The Islamic State is one big public relations problem for Islam
15 years after the 11th of September, there was a panel on Islamism at the International Literature Festival in Berlin. This is funded by the German government, via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The visitors got an impressing state of affairs, concerning the awareness of the issue.
Ahmed Rashid, a Pakistani journalist, was introduced as a kind of institution of knowledge concerning Islamism. If editors would not know any further, so the moderator of the event, they would call him. So he published at the most prominent outlets, the BBC, the New York Times and the New York Review of Books. One year ago, he published a book about the Taliban, which was presented here.
Rashid gave some interesting details about the intertwined relationships of various terror groups in Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and Iraq. He then showed his true colors, when he explained the doctrine of the Islamic State (IS): What they do, has nothing to do with Islam, “because Islam is not about punishment, Islam is about mercy and forgiveness.” Rashid went on to say, that Jihad is no relevant concept in Islam, the Caliphate also, and suicide attacks are un-Islamic, because suicide is forbidden in the scriptures.
On the 15th anniversary of 9/11, the almost 30.000 attacks in the name of Islam were portrayed a kind of unexplainable, perpetual misunderstanding, again, this time with compliments from the German Foreign Ministry in Berlin.
Against all evidence
Dozens of texts in Quran and Hadith, and dozens of Fatwas about these issues are totally clear. The central role takes Sura 9, verse 111, “to kill and be killed in the way of Allah,” the fight against the unbelievers, that includes the assurance for paradise, virgins included. Only there is paradise promised, as an automatic result of death in the fight.
The relevant literature about Jihad, Caliphate and suicide bombings is certainly known to Mr. Rashid. In Pakistan lived Abu Ala Maududi, a man that is highly revered by many Muslims around the world (You will surely find his writings at Your local mosque). He wrote a commentary of the Quran, that is all about Jihad, and by that is very popular with radicals of all Muslim varieties. He is one of the most prominent writers about Jihad to this day, because he is so wonderfully clear about it: “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. (…) 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.”
And what says the grand Mufti of the Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Ahmed al-Tayeb, the highest Sunni authority? Called upon to condemn the acts of IS with a Fatwa, he refused to do so. “No believer can be declared an apostate (unbeliever), regardless of his sins.”
The Islamic State is one big public relations problem for Islam
But every good Muslim, and Mr. Rashid wanted to be just that, also because in the first row of the venue sat some members of the embassy of Oman, maybe also a country with an unbroken record of mercy and forgiveness, a good Muslim has, by any means possible, to deflect harm from the community of believers, the Umma, meaning: from Islam by itself. And for that, he may lie like a trooper, or rather bring his profound knowledge before the people.
In front of a non-Muslim, Western audience, such apologists of Fantasy-Islam still can assume, that people swallow all their musings. Especially in Germany, the new beacon of all refugees, that is infested with the disease of Islamophilia. But there were also critical voices:
Asked about the state of affairs concerning mercy and forgiveness in the mother countries of Islam, Saudi-Arabia and Iran, where IS-style cruelties are perpetrated against the own people very regularly, Mr. Rashid dodged. He said, there are also moderate peaceful Islamic countries, like Indonesia and Malaysia, and besides that, eras like Al-Andalus, the Islamic occupation of Spain, had shown the possibility of peaceful coexistence of various religions in Islam.
The massacre of Cordoba – a huge bloody stain in beautiful Al-Andalus
In other words: the meanwhile totally debunked myth of some Kumbaya-Islam in medieval Spain over a thousand years ago, as well as two East-Asian countries, that are in the process of radicalization right now, this is all that Mr. Rashid has to offer to save the reputation of his religion as merciful and forgiving. There seem to live the wrong people in the mother countries of Islam. It reminds of the old dictum about Socialism: a great theory, but never truly realized.
Rashid’s statements reveal the tragic conflict of Muslim intellectuals in the modern world: They know all the facts, but if the Umma, the religious family is under pressure to be harmed, they stick to defending it blindly, like in a kind of protective instinct. That is the moment, when reason is leaving the room.
Rashid was invited the fifth time to the Berlin Literature Festival. He epitomizes the ideal agent of contemporary handling of debate about Islam in Germany. He has an original background, and he pays close attention to the separation of the problem areas Islam and terror. So: The Islamic State is not Islamic, has that become clear to everybody?!
Peter Neumann, a German terrorism expert from King’s College in London, spoke after that about his new book „The new jihadists. ISIS, Europe and the next wave of terrorism.“ He also could give some interesting insight about motivation and background of Jihadists from Europe, that join IS in Iraq and Syria.
Neumann also, but more on the brink, delivered the politically desired reflexes: extreme Jihadists and right-wing populists are entering a symbiosis, they both are working in the annihilation of the existing societal system, that is very much in danger by that.
Severing heads or giving speeches – both are dangerous
For one lady in the audience, this didn’t go far enough she wanted an answer to the root causes of terrorism, including a clear assignment of guilt to the West. He would be responsible for everything in the end. Neumann refused to make that, and phrased his answer very much as well as-ish.
Very differently was the book presentation of “I will remain a daughter of the Light” of Jan Ilhan Kizilhan. The professor for orientalism and psychology is telling the story of a young Yazidi woman, that was a sex slave of IS. He writes about her torment, her nightmares, that she still has. How she was held tight by the wife of an IS commander, so that he could rape her. How she was sold on the IS slave market in Raqqa, Syria. How the Yazidi people in northern Iraq just live through the 74th genocide in their history. And how self-evidently for the Yazidis the culture of Jihad and slavery comes out of Islam.
The Islamic state was here without quotation marks, not “so called.” Because Kizilhan gathered his experiences on the ground. He was the medical reviewer in charge of a special program of the government of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, for traumatized girls and women by the IS. He interviewed 1400 of them, down to the age of eight years, that have all been captives of IS, many of them have been held as sex slaves and were sold numerous times.
To that, Mr. Kizilhan gave an interesting detail: The buyers of girls and women come from many countries, from all the Arabic countries, from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Africa. They travel far and buy only, if the girls are still virgins. Most of them are elderly and well situated.
The great work of Prof. Kizilhan
We already reported about Mr. Kizilhan on our website. He does a great work, he is the leading expert and head in charge for the individual therapy of 1100 victims, that are now all in Germany.
It is the exact opposite of chance, that Kizilhan’s view upon the issue of Islamism was so different from the other speakers. He is Yazidi and has not to defend some Umma. He is a scientist outside of the political restricted discourse about Islam and has no fear for ruining his career. He is interested in the victims, beyond their religious affiliations (there are also Christians and Alawites in the program). What he, quasi along the way, brought to light about the Islamic culture, not only about IS, but also about the voluntary complicit population in the IS- areas, by which the reign of IS is merely possible, is a crying testimony in an ocean of denial.
help us help
Chose your own amount One time or per month!
...or become a VIP-supporter
Helfende Hände für die Armen
IBAN: DE 6247 6501 3000 1112 1142
Hatune Foundation International
For checks in USA – send to:
Hatune Foundation International Inc
7900 Lenape Trl