Now We Know

  So now we know; this was a homegrown terrorist. A young Norwegian man angry with his government and perceived capitulation to immigrants, specifically, Islamic immigrants. Surprised by this?  You shouldn’t be.  This type of opinion is growing, not just in Norway but in a good many Western countries. It can’t be dismissed as the act of a fanatic.  I fear this man’s attack may be the beginning of even more ethnocentric acts.

The following may seem to be a “blame the victim” piece but it isn’t.  What happened in Norway happens all over the world, ironically enough, most often in Islamic countries.

The Muslim world needs to take stock, it needs to come together to decide what it is that Islam needs.  Call it a PR campaign.  Islam doesn’t have a centralized theocracy, instead it seems to be made up of tinpot Imams with delusions of godhood.  A perception, for good or ill, held by the Western world.

Yes, the Q’ran calls for good Muslims to show infidels the way to Allah but like the bible, interpretation is the problem.  Too many interpretations, too many people seeing violence as an acceptable method to achieve this “leading infidels to Allah” – common sense, logic and an IQ above that of a fig, should tell Muslims that leading infidels to Allah does not mean dispatching them in the literal sense.

When Muslims immigrate to Western countries, to non-Islamic societies, they do bear the responsibility of understanding the cultures of the countries they have chosen to make as a home.  It is not up to the countries to adapt to the immigrant, it is the responsibility of the immigrant to adapt to the host country.

In France, this means that women may not shield their faces.  It is a fact of life.  France is a Western country, originally based on Judeo-Christian values.  France is not an Islamic state – it does not recognize Islamic laws.  Fairly easy to figure out, regardless of whether or not one is able to communicate in French.

England – again, non-Muslim.  Long history of Judeo-Christian mores as well.  Well established system of government.  Separation of state and religion. Norway – same thing.  Sweden, again – same thing.  Germany…ditto.  Italy…Greece, Spain, Portugal – Canada, the United States.

Funny how these countries are seen as places of freedom, yet immigrants choosing these places seek to change the very basis, the foundations of that freedom. You have every right to practice whatever religion floats your boat. 

You can belong to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster..you can be a part of the Temple of the Jedi.  Or you can choose none of the above.  That right belongs to you, in your life, in your home – in your mosque, synagogue, temple or church.  That right does not permit you to make demands upon a society that would, that could, remove freedoms from others. Islam must make better efforts to inform the rest of the world. 

To extend, pardon the pun, the olive branch of understanding.  If the belief of the individual includes forcing others to capitulate to behaviours based on their religion, then Western countries are not obliged to accept or even acknowledge these beliefs.

If an Islamic utopia is being sought, then perhaps remaining in an Islamic country and working to create that utopia is a far preferable alternative than immigrating to a non-Islamic country, and demanding that country accept Islamic rules foreign to the culture.

Perception is important.  A chador, a burka are perceived to be tools of subjugation by misogynist Islamic clergy.  Islamic women may claim this to not be true, and that’s their right, of course but in Western countries, the perception is just that…chadors, burkas and to a lesser extent, the hijab are symbols that remind us that women have not held a place of equality for all that long, that it doesn’t take much to have that equality compromised and Islam does compromise what Western women have fought, so hard, to attain.  Women in the west will not permit their status to be manipulated in any way, in any shape, in any form.

When atrocities take place, through the actions of Islamic fanatics, the Taliban – Al-Qaeda, the silence from the rest of the Islamic world is deafening, however, who can forget the riots, the death threats when a Danish newspaper ran cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed?  Women and children, men and soldiers blown to bits, shot..tortured are not worthy of the same sort of outrage? 

This is perceived by the world as being of a barbaric mindset.

The Islamic militants in Somalia refuse to allow aid from the rest of the world, to alleviate the terrible suffering.

Where are the Islamic countries?  Where are their demands that these militants stop killing Somalia’s people?  Where are the Imams who were so quick to mount soap boxes against Salman Rushdie? The imams who are so quick to issue Fatwas?

People are dying in Somalia, they are starving to death because an Islamic militant group refused to allow Western aid. If ever a Fatwa was needed…it is now, it is in Somalia. 

Crimes against Muslim people. Perception.  Islam is perceived as a violent, male dominated, hate filled amalgamation of would-be dictators.This is, of course, not the truth but the most powerful weapon against the type of hatred that fueled the attacks in Norway is at Islam’s fingertips – the most powerful weapon in the world – education. 

It is long past the time when all peace loving, devout Muslims should have stood up and decried the violence being perpetrated in the name of Islam.  It isn’t too late, it is never too late to educate and inform but the longer the rest of the Muslim world waits, the more ground is given to ignorance and hatred. The more attacks against immigrants and immigration policies such as the one in Norway, there will be.

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