In one word, frustration?frustration that its grandiose claims about its religion and civilisation?that Islam is the ?greatest religion? of the world, that Muslim rule was a boon to humanity?are rejected by the world.
Facts speak a different story. On religion, in general, this is what George Bernard Shaw had said: ?Religions are of no use to us today to understand the world we live in. Their understanding of the origin of life is plain fairy tale, their astronomy is terra centric, their notion of the starry sky is childish. People who are educated in these scraps are unfit to be citizens of any country.? Yet the unfit has grown. They have become a problem to mankind.
In the Islamic world, where religion is all, the Mujahid is ready to set out on a bloody jehad, to take to unremitting violence, with one single objective?to convert the world to the ways of Islam. For what purpose? To make the world an unfit place to live?
But are Muslims the only unfit people? No. The entire history of Nazism and Marxism shows that half the world can be mobilised any time for suicidal objectives.
What, then, is the way out? When Plato discovered that his own pupil had become a tyrant, he put Law above man. We must find a way to prevent the growth of these unfits. This is the job of education. But it has failed us.
?Why is it?, asks Salman Rushdie ?that the faith they (Muslims) love breeds so many violent mutant strains?? Because (if I may answer him) it is because violence is built into Islam. Fight those who do not believe in Allah, says the Quran. That is the source of all this violence. It has poisoned the entire Islamic faith. It is the only religion which calls for violence. To assert, after all this, that Islam is all about peace, which is the usual refrain of Muslims, is to fool the world-Islam sanctions violence. Allah himself is a party to murder and violence.
But was not the purpose of religion to redeem man from his brutal life of violence? Was not religion expected to ennoble human life? Neither Christianity nor Islam seems to know this fundamental truth about the purpose of religion.
But, surely, you may say, there must be some provocation for the present terrorist violence. Not at all, says Rushdie. He writes: ?The terrorist wraps himself in a world of grievances to cloak his true motives.?
Whatever the killer was trying to achieve, it is improbable, that building a better world was part of it. In fact, the terrorist is engaged in pulling down what generations had built up. Such people, Rushdie says, are against freedom of speech, multiparty system, adult suffrage, women'srights, secularism and democracy. In short, says Rushdie, they are potential tyrants, not Muslims.
What is the solution he offers? He says: we must arm ourselves with our own certainties to meet the certainties of the fundamentalists. But can there be a ?certainty? in a democracy where any Tom, Dick and Harry can take a pitch to propagate his nonsense?
Remember, the Muslims cannot blame their religion as others can do. So they have to put the blame on others.
Look at the pattern of Muslim response to global changes. The whole world has abolished monarchy. Not Islam. Every religion has gone through reform. Not Islam. The European Reformation, the Renaissance, the Age of Reason?all these passed by Islam without the least impact on it.
Why is Islam so resistant to change? Because it is afraid to be in the light, in the glare of reason. A society which has given up debate and consensus has only one alternative: violence. Such a society is incapable of self-renewal. It needs external force. It needs an American to force the change.
Bin Laden says: ?Let the world know that we shall never accept that the tragedy of Al Andula would be repeated.? But that is not what the Spanish historians are saying about Muslim rule. That is not how Firdausi, the author of Shahnama saw the conquest of Iran by the Arabs. That is not how our Hindu historians see India under Islam.
In fact, this is not how the greatest Muslim historian?Ibn Khaldun (13th-14th century) saw the Islamic expansion in the world. About the destructive habits of the Arabs, this is what he has written: ?Mark how all the countries of the world, which have been conquered and dominated by the Arabs, have had their civilisations ruined, their populations dispersed and even the world itself apparently transformed.? Indeed a terrible indictment of Islam by history.
The world has a job to do. But this is not the work of the unfit men who rule the world today.