Islamic extremism

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Islamic extremism has been defined as any form of Islam that opposes democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. Related terms include the ideology of Islamism (Political Islam), radical Islam and Islamic supremacy.

Quotes[edit]

  • I know what a profound contribution Muslims from all backgrounds and denominations are making in every sphere of our society, proud to be both British and Muslim, without conflict or contradiction. ... I know too how much you hate the extremists who are seeking to divide our communities and how you loathe that damage they do.
  • What we are fighting, in Islamist extremism, is an ideology. It is an extreme doctrine. And like any extreme doctrine, it is subversive. At its furthest end it seeks to destroy nation-states to invent its own barbaric realm. And it often backs violence to achieve this aim – mostly violence against fellow Muslims – who don’t subscribe to its sick worldview. But you don’t have to support violence to subscribe to certain intolerant ideas which create a climate in which extremists can flourish. Ideas which are hostile to basic liberal values such as democracy, freedom and sexual equality. Ideas which actively promote discrimination, sectarianism and segregation. Ideas – like those of the despicable far right – which privilege one identity to the detriment of the rights and freedoms of others. And ideas also based on conspiracy: that Jews exercise malevolent power; or that Western powers, in concert with Israel, are deliberately humiliating Muslims, because they aim to destroy Islam. In this warped worldview, such conclusions are reached – that 9/11 was actually inspired by Mossad to provoke the invasion of Afghanistan; that British security services knew about 7/7, but didn’t do anything about it because they wanted to provoke an anti-Muslim backlash. And like so many ideologies that have existed before – whether fascist or communist – many people, especially young people, are being drawn to it. We need to understand why it is proving so attractive.
  • We should together challenge the ludicrous conspiracy theories of the extremists. The world is not conspiring against Islam; the security services aren’t behind terrorist attacks; our new Prevent duty for schools is not about criminalising or spying on Muslim children. This is paranoia in the extreme.
  • When people go up and blow themselves up, and the religious leaders of this religion say nothing, something's wrong. It's not just a handful of extremists. If you buy the Koran, read it for yourself, and it's in there. The violence that it preaches is there.
  • While George Bush and Tony Blair may distinguish between Islam and extremism, Franklin Graham tells us that "Islam is a very evil religion. All the values that we as a nation hold dear, they don't share those same values at all … these countries that have the majority of Muslims." You might think of Franklin Graham as an individual, but if you are in the Muslim world, you know that Franklin Graham gave the invocation at the first inauguration of president Bush, that Franklin Graham a year and a half later was asked to speak on Good Friday at the Pentagon. That sends a signal.
    • John Esposito, speech at the UN seminar "Confronting Islamophobia: Education for Tolerance and Understanding" in December 2004 [1]
  • What's Islamic extremism? It's strict adherence to a particular interpretation of 7th century Islamic law as practiced by the prophet Mohammed, and when I say "strict adherence," I'm not kidding around. Men are forced to pray, wear their beards a certain length. Among my favorites is there's only one acceptable cheer at a soccer match: 'Allah-hu-Akbar.' "God is great." If your guys are getting creamed, then you're on your own. Things are a lot less comic for women, who aren't allowed to attend school or have jobs. They're not allowed to be unaccompanied, and oftentimes get publicly stoned to death for crimes like not wearing a veil. I don't have to tell you they don't need to shout at a soccer match because they're never going to go to one. So what bothers them about us? Well, the variety of cheers alone coming from the cheap seats at Giants stadium when they're playing the Cowboys is enough for a jihad, to say nothing of street corners lined church next to synagogue, next to mosque, newspapers that can print anything they want, women who can do anything they want including taking a rocket ship to outer space, vote, and play soccer. This is a plural society. That means we accept more than one idea. It offends them... You want to get these people? I mean, you really want to reach in and kill them where they live? Keep accepting more than one idea. It makes them absolutely crazy.

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External links[edit]

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