IMAMS SHARE THE BIG RESPONSIBILITY FOR EXTREMIST IDEOLOGY:
THEY CAN’T REDUCE IT OR INCREASE IT
WHAT THEY WILL CHOOSE?
“And (remember) when the Lord of Ibrahim tried him with (certain) Commands, which he fulfilled. He (Allah) said (to him), ‘Verily, I am going to make you an Imam’. [Ibrahim) said, ‘And of my offspring (to make Imams?'(Allah) said, ‘My Covenant (of Imamat) includes not the Zalimun (wrongdoers)”(2:124—Albaqarah:124,The Noble Qur’an)
وَإِذِ ابْتَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ رَبُّهُ بِكَلِمَاتٍ فَأَتَمَّهُنَّ قَالَ إِنِّي جَاعِلُكَ لِلنَّاسِ إِمَامًا قَالَ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِي قَالَ لاَ يَنَالُ عَهْدِي الظَّالِمِينَ Al Baqarah:124
The concept of Imam in Islamic Religion must be understood in right way because it has no universal meaning. When people hear the word “Imam” they usually imagine the religious person who formally leads the Islam in practical activities regarding the belief. However, it is very important to make a distinction between Sunni and Shi’a imam because the differences come from the Sunni and Shi’a Islam.
According to Sunni branch of Islam, the imam is an authority who is organizing the formal prayers and everything which could be put under the term of Fard, the obligated religious duty commanded by Allah (SWT). The imam in Sunni Islam is a central role in every mosque but his preaching is some kind of vivid faith so it could be done beside the mosque too. The most important prayer, The Friday jummah prayer is always appointed by the certain imam who also delivers the khutba (sermon). He is standing in the front of believers, lead them on the road of belief, through reciting of the verses from the Noble Qur’an,showing to the people the way they have to act during the prayers. The imam is responsible for many different type of prayers, but also for taraweeh – nightly prayer during the holy month of Ramadan. These religious leaders are the people who are chosen among the best in Islamic knowledge and moral credibility. At least, that is how it should be.
On the other side of Islamic pole, Shi’a imam has bigger role because he is appointed by God so he can’t commit the sin, based on Shi’a context of belief in ismah, so called incorruptible innocence.The imam here is shaping the community through his example of highest religious divine and people are forbidden to question them since they were chosen from God.
The imams are the crucial elements of Ummah nowadays and the core of religious gatherings in Muslim societies. Their role has moved silently from the field of pure theological aspects to the field of pure ideological and political values. They do not stay in the area of their spiritual work, they stepped forward and now they influence the major issues of the system.
The past times were giving as the portrait of imam who is welcoming people in the home of religion, in mosque, teaching them to develop their inner peace and to build healthy family relations The modern times are giving us the army of imams who are considering themselves active in changing the political and ideological structure by their teaching and introducing people into religion.
The current global security situation regarding the rise of terrorism in the Middle East, opened the chapter about the Islamic extremist ideology which seems to be a base for terrorism as itself. It is not the religion which motivates some people to do some very bad things, it is ideology lead by one group of people what inspires another group of people to kill in the name of God. Accusing the whole religion of Islam for extremists minds which have been found among Muslims and for their evil deeds against Muslims and non-Muslims is nothing but the lack of knowledge or even pure ignorance. Why? First of all, theological dimension. Religions are perfect but people aren’t. There is no God who can hate His children but people can love and can hate, it is up to their free will. Second, social dimension: 1, 6 billion Muslims and if we calculate terrorist maths and possible number of 150.000 militants, it is less than 1% of Muslims who could be considered as willing to be a part of the known terrorist agenda. Third but not less important, political:the fact is that Islamic generated terrorism hits Muslims above all others. So basically, terrorism of this kind doesn’t contribute to Islam but rather offering the negative image and destabilize the potential success of Islam in some peaceful ways.
The dark ideological pattern of Islam which is made by extremists and abused in daily vocabulary by them is nothing but a tool for achievement of some political points. The cocktail of so called hybridized Islam manufactured by ISIS-DAESH is often mistaken in social and tabloid media for Islam as a set of real religious values. That is also the result of uncontrolled propaganda when everything is available to be shared but nothing is available to be checked and corrected if it is wrong. The hysterical obsession of the Western World with Islam in last months is visible through the information shared online. It is a fact that the whole Judaeo-Christian part of the world has a problem with the shadow of possible rise of the Caliphate and the implementation of the strict Islamic law- Shari’ah Law. Actually, that is something normal if we keep in mind that religious wars in history between Christianity and Islam have been very bloody for both sides. The books are full of unforgettable stories of clashes among people who believe in God and who worship Allah(SWT). If it is not so tragic for the whole civilization, it would be almost funny to see how human being are failed to understand that they all have and worship only one God but under the different names.
I found so may disrespectful comments about Islam in majority of media. Fear makes wolf bigger than it is really. Identifying terrorism and Islam is not a self-defense, it is a western suicide. Many Muslim people live for years on the West so if we call them extremists we already somehow deny their positions in our societies and make fertile soil for real extremism to be born. Personally, I believe it must be set some standard in debating about Islam without offending it. Every insult of something which is holy for majority of Muslims will cause that some people get more frustrated and more opened to be misused for carrying on the extremism against those who will be labeled as the enemies of their religion. It is not about silence because of fear from revenge, it is about respectful elaborating of the position of Islam nowadays and questioning the religious authorities about it, if we have doubts.
There are “experts” who write about Prophet Mohammad (s.a.v.s.) that he was pedophile, because his wife was 6 or 7 years old. This kind of information is based on lack of knowledge about that period of time back in ancient history.It is a fact that Aisha was promised to Prophet Mohammad(s.a.v.s.) in very early age but most of the historians confirm that marriage was consumed after she reached puberty, when she was about 13 years old. Sadly, the whole world in that primitive ages has in common so called early marriages. King John of England married a 12 years old girl around 1198. That practice was overall and all we should do now is to prevent the cases of pedophilia which occur within our modern countries and now. The problem of child brides is still present. The situation in Yemen is almost becoming the horror for young girls but the cases are recorded among Westerners too. We are aware of minor prostitution and how many of Europeans and Americans are traveling to Thailand, Vietnam and Philippines for simply “weekend sexual fun” with children.
The same “intellectuals” are writing about efforts of Muslims to implement the Shari’ah Law all over the Planet. The Shari’ah Law is definitely one and very important part of Islamic teaching but not many Muslims are happy with that Law either. With the wave of spreading of Islam or in the case of some kind of global Caliphate, the Shari’ah Law would be the part of such a system. That is a true but still there are so many opponents of this Law, even among the Muslims. If we take an example of Lebanon, we would be surprised to know that 38% of Lebanese Muslims doubt that Shari’ah law is a word of God, 29% of them think it should be implemented but majority of Muslims in Lebanon believe it shouldn’t be applied on non-Muslims. Many Muslims trust in the concept of Shari’ah law as itself but they wouldn’t be ready to live under Shari’ah Law so if we think we must come up with the conclusion that having in mind the number of infidels who would oppose the possible rise of Shari’ah law and the Muslims who wouldn’t also accept it, the Shari’ah Law has no big chance on the global level. It has a chance only if it goes with Islamic Empire but it has also its exceptions as the rule of Dhimmi.
The reason for bad positions of women in some Muslim societies shouldn’t be found in Islam as a religion but in patriarchy and male dominant society.We must not forget the terrible conditions under the Talibans for Afghani women. They were suppressed and humiliated, some were stoned and killed.Afghanistan is not the only example of how male run community deals with “bride of devils” as some of self-proclaimed and fake religious authorities used to name them. The majority of men dont like seeing the women being on the top positions and that is not up to Islam. That is up to male feeling of insecurity in the presence of self-confident female. The years and years of gender education have made the male of West being respectful. The same is to be expected in Islamic World. However, some people still do not have interests to enable women the prosperity but there are also many positive cases that women are highly appreciated in professional way in many Muslim countries as well.Prophet Mohammad (s.a.v.s.) said, according to Abu Hurairah:“And you are recommended to treat women with the best … and indeed you are advised to treat women with goodness.” Lets look for a moment the following Bible verse:“An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain”(Proverbs 31:10-11) Sadly but 25% of American women are facing up with beating by their husbands during the lifetime. Conclusion? Obviously, people use those moments from religion which they find useful in right moment.
These are some of the main points of struggles between Islam and the rest of the world at this moment. The savagery of the Islamic State, the thousands of refugees and possible illegal immigrants and the escalation of domestic -home grown extremism and terrorism is a solid base for sharing button on social media to do even more damage with fake data than reality as itself.
However, this is an irreversible process. I tried to show here the Western way of seeing Islam so I can try showing the way of growing extremism within Islam, lead by some bad and evil imams, who are in positions to shape and reshape the public sense. I am not addressing the highly educated and moral inspired imams who teach the youth about the positive values and help them to get rid of negative. I am addressing those who are some kind of malign imams in Muslim communities. They used to be highly educated and once upon a time, they were considered as ethic people. What happened in between and how they chose the dark side of the ideology instead of light road of religion it is a question for deep consideration and research?!
Dave Gaubatz. the investigative journalist and counter terrorism officer of the Clarion project of the USA published his article in 2012 about his research regarding the teaching of children in American mosques. He was writing that he visited over 250 Islamic centers and schools throughout the States:” The goal of my research has been to determine what Islamic leaders are teaching the young and innocent Muslim children. The findings are abhorrent, sad, unbelievable and frightening. Most disturbing is the fact our government is keeping this dangerous fact from the American people.Muslim children attending mosques and Islamic schools are being taught to hate America, our government, our military personnel and its non Muslim population. In this article I will identify three significant mosques in America that are leading the way in teaching Muslim children to hate and influencing them to commit violent acts inside our country.Children as young as seven years old are being taught that to assimilate with America is to disrespect and dishonor Islam. They are being taught that our military personnel are the enemies of Islam, and that it is justifiable to kill anyone who dishonors or oppresses the Islamic ideology.During my research I have identified numerous mosques that are teaching young Muslim children to hate America and are leading them to commit future violent acts against our country and innocent people. I would like to focus on three such mosques.”Mr. Gaubatz wrote about Dar Al Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, Virginia and its bookstore Halaco Bookstore provided by Wahhabi materials. It is interesting that main imam of this mosque in the period of 2001-2002 was Anwar al-Awlaki. As this journalist is stating in his article, the most of materials were dealing with violent jihad and Shari’ah Law indoctrination:”One of the DVD’s and books I obtained was by an Islamic scholar Ahmad Sakr. Sakr travels the U.S. visiting Islamic schools and educates them in Sharia law. I have watched one of his videos in which he tells the young children our government is evil and not to follow the laws of our country and Americas government leaders will all go to hell.The material provided by Dar Al Hijrah and their selected Islamic bookstore also was filled with violent jihad. There were manuals informing the readers how to destroy America, and how to kill anyone who oppresses Islam. They are told how to obtain weapons, including weapons of mass destruction. Although all of the above is very disturbing and should (and actually is) against the law, the Muslim leaders of Falls Church are allowed by our government to indoctrinate the Muslim children into future violence against our country.”
The next hateful mosque, based on Dave’s research from the ground, is The Al Farooq mosque in Nashville, Tennessee. He warns that this place is even more disturbing because it approves many sins within the mosque,especially regarding the child marriages. On the third place, we have Taqwa, Brooklyn, New York leaded by Imam Siraj Wahhaj and his teaching is very aggressive:”Those who struggle for Allah, it doesn’t matter what kind of weapons, I’m telling you it doesn’t matter! You don’t need nuclear weapons or even guns! If you have faith in Allah and a knife!! If Allah wants you to win, you will win! Because Allah is the only one who fights. And when his hand is over your hand. whoever is at war against my friends, I declare war on them.” (From a video of a sermon from Sept. 28, 1991 by Sirah Wahhaj called “The Afghanistan Jihad,” given in Toronto, Canada.) This imam was considered as one of the most violent imams ever because his Jummah speeches were full of hatred and call for Shari’ah Law in America.
This Sirah Wahhaj imam type is a new generation type of imam. We will call them violent imams and financed directly by Wahhabi money. An enormous amount of money is delivered around the world with the purpose to build Wahhabi teaching centers, to train imams for this kind of belief. Also to prepare young and mostly uneducated people to adopt the intolerant ideology which could lead one day directly to extremism and terrorism:“Although the Wahhabi curriculum was modified after the 9/11 attacks, it remains backward and intolerant. Freedom House published a report on the revised curriculum, concluding that it ‘continues to propagate an ideology of hate toward the ‘unbeliever,’ which include Christians, Jews, Shiites, Sufis, Sunni Muslims who do not follow Wahhabi doctrine, Hindus, atheists and others.’This is taught not only domestically but also enthusiastically exported abroad.”
Good imams have nothing to do with Wahhabi doctrine and they do not want to deal with Wahhabism at all. They know it is just an ideology and something which Prophet Mohammad(s.a.v.s.) would never agree with. There are also bad imams who are somewhere in between, searching for benefits on one or another side. They are not preaching so openly but their speeches are full of metaphors what could be abused one day for the purposes they will have. The worst are evil imams because they are paid to preach hate and to teach people not about being good in religion but about being bad out of religion. They teach them to kill everyone everywhere who oppose the Teaching and they consider themselves more important than Allah(SWT) who they hide behind. How they can consider themselves as Muslims at all when they do not follow any rule of religion but replace it with their own rules? They call people to stand up against western tyranny and for Shari’ah law and they forget that Sunni Muslims are obligated not to stand up against oppressors if there is any. The rebellion is not acceptable for Sunni Muslims in order to be Sunni Muslims.
This violent ideology is allowed for years back because of some interests on the geopolitical table and it will be tolerated till the moment it doesn’t work for higher goal anymore. Sometimes, I think that these barking imams are like a decor of extremism and a good coverage for really bad things which are happening on daily basis.
The extremist ideology is not a naive problem and it cant be solved over one night but it is also a big question who supports this ideology and why?Who has the interest to tolerate it while the whole normal world if suffering from its consequences?!
It is up to an individual state to follow the virus of extremism on the local ground and to prevent it. It is also very important to not let any extremists on the another side of Judaeo- Christian or secular side of the civilization to rise up and to bring us the final end. Armageddon is another world for the triumph of human stupidity and dark forces. Nothing else. That is why we all need to rise above the limitations and to deal with these problems rationally and not irrationally.These problem come from people not from God, not from Allah.