are all found at the heart of organized religion.