Many Muslims are trying to convince the outside world that Islam is not a religion that produces terror. We were told that there are moderate Islam even imams, who profess and preach peaceful religion. However, the history of Islam is a story about invasions of different nations and dispersing misery around. But if this is the case, if Islam is really a peaceful religion, then why are these Muslims, imams or clerics not protesting loudly on the streets and condemning terror attacks done by Islamic terrorists? Where they are?
After 9/11 the West realized that there are interpretations of Islam which are incompatible with freedom and democracy. But it is important also to understand that Islam, like any other religion, is not monolithic. There is not one Islam. This statement leads us to the question: what Islam predominates? Judging from what we can see in the Arab countries, we can say that most of them are fascist, dictatorship, monarchies and autocracies. Some of them were radicalized by theocrats like in the case of Iran or Afghanistan under the rule of Taliban. However, most of the Muslim countries are run by secular dictators like Assad in Syria, Mubarak in Egypt before his fall, Saddam Hussein in Iraq or monarchs in Gulf States. In many ways they have fueled radical Islam. For instance, Mubarak and Qaddafi were saying to their people, you have to keep us otherwise we will be replaced by radical Islamist, Al Qaeda. But the Mubarak regime aired anti-Semitic, conspiracy movies like Protocols of the Elders of Zion. He had shown such programs regularly on the Egyptian television. He established a University where radical imams were lecturing. Their teachings were anti-women, anti-Christian. In many ways Mubarak prevented any type of reformist ideas from taking hold. So there has been cooperation between two types of fascism in the majority of Muslim countries: secular and theocratic fascism. This is why in today’s world, when you mention history, you can separate the world when much of what is coming, from so-called Islam, is destruction. But when you look at families, Muslim families you can see some change. That is why I think families are the answer for that problem. We have a laboratory here in America and Western countries where we are able to practice our faith more freely than we can anywhere under Muslim rule. Yet we profess the same faith. We read the same Quran like radicals but yet we use reformed interpretation living in the West. I think that the majority of Muslims do not want to be Islamist and live in Islamic states. And that is why we came to the West. But where are these imams, clerics that are protesting against radical Islam? I will tell you that even in the West, what is sad, is that Muslim Brotherhood mentality dominates. This theocratic mentality had been fueled by petrodollars. They have spread the ideas of Wahhabism, Salafism, Jihadism for these petrodollars. And democratic thinking, moderate Muslims have not had resources to counter these ideas that have been spreading. If one wants to understand the future of Islam, one has to look at Christian history of the West. Ultimately it will happen in Islam. Christianity became peaceful in effect of transformation during the Enlightenment. First, it needed separation of Church and state. Islam has not gone through that yet. Islam basically still has a theological perspective frozen in the thirteenth century. Many families have moderated that. But we need to push to lead the fight against the Al Qaeda of the world in order to reform these ideas.
Your observation, that Islam is still waiting for its secularization period, is very interesting. However, I think that Islam and Christianity had different beginning. Christianity inherently does not transmit any laws, which encourage violence. The Bible always prohibited murder or even to harm our neighbor. In Islam we do not see, for instance, commandments to love our neighbor. Instead Sharia law prompts to use the sword. Some former Muslims argue that it will be difficult to reform certain principles of Islam unless they are removed from the Quran. But the Bible is a story about the relationship of God with His people. This Word renewed minds of theologians and artists initiating one of the best era in Christianity: Reformation. Scholar from Harvard recently argued in his book that the birth of democracy had its roots in the return of the Hebrew Bible and Old Testament. Politicians and philosophers of Reformation discussed the Old Testament. One could draw the same conclusion about the artists. It is difficult to deny that Protestant period: Luther, Calvin, Melanchthon, Zwingli and others great leaders influenced Christianity more than Enlightenment. Some Muslims of later period were moderate but they were educated in the West: in Oxford and Cambridge. After that they brought Western culture to their lands like Singapore. They built peaceful communities, in which Islam could co-exist with other religions. However, these cases are isolated. One could wonder where is the foundation for peace in Islamic culture and religion? What are the core beliefs which every Muslim can embrace and contribute to a peaceful community?