Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Missing Introspection needed to counter growing Islamophobia

Editor, NewAgeIslam.com, Mr Sultan Shahin's oral statement in the Thirteenth Session of UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on 16 March, 2010 introspects the reasons behind growing Islamophobia. He says that discrimination against religious minorities in Muslim-majority countries has grown. Anti-blasphemy laws, for instance, have been routinely used to harass and commit acts of violence against religious minorities. The Report of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Asma Jahangir, mentioned the case of Christians and the minority Muslim sect of Ahmadis who are continually harassed on baseless allegations of blasphemy in Pakistan despite the government’s stated commitment to fulfil its international obligations.

In Mr. Sultan Shahin’s view another issue that may be fuelling Islamophobia is the widespread Islam-supremacism in the Muslim community. God told us in the Quran, Mr. Shahin says, that Islam is not a new religion; it is the same religion that God has been sending to this planet through tens of thousands of previous prophets. We were told that the Holy Quran is merely a reiteration of the messages that were sent before. We were specifically told not to fall in the trap of considering ourselves the chosen people. But we did not listen. We have developed an ideology of Islam-supremacism, contrary to all Islamic teachings. We have developed a theory that Muslims alone will go to Heaven, all others are going to be consigned to Hell, no matter how righteous. Obviously anyone who harbours a feeling of superiority over others cannot possibly expect to have good relations with them.

Mr. Shahin has another lament too: He says: “Then we have allowed a section of Muslims to spread among us a version of exclusivist Islam that wants us to get away from each and everypre-Islamic tradition. Pre-Islamic traditions like Hajj and veneration of Kaaba sharif are intrinsic to Islam itself. But we are told that we should behave and look different from followers of all other religions and forego all our local cultural traditions. A derivative of this same petrodollar Islam is what is known as Jihadi Islam. This Jihadi Islam is taking away our youth, brainwashing them and turning them into human bombs. It is using some verses of the Holy Quran as weapons of war. We all know that the Prophet had to fight existential battles to safeguard Islam. These verses were revealed then to buttress the war effort. But they are not meant for us to act upon today.”

Full Text of the UNHRC speech is available at:


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