Violence in Muslim Nations Not About a Video but About Hatred
The Muslim people have good reason to be angry, but their anger needs to be directed at the true cause of their suffering: the failure of political and religious leadership and complacency
Although many Muslims do not approve of the violence which has now spread to more than 20 countries since the embassy attacks in Egypt and Libya that left four Americans dead, explosive pressures are clearly building in the Muslim world. This dangerous reality compels us to ask, how can we explain such a "spontaneous" eruption of violence against America over an obscure, 14-minute movie trailer?
First of all, the video is said to be critical of Muhammad and Islam; however, it appears highly dubious that this present round of violence is spontaneous or about a video. After all, the violence broke out on the 11th anniversary of 9-11, about six weeks after the video was posted on You Tube. Yet, Muslim leaders around the world are blaming America and the video. Some of the leaders speaking out publicly are Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, the Taliban in Afghanistan, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the governments of Iran and Pakistan.
For the most part, their comments are very similar. For instance, they blame the United States for the violence because the video was made by a small group of American citizens. Muslim leaders say the video is inhuman and abominable and provokes hatred and hurts the feelings of their people. Now, some want the United States to criminalize criticism against Islam.
The Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, which has no regard for people's feelings or rights, says, "This immoral action [the making of the video] represents the highest degree of aggression against the sublime human right of respecting beliefs, sanctities, and feelings."
In addition, Egypt has officially charged seven Americans involved in the video with insulting the Islamic religion; Iran has vowed to track down the Americans responsible for making the video; and the Taliban has called for Muslims to kill Americans.
Interestingly, it is not uncommon in some of these same countries to find hatred toward Christianity, Judaism and America openly expressed in their newspapers, television programming and school books. There is also the government sanctioned discrimination and persecution of non-Muslims; the burning of Christian churches, homes and businesses; the kidnapping of Christian girls; and the killing of Christians for their faith.
Those who are interested in a more detailed account of the responses coming out of the Muslim world might want to read an article by Robert Spencer posted on Jihad Watch, "Muslim Brotherhood: 'Hurting the feelings of one and a half billion Muslims cannot be tolerated, and the people's anger and fury for their faith is invariably predictable, often unstoppable.'"
I do not know if the information in this video is accurate, or if it is a falsified, hateful attack against Islam. I do know that Islam is one of the major religions of the world, but there is clearly some sort of disconnect here, which brings me back to my original question: How can we explain such an eruption of violence in the Muslim world against America over this obscure movie trailer?
While there is no single explanation, Robert R. Reilly's book, The Closing of the Muslim Mind, offers us a likely explanation for this explosion of violence and hypocritical double talk coming out of the Muslim world. In it he analyzes the rejection of reason and truth within the Muslim world and its relationship to violence, which he traces back to early Islam.
Reilly tells us that there were two competing schools of thought in early Islam, Mutazilitism and Ash'aritism. The Mutazilites engaged in philosophical inquiry. In other words, they used reason to understand their faith and relate it to their experience of the world. However, the Ash'arites won out. Apparently their views best served the interests of the caliph, who did not want his authority or his methods questioned. The Ash'arites rejected reason and the use of philosophy.
The main reason for the rejection had to do with their beliefs about God and reality. For instance, the Ash'arites believed that the oneness of God means that only God exists and everything else is an illusion. They also believed that God is absolute and unlimited pure will and power. Thus, they assumed that all events are caused directly by God and that there are no natural or secondary causes. Consequently, Reilly says the idea of "cause and effect" does not exist in the Muslim mind. They do not see an inner logic to things. Everything is uncertain, unknowable and incomprehensible.
It should not surprise us, then, that Muslim scholars lost interest in philosophy, and it died out, as did the Greek influence on their culture. It also became dangerous to do philosophy. Furthermore, critical thinking was not taught, and ...
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