Three Voices from Asharq Alawsat

Mshari Al-Zaydi:

I hope no one jumps to conclusions and mentions politics and the injustice that Muslims currently experience due to the policies of the western and eastern worlds which drive a young man who cohabitates with women and drinks to attend al Qaeda military camps, meet al Zarqawi, and refuse to sell-out bin Laden.

The argument above is only a partial and superficial explanation for the rise in Islamic extremism. Those who hold such views are ignorant of many aspects of our culture.

More significantly, it is abused by some Arab writers and scholars who have a personal dislike to the west and non-revolutionary regimes in their region, especially here in London, as they seek to exploit extremism for their own ideological and intellectual gains; they want to show bin Laden is a natural response to an unacceptable political situation in the Arab world.

One finds them authoring lengthy articles condemning the loss of personal freedoms in Britain and the attack on civil liberties in the world’s oldest democracy. They criticize Prime Minister Tony Blair’s plans to combat extremism and tighten the grip on the preachers of hate such as Omar Bakri Mohammed and Abu Qatada. They also demand these religious figures who support al Qaeda have the right to express their views in accordance with the principle of freedom of expression.

Their logic is undoubtedly faulty. It keeps the terrorists on their side as a back up, so they can continue to write articles and make statements when a terrorist attack is carried out by a young man who lacks the critical ability to reject extremist ideologies publicized by some Islamist leaders in London.

Mona Eltahawy

Regardless of whether the Brotherhood are banned or not, there is no ban on Egyptians asking themselves if they want a Brotherhood government. The Brotherhood seem to be confident that if they were allowed to contest elections they would win – is that what Egyptians want?

My concerns about the Brotherhood’s involvement in politics are threefold: their position on women, their position on Shariah and their position on religious minorities.

If the Brotherhood wants to convince Egyptians it is ready for politics, it has a long way to go. It should not assume that just because many Egyptians are religious that they want a Brotherhood government. And it should not forget that at least 15 percent of Egypt’s population is Christian. And that at least 50 percent of the population is female.

Ahmed Al-Rabei

It’s a colossal scandal when a group of extremists and lunatics are turned into representatives of a religion as widespread as Islam with billions of people under its shade. It is also sad that people like Bakri, Abu Qatada, and Abu Hamza Al-Masri are featured on a daily basis on all global TV station as Islamic leaders. What the majority of the world doesn’t realize is that these individuals only represent a group of maniacs and criminals, who’ve hijacked Islam and have erased all the human heritage belonging to this religion, to present it to the world as an image of hatred, murder and terrorism.

Isn’t it a tragic crime to label the millions of European Muslims as guilty, because of the rhetoric of a few professional lunatics, while the rest remain silent and wallow in self-pity?

We have to admit that Islam has been hijacked particularly in European countries. Muslims in these countries share the responsibility of setting Muslims free from these hijackers. We have to admit that mosques in Europe and Islamic dialogue in general have also been abducted.

Unfortunately, some insalubrious characters that represent a small segment of Muslims have become their representatives on the world’s stage, while the rest dwell in irresponsible silence. This is a strange paradox. “

Read them in full.

Hat tip: Matewan