Islam and Terrorism 1

Islam and Terrorism
Islam as a religion was founded on very peaceful premise. The Qur’an itself prohibits
violence. The question that has been begging for response is how has Islam been transformed
from a peaceful religion to a religion that is regarded as violent among the west? Are there any
policy measures that can be put in place to mollify the Muslims? And should the west consider
what the Muslims think despite the cultural differences? This paper seeks to answer these
It is first important to note that Muslim as a religion do not permit terrorism (Esposito,
2011). There are many Muslims who are very peaceful and do not support terrorism. However, it
is important to listen to the voices of the few who have been involved in terrorist activities. Here
it is important to put a clear line between Islam as a religion and Islamic extremism. Islam as a
religion promotes peace while Islamic extremism promotes the use of violence in the name of
defending Islam (Streusand, 2003). Krauthammer, 2002 says that we cannot refute the argument
by Professor Samuel Huntington that Islam has bloody borders. The real agitation of the
Muslims is that their religion is being overtaken by the West culture. Traditionally Islam was a
dominant religion and they used Jihads to impose their culture, values, and beliefs on other
people. This is not the case today as most people are now adapting to the western culture. The
Muslims have responded to this by putting a border between the western culture and the Islamic
culture. This has even been done through violence.
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In Nigeria when an author published an offensive image in the newspaper, the Muslims
reacted by killing Christians, burning the newspaper offices and issuing a death warrant for the
author of the article. The Muslims in this case lay the blame on Christians for loss of Islamic
values. There has also been prolonged war between the Palestinians who are Muslims and
Israelites who are the Jews. Another example is the September 11
attack on the U.S.A; this was
seen as a greatest milestone in the world of Islamic extremist because they believe the United
States is a key advocate of “satanic activities”. In countries where Christianity and Islam are
practiced on almost equal levels there have been great religious conflicts. This has been
witnessed in Sudan where the Arab Muslims have carried out genocide campaigns against the
African Christians. In these countries there have been clear borders between the Christians and
the Muslims. If one religion resides in the west the other resides east or if one resides in the north
the other resides at the South and conflicts are common between the two. This is not just limited
to Christianity; there were Pakistan- Kashmir terrorist attack against the Indian Hindus.
From the above it clearly shows that the Islamic extremists are much determined to
protect their religion. They will respond with violence any action that goes against the values of
Islam. However, some have used religion to protect their oppressive regimes. They carry out
terrorist activities against other states claiming they are non-believers. They would want to rally
the Islamic world on their side in order to stay in power. Such regimes attack nations that
advocate for human rights or oppose their oppressive regimes. This group is not sincere and
should be resisted at all costs. Those that need to be listened to are the ones sincerely fighting to
protect Islam. The important question here is that, how can this be addressed?
Despite the great difference in culture and values between the West and the Muslims it is
important for the west to consider what the Muslims think. It is important to respect their
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religion, culture, and beliefs. Muslims put more faith in Mohamed as their prophet. The west
should not ridicule Mohamed in any way.
The policy changes that are necessary include political, social, and economic policies.
The Islamic world does not hate the west as such but there are certain policies by certain states
that have led to hatred of those particular countries. Notable examples include the USA and
Britain. These countries have suffered several terrorist attacks because of their foreign policies.
Take for instance United States relationship with Israel which has caused resentment among the
Muslim nations because they believe Israel has been terrorizing Palestine (Funk and Said 2004).
The common believe is that United States is siding with Israel. In this case the United States
should take a neutral stand. The west should not also try to introduce democracies in the Islamic
countries because some of them are well run without democracy. The policies should also be fair
for example America’s attack on Pakistan for possessing nuclear weapons and not doing so on
Israel and India is seen as being biased among the Muslims. The west should also not provide aid
to tyrannical regimes in order to be seen to be fair. Individuals should be held responsible for
terrorist attacks and it should not be blamed on the religion.
In conclusion, it is the fear of loss of culture and the western policy that has led to
conflicts between the west and Islam. These conflicts are among a few Muslims but need to be
addressed because they have been the cause of terrorist activities. I believe just as Butler, 2004
that the west and the Muslim can coexist peacefully, it is just a few differences that are there
between them.

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Works cited
Butler, D (2004) Scholar attacks Arab leaders and ‘Zionists’. Canada: Informart
Esposito, J L (2011) What Everyone needs to know about Islam. USA: Oxford University Press
Funk, C N and Said, A A (2004) “Islam and the West: Narratives of Conflict and Conflict
Transformation”. International Journal of Peace Studies, Volume 9, Issue 1, Page 1-28
Krauthammer C (2002) Amid a Peaceful Majority, a violent few tarnish Islam. New Jersey:
Wire Services
Streusand, D (2003) “The Clash of Civilizations?” World and I Journal, Vol. 18, Issue 7, Pg. 20