The NATO says that Islamic fundamentalism is more dangerous than communism. Almost the entire global media has turned hostile to Islam. Everything is being done by the west to paint the blackest picture of Islam.
A clash is again building up between the Cross and the Crescent. Last time it lead to the Crusades. There was no clear victory.
The hate between the two began from the days of the Prophet of Islam. Cause? The Jews and Christians refused to accept his religion. As a result, Mohammed broke away from the Jews and Christians. Some massacre followed. The enmity has continued to this day.
The Quran warns the Muslims: “O ye who believe, take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors. They are but friends and protectors to each other.” (Quran 15. 54)
The Quran goes on to say: “They (Christians) blaspheme Allah by saying that Jesus is the son of God”. (Quran 3.75) with what result? “Allah’s curse is upon the Christians for saying so.” (Quran 9.35)
The distancing began. “Do the opposite of what they (Jews and Christians) do”, the prophet told his followers, when they sought his opinion. Thus Christians do not observe ablution and bath before prayers. The Muslims do. Christian women could attend prayers. The Muslim women could not. Christians men did not cover their head. The Muslim men do. There is no obligation on the part of Christians to go on pilgrimage. It is mandatory for Muslims. The Christians do not perform animal sacrifice. The Muslims do. Christians do not allow polygamy. Muslims do. Christians could not keep concubines. Muslims could. Marriage is sacred to Christians. It is a contract among Muslims. Christianity is a theology. Islam is a political ideology. Christians had a hierarchy, with the Pope at the top. The Muslims went for the Umma.
Muslims believe that Christians had perverted the Bible and breached the covenant with Allah.
It was the Arab occupation of the holy places of Christianity and interference with pilgrimage that invited the Crusades. It went on for four hundred years! The hate between the two became irreversible.
Arab interference with the trade from India and China to Europe made relations between Christians and Muslims worse. Europe decided to find a new trade route to the East. Perhaps the last straw was the Arab decision to Islamise Europe. They captured Spain and tried to proceed to the north. And they moved from Asia Minor to Vienna. The Muslims were driven out from Spain. Although they had to withdraw from Vienna, Islam was able to create pockets of Muslims all over Eastern Europe. They have become a major problem to Christian Europe. Today, there are about 13 million Muslims in Europe, all immigrants. They have become a major problem in most of the countries like France, Germany, Denmark, Italy and so on.
Bernard Lewis, the Princeton Professor of History writes: “The struggle between Islam and the West has now lasted fourteen centuries. Today much of the Muslim world is again seized with a violent resentment of the west.”
How do Muslims explain this conflict? They say that the West was exploiting the Muslims and preventing reforms in Islamic countries. True, the west paid two dollars for a barrel of oil when it all began. But it is paying today more than a hundred dollars for a barrel. As for reforms, the major resistance to reforms has come from the Muslims themselves. They remained impervious to every reform that took place in Europe.
It is this refusal to go with the times, that has created most of the problems with Muslims. The NATO says that Islamic fundamentalism is more dangerous than communism. Almost the entire global media has turned hostile to Islam. Everything is being done by the west to paint the blackest picture of Islam.
Even after fourteen centuries Muslims and Christians do not know each other. It was only after the Jesuit Order was founded that the west took some serious note of Islam. And the first Bible in the Arab language was published in 1670!
As a result, Islam looks upon western values with suspicion. Thus democracy, which promotes individualism, is looked upon with suspicion for it can be a threat to the collective Umma.
It is time for the Islamists to take a close look at the situation. A conflict between Christians and Muslims will hurt only the Muslims. The west can always go for alternate energies. In any case, to whom will the Arabs sells their oil except to the west?
It was Pakistan which nurtured the Taliban, the terrorists. Today it is under threat from the same Taliban. Benazir Bhutto admitted the mistake. But Pakistan continues to believe that the Taliban could be used to promote its foreign policy in Afghanistan and Kashmir.
Prof Giasuddin Sardar says: “We have given free reign to fascism with/within our midst and failed to denounce the fanatics.” It is time for Muslims to recognise these facts.