Now we live in a world dominated by political correctness and desire to avoid to see the truth. We see this all over the place on discussion on all kinds of issues. If you say something negative about certain groups or cultures then you are automatically considered to be a racist, hateful, ignorant or something worse. Good example of this is Islam.
For political reasons Islam has been presented as “religion of peace” in many western countries and whenever someone dares to criticise it they are called Islamophobic or racist. All of the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) are quite violent if you follow their texts. They all talk about ruthless killing of innocent people for minor offences as a good thing. Their religious texts are fertile ground for violent fanatics as we can now see in the Muslim world and in particular among Arabs. There is of course a tiny group of Muslims that are carrying out attacks but large section of Muslims worldwide condone those actions or support the idea of similar actions being justifiable for example for leaving the faith. This is the sad truth which becomes even sadder when we take a look at the history of those societies and the achievements they accomplished. Small example of this is our numerical system which is Arabic and is just one among thousands of other aspects which we in the west can be thankful for the time when Muslims were tolerant and enlightened for most part. Now these same societies are in severe cultural trouble in which it is considered to be brave to speak out against human rights violations. We have however seen this before in our history.
The Christian world had similar situation and we call them the Dark Ages. It was a time where religion controlled people’s lives and most people gave silent support for it. Countless wars were fought directly and indirectly over or with justification in the Bible. The Enlightenment changed all this. Over few centuries the western world broke out of religious dominance and we are now in a state where religion is considered to more personal and for most part has been marginalised from public life. When I criticise Christians or their institutions I don’t have to feel that it is some sign of bravery but if I would be living in the Muslim world it would be quite likely reality.
For a Muslim in many Muslim majority countries it takes real courage to raise issues such as human rights as it might threaten their life and the lives of their family and friends. We in the west need to support those people and hold them up. It is easy to go in guns blazing but to enact change something greater is needed. We need to support the people in those countries to take back their culture from the violent fanatics that have degraded the once proud people to what their culture is today. ISIS is not a marginalised group but works in line with too large segments in the Muslim community and they seem to take their lead from Saudi Arabia where beheadings are too common form of punishment.
Giving the Nobel Peace Prize to Malala Yousafzai is a good step but we must do more. We must really support those promoting freedom and better life in the Muslim world. We must however not dictate what their world should be. Muslims need to take the lead and develop their own type of democracy and secular society which might be very different from the western model. We developed our own based on our history, culture and values and the Islamic world must do the same.