Islamic Radicalism Going Mainstream Throughout The East, says Sultan Shahin in a conference at United Nations in Geneva
by Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam
Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam
Many Muslims, who still hate to be called Wahhabi, have nevertheless developed Salafi attitudes. You will find many Muslims in Pakistan and now also in India walking down the street in Arab dresses, for instance. Beards and hijabs have become common not only in the East but even in the West. Women, whose grandmothers never wore a veil, burqa or a hijab, are donning this symbol of slavery everywhere. Some moderate, liberal Muslims are themselves so affected by Salafi propaganda coming from all sorts of media that in their own minds they have started considering themselves hypocrites. Some are leaving Islam and calling themselves ex-Muslim. These responses are no help.
Mainstream, moderate, liberal Muslims must study their own religion. They will find so much humanity, rationalism and spiritualism in Islam that their doubts will vanish; the spell cast on them by the all-pervasive militant Wahhabi propaganda will cease to have an impact. And then they should stand up and be counted. Whatever little resources they have must be expended to stem this tide. Islam has always defeated this group in the end. It will do so again. But we will have to do something about it. Ideology can only be fought with an ideology, with a better ideology, not with arms and weapons. We have to work at promoting our own ideology, our own understanding of Islam. As a British Prime Minister once said: “It’s not enough to be nice.” -- Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam, addressing a conference at The United Nations in Geneva on 14 March 2012, organised and sponsored by INTERNATIONAL HUMANIST AND ETHICAL UNION, NATIONAL SECULAR SOCIETY and NEW AGE ISLAM FOUNDATION.
Some other speakers in the conference were: Raheel Raza, Canada Muslim activist who spoke on “The rise of Sharia Courts in the West”, Keith Wood, United Kingdom Executive Director, National Secular Society on “Church influence, canon law and civil law in Europe”, and Leo Igwe, Nigeria International Representative, IHEU, on “Religion, witch hunts, homophobia and Human Rights in Africa”. The Chair and Moderator was Roy W. Brown, former president and now Main Representative, IHEU, UN Geneva.