By Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam
03 September, 2014
Islam is the second largest religion in the world. It is also said to be the fastest growing. Muslims are in the majority in over 50 counties. And though Muslims are united in the core belief of One God, there are many internal differences in practices, and interpretations.
In terms of relationship with non-Muslims, I have noticed that there are generally three kinds of Muslims: the Moderates; the Orthodox and the radical extremists.
Majority of the Muslims come under the category of the Moderates. These Muslims try to live their lives peacefully. They respect others’ belief systems and even sometimes take part in their festivities. They are supportive of interfaith harmony and they have a sense of universal brotherhood.
The Moderates genuinely feel hurt whenever they read in the news papers or watch in news channels that non-Muslims have been selectively targeted in so-called Islamic countries. They feel hurt because their own brethren are being killed and maimed just because they follow a different path to salvation. Sometimes these Moderates feel so disgusted with their own religious community that they leave Islam and join any other faith, just to show their solidarity for the victimised community.
They know that Islam does not allow this to happen and are perplexed when they see that what many Muslims are doing is actually the opposite of what is written in the Quran. These Moderates are generally quiet most of the time, but when they do speak, in a hush-hush voice, they are quickly written off as ‘hypocrites’, or as agents of America or Israel by the other two kinds of Muslims.
Now, coming on to the orthodox Muslims, they think that they are only on the right track and that every other track is wrong. Only Islam, the Orthodox says, will be able to grant them eternal bliss and that all the other religions are a mere hogwash. When they read in the news papers that non-Muslims have been killed, then they feel a sense of satisfaction.
I have, personally heard from a lot of people that the ‘1993 Bombay Bombings’ gave Muslims their “spine”. They said that Muslims could now walk without fear.
These Muslims have no respect for non-Muslims. They do not even shy away from speaking ill against them in the open. They may proclaim that Muslims suffer because of “you Hindus”, “you Christians”, “you Jews” (I am trying to emphasise the word “you” because they wish to divide the world into ‘Us vs Them’).
The second type appears bad but it is no match for the third type of Muslims. These groups of Muslims are not content with mere speaking; they want some action. They want to eliminate (not just kill), and eradicate all the “un-cleanliness” (or Napaaki) from the world. They act like a moral police, whose duty it is to remove “dirt”. One must also add that Muslims reach this level because of two reasons:
First, they have genuinely been victimised, like what is happening in Gaza. Killing innocent Palestinians will actually produce more “terrorists”. It is obviously not right to call them “terrorists”, but after 5 or 10 years down the line, when they will become a suicide bomber or join any fanatical organization, whose goal it is to kill Jews or non-Muslims, then they will be branded as “terrorists”.
Second, they have been brainwashed into believing that Islam is the supreme religion and that non-Muslims are like “apes” and “swine”. This brainwashing is a slow and directed process, which aims at bringing about a total reform to the psyche of the person’s mind. (Two of my articles have dealt on this issue –
The Radical Extremists think that they are on the right tract and those who are not on their track must be eliminated. This is exactly the kind of thinking like that of G. W. Bush’s “You’re either with us, or against us”. And these types of Muslims become the face; or rather their “actions” become the face of the news. They are the ones who indulge in activities like killings, bombings, kidnappings etc.
The great majority of the Muslims, the Moderates have nothing to do with such things. Actually they are the ones who feel the pinch of the counter reaction from members of other communities. The few Orthodox feel happy when they notice the growth of the Muslim muscle. And the Radical Extremists keep planning and plotting as to how to wipe out other religious communities so that the flag of Islam would be hoisted over the entire world.
The Moderates need to raise their voice in order to be heard. Unless they speak, the true side will not come to the forefront. The Orthodox, I think, needs to be intellectually challenged and countered. And the Radical Extremists should be militarily, but justly, buffeted.