Tuesday, September 29, 2009


1. The politicization of religion in South East Asia.

2. The negative aspects of religious extremism and xenophobia become clearer.

3. Portrayed as Muslims and Islamic problems.

4. Muslims are also victims of its own injustice and oppression.

5. Muslim community that has become the subject of private and public vilification throughout the world.

6. Questions like, “Can Islam and democracy be compatible?”, “Does Islam respect human rights?”, “Do Muslims have a greater propensity for violence than any other religious group?”,

7. Islam is not a static ideology assigned only to specific time period.

8. The various reactions to the terrorist acts have been extremely damaging to the international community for both Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

9. To describe the problem (by references to ‘Islamic’ terrorists, ‘Islamic’ militants, and the need for some kind of western military ‘crusade’) have clouded the real issues in hand.

10. Reluctance in many western countries to confront the problems for what they really are can only threaten the continuing search for real and lasting solutions.

11. The idea of Islam being hostile to the ‘West’ and modernity that ‘western civilization’ espouses is not new.

12. Muslim apologists along with militants have been indirect participants in constructing images of Islam, which not only benefit those hostile to the religion, but, perhaps more importantly, most damaging for Muslims themselves.

13. French, English and German ways of imagining Islam – imaginaries, as they have come to be called – just as there are Algerians, Egyptian, Iranian and Indian imaginaries of the West”.

14. The media in the West captured this singular and parochial view of Islam and transposed it into a discourse suitable to the social imaginary of Western countries.

15. As Edward Said the demonization of Islam is psychologically comforting because it seeks to confirm age-old beliefs about the religion and those who profess it.

16. Silvio Berlusconi in the International Herald Tribune on 27 of September 2001: “The West, given the superiority of its values, is bound to Occidentalize and conquer new people.

17. The twentieth century brought about rapid changes to the Muslim world. Not only did many Islamic countries have had to deal with and overcome the problems of colonialism, but the transition to independence have in themselves brought about other, perhaps more serious, complication.

18. But to a Muslim, what does it mean to be modern? How does a Muslim modernize, and even if he could, would he want to? He also asks the question, ‘Is ‘Modernization’ compatible with the teachings of Islam?’

19. Amongst the Muslim community, a debate has raged over the relative values of modernity and authenticity (asala), meaning to remain true to what one is.

20. For them, the outside world may change, but the Muslim’s authentic, original, eternal soul must – and can – be saved.

21. Most Muslims live an ambiguous life in which they maintain an attachment to the Muslim community without adhering totally to all the beliefs which flows from it. Therefore, everyday life and belief can be in sharp contrast”.

22. We make a fundamental mistake if we assume that the problems currently faced by the Islamic community internationally are necessarily separate from the historical experience of Muslims.

Full text of speech click here


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