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What is Islamic Fundamentalism?

 article about what is islam
What is Islamic Fundamentalism? For a long time, in an ever varying world, we have been listening to things about Muslims. What they do and how they do it. Being a Muslim myself, I would like to explain it to you.

I won't be trying to prove any point about any religion, the main notion behind the story is to explain the Muslims point of view within the current world situation, for they refrain from being a part of any worldly alliance, and thus it is sometimes assumed that they are against the so-called freedom of the people of this world.

First we need to have a historic review of what we are talking about. To say it in short, I have formed this summary:

  • The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) brought the religion Islam to this world 1400 years ago. It was preceded by;

  • The religion Christianity, which was preached by the Prophet Jesus (PBUH) (Eisa as Muslims know Him). This was preceded by;

  • The Jews (Ban-i-Israel - Nation of Israel - as Muslims call them). Jewish theology was brought into this world by the Prophet Moses (PBUH) (Mosa as Muslims know Him).

The Muslims believe that the previous theologies were ruled out by the new religion Called Islam for the legacy was changed by the followers and was no more in its original shape as God sent it.

Muslims normally call God Allah, and according to their concept this is the same God who sent Moses (PBUH), Jesus (PBUH) and Muhammad (PBUH) to lead the people to the creator of this universe.

So, considering the last point mentioned, many followers of these religions thought that they were/are on the right path and had a very natural jealousy. This led to some famous holy conflicts, not only between Muslims and others but also between Jews and Christians.

Before going into further discussion allow me have a few words about fundamentalism.

Being a fundamentalist is never bad; a fundamentalist is a person who cares of fundamentals in the daily routines of life. Consider yourself on a flight and the pilot forgets one of the fundamentals of flight operation. If so he is a bad pilot (i.e. if you remain alive after such an incident) and if he doesn't forget then he is a fundamentalist (which in today's world can also bad). But, do not conclude that every type of fundamentalism is good, especially when the police officer charges you for it.

According to Webster's Dictionary 'fundamentalism' was a movement in American Protestantism that arose in the earlier part of the 20th century. It was a reaction to modernism, and stressed the infallibility of the Bible, not only in matters of faith and morals but also as a literal historical record. It stressed on belief in the Bible as the literal word of God. Thus fundamentalism was a word initially used for a group of Christians who believed that the Bible was the verbatim word of God without any errors and mistakes.

According to the Oxford Dictionary 'fundamentalism' means "strict maintenance of ancient or fundamental doctrines of any religion, especially Islam".

Today, the moment a person uses the word fundamentalist he thinks of a Muslim who is a terrorist.

Now, to clear the doubts in the minds of today's people, as they may change as time passes, I have compiled the following section in question and answer form to make it easier to read and understand:

Question - "Islam was spread by the sword that is why it's a religion which permits violence?"

Answer - OK, lets put some facts together, a bunch of people who converted from their existing religions to become Muslim stood against the majority of the world and amazingly they won. Could any one believe that? Well they sure do when they say Islam was spread on the point of a sword.

Islam comes from the word 'Salaam', which means 'peace', and also means submitting to peace and only allows fighting to maintain the peace against those causing menace in a society.

All the wars at the time of the Muhammad (PBUH) were fought as a measure of defense. No war was initiated by Muslims (You wont believe that? Prove it from the history then).

What wars were fought in Indonesia, the largest Islamic country in this world, and Malaysia?

What wars are going on now i.e. one the Muslims are winning because of which the rate of conversion to Islam in United States and the rest of the West is higher than any other religion?

Muslims ruled Spain for over 800 years, and no record of using the sword is found there, not until the Christian Crusaders came and wiped out all the Muslims, terrifying the Muslims as such that they couldn't even give call to prayers openly. In contrast in Pakistan the Christian Churches and Hindu Mandirs are allowed to call for prayers openly; there has never been a conflict found between Muslims and Non-Muslims living in Pakistan.

Muslims ruled in Arabia for 1400 years. The French and British ruled Arabia for a few years only, even then the 14 million Arabs are Coptic Christians; had the sword been used no single Christian could have been found in the land of Arabia.

Muslims ruled India for about a thousand (1000) years, and even then 80% of the population of India was non-Muslim, hence the sword was never used.

Islam is spreading rapidly on the East Coast of Africa; no Muslim army whatsoever has been to the East Coast of Africa.

An article in Reader's Digest Almanac (year-book 1986), gave the statistics of the increase in percentage of the major religions of the world in half a century from 1934 to 1984. This article also appeared in 'The Plain Truth' magazine. At the top was Islam, which increased by 235%. Christianity had increased by only 47%.

May one ask, which war took place in this century which converted millions of people to Islam?

It is the sword of intellect. The sword that conquers the hearts and minds of people. The Quran says in Surah Nahl, chapter 16 verse 125:

"Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious." [Al-Quran 16:125]

With which sword was Islam spread? Even if Muslims had it they could not use it to spread Islam because the Quran says in the following verse:

"Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from error"

[Al-Quran 2:256]

The famous historian, Thomas Carlyle, in his book 'Heroes and Hero worship', refers to this misconception about the spread of Islam: "The sword indeed, but where will you get your sword? Every new opinion, at its starting is precisely in a minority of one. In one man's head alone. There it dwells as yet. One man alone of the whole world believes it, here is one man against all men. That he takes a sword and try to propagate with that, will do little for him. You must get your sword! On the whole, a thing will propagate itself as it can."

The best reply to the misconception that Islam was spread by the sword is given by the noted historian De Lacy O'Leary in the book Islam at the Cross Road (Page 8):

"History makes it clear however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myths that historians have ever repeated."

Dr. Joseph Adam Pearson rightly says: "People who worry that nuclear weaponry will one day fall in the hands of the Arabs, fail to realize that the Islamic bomb has been dropped already, it fell the day MUHAMMED (PBUH) was born."

So much for the spreading of Islam by the sword. Still, the term 'terrorism' needs more of an explanation:

Question - Why are most of the Muslim fundamentalists terrorists?

Answer - This question is often hurled at Muslims, either directly or indirectly, during any discussion on religion or world affairs. Muslim stereotypes are perpetuated in every form of the media, accompanied by gross misinformation about Islam and Muslims. In fact, such misinformation and false propaganda often leads to discrimination and acts of violence against Muslims. A case in point is the anti-Muslim campaign in the American media following the Oklahoma bomb blast, where the press was quick to declare a 'Middle Eastern conspiracy' was behind the attack. The culprit was later identified as a soldier from the American Armed Forces.

Before India achieved independence from British rule, some freedom fighters of India who did not subscribe to non-violence were labeled as terrorists by the British government. The same individuals have been lauded by Indians for the same activities and hailed as 'patriots'. Thus two different labels have been given to the same people for the same set of actions. One is calling him a terrorist while the other is calling him a patriot. Those who believed that Britain had a right to rule over India called these people terrorists, while those who were of the view that Britain had no right to rule India called them patriots and freedom fighters.

It is therefore important that before a person is judged, he is given a fair hearing. Both sides of the argument should be heard, the situation should be analyzed, and the reason and the intention of the person should be taken into account, and then the person can be judged accordingly.

As I mentioned earlier, this article is not meant to prove or discriminate between religions, so I wont be analyzing things on the basis of the fundamentals of any religion.

Off with history! Let's now talk about today's scenario. It all started with the incident on 9/11, the day on which the World Trade Center collapsed, or was made to collapse rather. But before accepting it as an act of terrorism I would like the answer to the following questions:

Why were 5000 Jews working in the WTC absent that day?

Putting laws of physics and engineering together the building must have fallen down in an angular fashion. Why did the building collapse in a manner so that it appeared to be a well-planned building demolition by dynamite?

I wonder why they didn't bend because of heat and weight, and the iron support collapsed vertically?

The material used for support and pillars requires to be welded at 1000s of oC. What generated such heat?

Why was the 'super power' unable to detect two airplanes going off-route, and why didn't the airline react when they were going off-route, whilst no hijacking was reported?

The super power that has the system to detect small nut bolts on the horizon so they may not collide with air-shuttles failed to detect two airplanes going off-route, and why didn't America withdraw their claim to be super power once that happened?

From where in the heck did that 'Al-Qaida' come from? I'd never heard of it before, nor had my parents or grandparents.

Why were the same Afghan Patriots, who were supported by Americans in their fight against Russia, declared Terrorists?

Now, let's come to weapons of mass destruction

Why was no other country but America threatened by/because of those weapons?

Why didn't they take the same action against China who had missiles directed straight towards America?

And most importantly of all, where are the weapons now? Would an enquiry commission repent for thousands of killings?

Besides our perspective i.e. the people who live in Pakistan and other Arab countries, most people who are Muslims know what is going on. Their only fault is that they live in Asia, a place rich with Oil and other minerals.

Most of us still agree to the fact that it's the fight between Bin Laden's group of companies and Bush's Group of Companies. It happened when Bush senior was the president and the Arab govt., by protocol, signed Bin Laden's group of companies to be the official contractor of all the oil and construction business in Arabia. This is something which annoyed Mr. Bush sr. who has now compelled his son, Bush Jr., to say the words: I have taken revenge of my father.

Osama especially, isn't considered to be an angel in the Muslim world. The Taliban regime was a most hated one. Not because they did many things right, but because what they did wrong was really slanderous, such as killing thousands of Muslims whilst fighting over a piece of land for power. Many of us also call him an American Agent on the Pentagon payroll i.e. the way he is proving beneficial to Americans. If the American Government provided all the scud missiles and other weapons to him then how did they become a threat to their masters?

Saddam Hussain on the other hand killed thousands of Iraqis just because they stood against his regime. He is also counted under the same category as Osama bin Laden, because it was the American government supporting his activities. And how easily they got control over Iraq just because of him. The footage that shows his capture also contains an interesting anomaly; a bunch of Dates on a tree can be seen in the background behind the army executive. In Iraq the Dates are only farmed in the month of July 3 how come those dates can be seen before that time???? He was a violent, alcoholic and adulterous person and thus was not a Muslim. All the members of his parliament were Christians except a few (really few). The chemical weapons that he used to attack the Kurds killed 5000 Kurds in an instant; these chemical weapons were provided to him by America as they were against America's decision to attack Iraq over Kuwait.

I read this in a lecture of Business Management from an American University, which as an example, included the following:

Provide Iraq the chemicals and weapons of $X Million just to threaten neighboring countries.

Offer Saudi Government Help $0 (zero).

Saudi Government agrees to fund support of around $Y Billion


The Saudi government bought their own oil (petrol and other fuel) only.

Filtered from Shell $Z Million.

Shell is an American Company $Z Million net profit added to American Economy.

Total expense of war for America $0.

Gross Profit earned from war (($Y/2)+$Z) - $X.

Weapons taken back from Iraq.

Net Profit earned from war (($Y/2)+$Z).

American economy stable again.

So as a conclusion to this article I would like to say that no other religions should be judged without personal research, and that research should be done using un-biased material. If you want to research Islam and Muslims, the most un-biased material available is the Holy Quran. Read it and you shall know about the sayings of Islam, and those who quote sayings of the Quran to prove their point only quote part of it. The rest they ignore deliberately, for they know that this will cause hatred among the people who don't know about Islam, e.g. the verses quoted from the Quran about the Jehad, preceded and succeeded by the verses that state applying conditions; considering those conditions it appears to be applicable only in Palestine and Kashmir. The rest of the world is doing a drama to gain benefits for themselves.

At the end I think a small overview of Jehad should be provided for your understanding:

Jehad means trying or to be exact - 'trying hard to Defend/Protect/Stop'

Jehad has many kinds. These must be followed in a chronological order and fighting or using a weapon comes last in this case.

Stopping yourself from having worldly wishes, stopping yourself from doing bad deeds, also if you cant stop someone from doing a bad deed by force then at least think of it as bad in your mind.

Stopping yourself from saying bad words, abusing, also if you cant stop someone forcefully from doing a bad deed try stopping one from Tongue i.e. by asking the person to stop doing it.

Stopping yourself from spending money over worldly things but to help the needy and help the families of those who are out of their houses to defend you and your family.

Stopping from doing bad deed by force i.e. using your own hands or weapons something you might to when someone attacks your country, family or any other assets.

This is how Jehad is explained in Islam, and those who act on something other than this are no-doubt terrorists, although their source of funding needs to be identified, as the Muslim countries in question are poor. One must direct this question to rich, Non-Muslims countries, and I am sure they would have a word or two to say about that.

Note that the article was written back in 2004.

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