Muslim culture of rage

Salim Mansur:

Before resting its recent case against Mohammed Momin Khawaja under Canada’s Anti-Terrorism Act, the prosecution presented Momin’s former fiancée, Zeba Khan, as the final witness via a video link from Dubai. Ms. Khan reportedly stated in her testimony: “You will not meet a young Muslim man in the world who is not angry about something. Anyone who watches the news, if he wasn’t mad then, a) there’s something wrong with him, or b) he’s ignorant.”

Obviously, not all angry young Muslim men are engaging in violence — nor, of course, are all Muslims terrorists. But many terrorists are found to be Muslims. Ms. Khan’s remark purports to explain the linkage.

It is perhaps no coincidence that Mr. Khawaja has Pakistani roots. In recent years, Pakistan has become a haven for al-Qaeda terrorists. For longer than that, jihadis have recruited Pakistani boys and men to fight in Kashmir and Afghanistan. These brainwashed men may be volunteers headed out to fight infidel “invaders” and “occupiers” of Muslim lands, but it cannot be said that they are acting entirely on their own initiative.
These Muslims are responding to the political values and religious ideology promoted and financed by influential radicals. These values — reflected in Ms. Khan’s comment — provide the framework for the wider political discourse in Pakistan and across much of the Arab-Muslim world, as well.

I know Pakistani society quite intimately from studying and living among the Pakistani people. The Pakistani culture is based on collective loyalty to faith, history and politics. This makes it difficult for the country to keep up with the demands of the modern world.

I have also travelled in various other Muslim nations — from Algeria to Indonesia. Many of these societies, I’ve come to understand, are essentially failed states. Their cultures are mostly closed, authoritarian and patriarchal. While Muslim men of all ages can be genuinely friendly to strangers, theirs is a culture of boasting and quick tempers.

But when one engages them individually (especially younger men) in polite discussions of politics and history — even in a place such as Qom, Iran, whose most famous product is the late Ayatollah Khomeini — the mask falls and there is much sorrow expressed over how greatly the Muslim world has degenerated into a pathetic shadow of its past.

What is privately admitted cannot be publicly affirmed or discussed. The character of Muslim society is exemplified by the mosque culture, whereby the authority of the man on the pulpit is final and public dissent is disallowed.

The religious bigotry that is the root cause of Islamic terrorism has an internal contradiction that leads to the impotent rage of many of these young men. It holds hat the reason Muslim societies have failed is because they are not Islamic enough. so they keep doubling down on piety and keep getting the same failed results which causes them to ratchet up the piety even more. It si the inability to challenge the preachers of hate in an open debate that keeps this cycle of despair going.


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