By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
September 16, 2013
The Quran tells us: ‘Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend’ (41:34).
Taking into consideration this verse, I believe, contrary to what many Muslims constantly repeat, that there are no enemies of Islam as such. I do not subscribe to this theory of there being ‘enemies of Islam’. If there is an enemy, that enemy is enemy of the Muslim community, and not of the religion of Islam. The religion of Islam is a natural religion. It is the voice of every man and woman. How, then, can a person be an enemy of one’s own nature? I’ve written about this in more detail in my book, Islam the Voice of Human Nature.
If there is no ‘enemy of Islam’, why, someone might then ask, do many Muslims use this phrase and fervently believe that they are surrounded by what they call ‘enemies of Islam’? According to my analysis, Muslims, through their own wrong policies, have created their own enemies. These enemies are a product of reaction to Muslims’ negative activities. When Muslims claim that these enemies are ‘enemies of Islam’, they only try to cover up their own mistakes by wrongly taking the name of Islam in this regard.
In this sense, what is termed as ‘Islamophobia’ is to a large extent a phenomenon created by Muslims themselves because of their attitudes and actions. I firmly believe that there is nothing as ‘Islamophobia’ as such. What exists is actually Muslim-phobia, and Muslim-phobia is only a reaction on the part of others to Muslims’ own activities, often wrongly in the name of Islam. If some people of other faiths are resentful of Islam, what they are really resentful of is Muslims, because of the Muslims’ own actions, often in the name of Islam, rather than Islam per se. It should thus really be called ‘Muslim-phobia’, and not ‘Islamophobia’—and this, we must keep in mind, is a creation of the Muslims themselves. So, what is needed is for Muslims to reform themselves—then everything, including other peoples’ negative perceptions about Muslims and Islam, will be settled. It is a two-point formula: first, Muslims must admit that this phenomenon is ‘Muslim-phobia’ and not ‘Islamophobia’ as such. Second, they must correct themselves. It is the duty of right-thinking Muslims to educate other Muslims in this regard.
There are two factors behind the Muslim supremacist mindset that leads to resentment and negative views about Muslims and Islam in the minds of many people of other faiths. The first is historical, and the second is contemporary.
It is a fact that Muslims of the eighth century had emerged as a great ‘superpower’ of their times. This was the beginning of their wrong mindset. From the Umayyad period right up to the Turkish and Mughal periods, all Muslim governments were simply Muslim dynasties. But, Muslims wrongly started viewing these as being ‘Islamic’ and supposedly representing ‘Islamic rule’, rather than the rule of particular Muslim dynasties. This continued for about one thousand years. Thus, when these Muslim dynasties collapsed toward the end of the nineteenth century, Muslims, consciously or unconsciously, assumed that the edifice of Islam itself had collapsed. The fact of the matter is, however, that it was a collapse of Muslim political power, and not of the religion of Islam.
This conflation of Islam and Muslims was a result of a wrong interpretation of history. This kind of interpretation developed a wrong mindset among Muslims, based on the notion of Islam being allegedly in danger or under siege. The fact was that as an ideology Islam was still safe, being protected by God Himself. If anything was unsafe, it was the Muslim community. But many Muslims started seeing Islam itself as under threat.
With the rise of European colonialism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the colonial powers successfully overpowered almost all the Muslim governments. Muslims were thus politically defeated, but not Islam. But due to their old mindset, Muslims thought that the banner of Islam had fallen down.
Another phase of this history of wrongly conflating Islam and Muslims started when, in the twentieth century, two Muslim thinkers tried to give a political interpretation of Islam: one was from the Arab world, and the other from the Indian Subcontinent. The first was Sayyid Qutb, and the second was Syed Abul Ala Maududi. They, and several other Muslim leaders, wanted to revive the Muslim Empire. They started a campaign by forming organizations for this purpose. In actual fact, they were trying to achieve the revival of Muslim political power, but they named it as ‘Islamic revival’. And for this they enunciated with a political interpretation of Islam. This interpretation was totally wrong, but due to the prevalent Muslim psyche it very soon gained popularity, among both Arabs and non-Arab Muslims. The reason of this spread was not that their interpretation was right. The only reason was that it suited what had become the Muslim psyche. But this kind of movement had no base, either ideologically or materially. So, although this movement spread among Muslims, it failed everywhere to achieve its political goals.
In the beginning, Muslims involved in this movement tried to spread it mainly by using the printing press. However, here they failed. Then they invented what may be called the ‘politics of opposition in the name of Islam’. This, too, yielded no results. Next, they invented the gun culture in the name of jihad. And, lastly and most recently, they invented what is called ‘suicide-bombing’. Muslim scholars either fell silent on this kind of suicide-bombing, or, in the case of some clerics, issued Fatwas in favour of this un-Islamic practice by claiming that it was not suicide but Istishhad or ‘seeking martyrdom’.
It is at this point of time that Muslims became negative all over the world. Negativity is so common among Muslims now that one can hardly find a single Muslim who is free of such thinking with regard to non-Muslims. It is at this juncture that they developed the term ‘Islamophobia’. They tried to blame the non-Muslim powers for this, and claimed that what non-Muslim powers were doing vis-à-vis Muslims was not on account of any justified reason but due to what they said was their enmity against Islam. The term ‘Islamophobia’ is nothing but a means to justify Muslims’ wrongdoings by blaming others.
The negative attitudes that many Muslims today have towards others are nothing but Muslim practices, as opposed to authentically Islamic, practices. These are practices of a degenerated community. They are a phenomenon of degeneration. The whole Muslim community is in its period of degeneration. There are many sayings of the Prophet of Islam which tell us that in the later period, Muslims will be reduced to a degenerated community. One such saying is: la yabqa min al-islame illa ismuhu. (‘Nothing will remain of Islam except its name’) (Shuab al-Iman). There is another saying, according to which at a later time Muslims will be present in large numbers but they will be like ghutha or foam on the surface of the sea (Muslim).
The Prophet of Islam had predicted that Muslims in a later period would follow the pattern of the previous degenerated communities: latattabeunna sunana man kana qablakum shibran bishibrin (Bukhari). For example, Muslims’ seeing themselves as superior to others is quite the same as the phenomenon that is called ‘Jewish supremacism’.
This is the crux of the matter—that present-day Muslims are not true representatives of Islam. Those who call themselves Muslims today are not the Khair-e-Ummah or ‘the best community’ that the Quran talks about, but a degenerated community. According to the Prophetic prediction, at present there is no Islam in practice. Muslims only use the term ‘Islam’ to claim that they are ‘true’ Muslims, whereas this is not the case. Although there are a billion Muslims around the world, but they are like ‘foam on the surface of the sea’.
Dear Sultan Shahin Sb, I endorse your point “some Muslim
ideologies are evil, not all Muslims and not Islam”. After rethinking of
my earlier comment admiring Maulana Wahiduddin sb, as a result of your comment,
I have directed my views as follows:
Some Muslim ideologies are evil, not all Muslims, therefore, we should
not accept “Muslim-phobia”, as for others, this title includes all Muslims. By Muslimophobia,
all the people of the world do not try to learn that there are some Muslims who
are so-called and evil and that majority of Muslims are moderate and believe
all kinds of injustice, terrorism and violence as ‘evil’. Then, Should we not
call it ‘Wahabiphobia’ or ‘Salafiphobia’ or ‘Talibaniphobia’, why Muslimphobia if majority of Muslims are moderate and
similarly why Islamophobia if Islam is represented by majority Muslims in its
If we continue to call ‘Islamophobia’ or ‘Muslimphobia’ knowing
that there are some who are evil and not majority, but what would be about
those who do not think like us but inculcate all Muslims in their concept of
Muslimophobia or Islamophobia. Consequently, somehow, they would be creating
prejudice and grudge against Islam and Muslims with no exception, taking into account
the forthcoming generation.
At this tumultuous time, we mainstream Muslims need to forbid
such evil with wisdom and in such a balanced manner that may be acceptable for
Islam, Majority Muslims and the world at large.
idea that there is only Muslim-Phobia and no Islamophobia is absurd. A problem
doesn`t go away if we close our eyes. For us Muslims every other Muslim is a
kafir (infidel). A Sufi friend visiting me explained to me recently why he
considered me a kafir. He said, » since you do not consider other Muslims Kafir
so in my eyes you are a Kafir. Period."
this is our malaise. We know it, we understand it. We know we are all kafirs in
the eyes of most other Muslims. We know Islam has nothing to do with our
disease. It is our sickness. But the world at large doesn`t know this.
the world every person calling himself Muslim is a believer in Islam. When somebody
gets three news items on his telly one evening; one saying, Muslims killed 70
innocent Christians peacefully praying in a Peshawar Church, another saying,
Muslims killed one hundred and seventy five Muslims in Africa, and the third
saying, Muslims killed 50 Muslims celebrating a marriage in Baghdad, all in
suicide bombings, this person is afraid of Muslims and considers their religion
Islam as evil. The world cannot distinguish between different shades of Muslims
and different views of Islam.
let us not delude ourselves. The world fears Islam and for good reasons. The
world fears everyone who calls himself or herself a Muslim. Some people in the
world are terrified of Islam. Some take a more balanced view and think that
only a group among Muslims is evil. But they all consider Islam at least somewhat
responsible. So I would repeat, please let us not live in illusion and sleep
soundly. Let us worry a little and do something about it.
us mainstream Muslims ask ourselves; are we doing something to disassociate
ourselves with the ideologies of terror? Are we even prepared to identify them
by name? Are we giving the world a reason to start thinking that some Muslims
and some Muslim ideologies are evil, not all Muslims and not Islam?
Dear adeep ahmeddin - 9/23/2013 9:57:54 AM
Muslim world does not « need to be captured by
the US and UK (West), » as you say, and « Westernized kicking
and screaming, force fed with secularism (the real Islam). »
The US and UK just need to stop destroying
our secular dictatorships and protecting and strengthening fundamentalist
dictatorships that are exporting extremism with the help of the West and, of
course, tens of billions of petrodollars provided by the West. Let us not
forget that the West spent billions of ddollars of its own producing the
present-day Jihadism, training and arming the Jihadis and then leaving them
alone to do what they wanted. Now it is
spending billions in creating new swamps where the Jihadists can
So let us not expect the West to do our job. The
fact that they were able to create Jihadis from among us is a matter of shame
for us. This is our war now. We have to fight the Jihadis. We cannot do that by
staying silent and even by continuing to blame the West for having created it.
They created it and are still buttressing these forces. They must have their
own reasons, whether we understand those reasons or not. But fighting Jihadis is our task now. They profess our religion. They
quote our scriptures to justify their evil. We all are and our religion is blamed for being extremist.
We can only fight it ideologically. This is an ideological war. Is Islam a political
ideology for fighting wars against infidels and killing them all including
Muslims who do not agree with this concept or it is a spiritual path for our
salvation. Let us ponder over this and join one side of the
ideological battle, eschewing our hypocrisy, even our politeness. Youcan hardly afford to be polite when someone`s
sword is at your throat.
Excellent thought! "I
firmly believe that there is nothing as ‘Islamophobia’ as such. What exists is
actually Muslim-phobia, and Muslim-phobia is only a reaction on the part of
others to Muslims’ own activities, often wrongly in the name of Islam. If some people
of other faiths are resentful of Islam, what they are really resentful of is
Muslims, because of the Muslims’ own actions, often in the name of Islam,
rather than Islam per se. It should thus really be called ‘Muslim-phobia’, and