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]

  • There is not a problem with Islam. For those of us who have studied it, there is no doubt about its true and peaceful nature. There is not a problem with Muslims in general. Most in Britain are horrified at Rigby’s murder. But there is a problem within Islam, and we have to put it on the table and be honest about it. There are, of course, Christian extremists and Jewish, Buddhist, and Hindu ones. But I am afraid that the problematic strain within Islam is not the province of a few extremists. It has at its heart a view of religion – and of the relationship between religion and politics – that is not compatible with pluralistic, liberal, open-minded societies. At the extreme end of the spectrum are terrorists, but the worldview goes deeper and wider than it is comfortable for us to admit. So, by and large, we don’t admit it. This has two effects. First, those who hold extreme views believe that we are weak, and that gives them strength. Second, those Muslims – and the good news is that there are many – who know the problem exists, and want to do something about it, lose heart. Throughout the Middle East and beyond, a struggle is playing out. On one side, there are Islamists and their exclusivist and reactionary worldview. They comprise a significant minority, loud and well organized. On the other side are the modern minded, those who hated the old oppression by corrupt dictators and despise the new oppression by religious fanatics. They are potentially the majority; unfortunately, they are badly organized. The seeds of future fanaticism and terror – possibly even major conflict – are being sown. Our task is to help sow the seeds of reconciliation and peace. But clearing the ground for peace is not always peaceful.
  • 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.
  • When people think of Islamic terrorism, they think of Afghanistan, or maybe they think of some place in the Middle East, but the truth is that threat exists all over the world ... There are a number of threats on a number of levels, but if you are talking about terrorism it is Islamicism ... There are other threats out there, but that is the one that I can tell you occupies the security apparatus most regularly in terms of actual terrorist threats ... homegrown [Islamic] terrorism is something we keep an eye on.
  • 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.
  • While the recent attacks are not connected by common networks, they are connected in one important sense. They are bound together by the single evil ideology of Islamist extremism that preaches hatred, sows division and promotes sectarianism. It is an ideology that claims our Western values of freedom, democracy and human rights are incompatible with the religion of Islam. It is an ideology that is a perversion of Islam and a perversion of the truth. Defeating this ideology is one of the great challenges of our time, but it cannot be defeated by military intervention alone. It will not be defeated by the maintenance of a permanent defensive counter-terrorism operation, however skillful its leaders and practitioners. It will only be defeated when we turn people’s minds away from this violence and make them understand that our values – pluralistic British values – are superior to anything offered by the preachers and supporters of hate.
  • This is a vile culture and if you think for a second that it's willing to just live in the sands of God's armpit, you've got another thing coming... They want to come and live right where you live and they think that you're evil. Extremism believes that it’s okay to strap bombs onto your children and send them to paradise and whatever else and to behead people... Your dog, however, can walk side by side, your dog is allowed to have its own dog house... You can send your dog to school to learn tricks, sit, beg, do all that stuff - none of the women have that advantage.
  • There’s only one faith, for example, that kills you or wants to kill you if you draw a bad cartoon of the prophet. There’s only one faith that kills you or wants to kill you if you renounce the faith... obviously, most Muslim people are not terrorists. But ask most Muslim people in the world, if you insult the prophet, do you have what’s coming to you? It’s more than just a fringe element.
    • Bill Maher: Jeff Poor, "Bill Maher: Comparing violence of Islam to Christianity ‘liberal bullsh*t’ [VIDEO"], The Daily Caller, April 20, 2013 (archived).
  • I do agree that there are other groups that pose a terroristic threat to this country [USA]... I would say that the threat from radicalized Muslims is a unique and greater threat. It is the greatest threat... It's been going on for a thousand years, this problem with Islam and the West. We're dealing with a culture that is in its medieval era. It [Islam] comes from a hate-filled holy book, the Quran, which is taken very literally by its people. They are trying to get nuclear weapons. I don’t think Tim McVeigh would ever have tried to get a nuclear weapon because I think right-wing nuts, they think they love this country and they are not trying to destroy this country, they want to get it away from the people they see as hijacking it. That’s different than Muslim extremists who want to destroy it. And also it is a culture of suicide bombing, which is hard to deter from people who want to kill themselves.
    • Bill Maher: Steven Nelson - Maher tells Rep. Ellison the Quran is a ‘hate-filled holy book’ that inspires terrorism - The Daily Caller, March 12, 2011
  • All this talk of people who burn the Koran and nothing about the people who reacted in such a stupid way. We are always blaming the victim and not holding them -- not most Muslims, but at least a large part of Muslim culture that doesn't condemn their people... There is one religion in the world that kills you when you disagree with them and they say 'look, we are a religion of peace and if you disagree we'll f**king cut your head off, and nobody calls them on it -- there are very few people that will call them on it. It's like if Dad is a violent drunk and beats his kids, you don't blame the kid because he set Dad off. You blame Dad because he's a violent drunk.
    • Bill Maher: Islam Only Religion That "Kills You When You Disagree With Them" - Real Clear Politics, April 8, 2011
  • it should in fairness be noted, that in speaking of Muslims, we realize that of course the vast majority are law abiding, loving people, who just want to be left alone to subjugate their women in peace. ... but the western world needs to make it clear, some things about our culture are not negotiable, and can't change, and one of them is freedom of speech. Separation of church and state is another, not negotiable. Women are allowed to work here and you can't beat them, not negotiable. This is how we roll. And this is why our system is better.[3
    • Bill Maher On Islam and the South Park "Muhammad Bear Suit" Controversy. Broadcast on: April 30, 2010.
  • "Some of what people are saying in this mosque controversy is very similar to what German media was saying about Jews in the 1920s and 1930s," Imam Abdullah Antepli, Muslim chaplain at Duke University, told the New York Times. Yes, we all recall the Jewish suicide bombers of that period, as we recall the Jewish yells for holy war, the Jewish demands for the veiling of women and the stoning of homosexuals, and the Jewish burning of newspapers that published cartoons they did not like. What is needed from the supporters of this very confident faith is more self-criticism and less self-pity and self-righteousness.
    • Christopher Hitchens - Free Exercise of Religion? No, Thanks. - Slate Magazine, September 6, 2010
  • "It must now be obvious that the objective of the Islamic jihad is to eliminate the rule of an un-Islamic system, and establish in its place an Islamic system of state rule. Islam does not intend to confine his rule to a single state or a hand full of countries. The aim of Islam is to bring about a universal revolution. Although in the initial stages, it is incumbent upon members of the party of Islam to carry out a revolution in the state system of the countries to which they belong; their ultimate objective is none other than world revolution."
    • Sayyid Abul' Ala Mawdudi, Jihad in Islam pp. 20
  • "Islam wishes to destroy all states and governments anywhere on the face of the earth which are opposed to the ideology and programme of Islam regardless of the country or the Nation which rules it. The purpose of Islam is to set up a state on the basis of its own ideology and programme, regardless of which nation assumes the role of the standard-bearer of Islam or the rule of which nation is undermined in the process of the establishment of an ideological Islamic State. Islam requires the earth—not just a portion, but the whole planet .... because the entire mankind should benefit from the ideology and welfare programme [of Islam] … Towards this end, Islam wishes to press into service all forces which can bring about a revolution and a composite term for the use of all these forces is ‘Jihad’. .... the objective of the Islamic ‘ Jihād’ is to eliminate the rule of an un-Islamic system and establish in its stead an Islamic system of state rule."
    • Sayyid Abul Ala' Mawdudi, Jihad in Islam Pg. 6-7 and Pg. 22
  • Jihad is a religious means to a religious goal - to elevate the word of Allah. This is what Jihad for the sake of Allah, in the sense of fighting, means, although we accept that there is another meaning to Jihad....we have two kinds of terrorism - commendable terrorism and reprehensible terrorism. Reprehensible terrorism is an attack on women, children, the peaceful, and the innocent....[Quran says,] "Do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden, except when required by justice." In other words, a Muslim carry out certain religious duties, so when he attacks the enemy attacked on its own land, some innocent people might consequently die, but they are not killed intentionally.
  • “The question is whether aggressive battle is by itself commendable or not. If it is, why should the Muslims stop simply because territorial expansion in these days is regarded as bad? And if it is not commendable, but deplorable, why did Islam not stop it in the past? … Aggressive Jihad is lawful even today for the purpose it was lawful in those days."
  • The Sheikh has departed, may God have mercy on him, to his God as a martyr and we must continue on his path of ¬ Jihad to expel the invaders from the land of Muslims and to purify it from injustice. Today, and thanks to God, America is not facing an individual or a group, but a rebelling nation, which has awoken from its sleep in a jihadist renaissance.

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External links[edit]

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