In my previous article “Fighting Against a Phantom” I wrote:
“Everyone who has a brush with Islam is at risk. Any Muslim can become a terrorist overnight. As long as people believe Muhammad was a messenger of God, they are at risk of contracting Islamic terrorist fever.”
Not everyone agreed. Mr. Hugh Fitzgerald of jihadwatch.org in a private email wrote: “‘any Muslim’ and ‘overnight’? I think too much is claimed”.
Let me respond to this concern and clarify my position. Of course not everyone who reads the Quran becomes a terrorist overnight. I said “can” not “will”. In the same article I wrote:
“Many people are infected by HIV but only a few get AIDS. Many people are Muslims, but only a few become terrorists.”
There are several factors that have to be present and the Quran is one of them.
One factor is xenophobia or the distrust of the non-Muslims. Many Islamic countries actively and systematically promote the hatred of the Jews, the America and the West in general. You must see yourself as the victim and the non-Muslims as the oppressors in order to hate them enough to kill them. A great number of Muslims, perhaps the majority, are at this stage. Not all these Muslims are going to become terrorists, but a great majority of them are convinced that America and particularly the Jews are responsible for everything that is wrong in their lives. Just read what they write on the Internet and you’ll see their favorite line of “defense of Islam” is to blame the Jews and America .
The other factor that makes them vulnerable to become terrorists is being hit by a crisis. Personal problems, especially if they are experienced at youth, seem greater than they actually are and tend to make life look meaningless. During these crises people often seek spiritual guidance in their religions and some youngsters, out of desperation, may even commit suicide. Here is where the danger lies. When young Muslims in crisis seek spiritual guidance from their holy book, they expose themselves to the negative influnce of the Quran and the seed of becoming a jihadi aka terrorist is sown in their minds. Life is already meaningless; suicide does not seem like a bad idea. In Islam you can have your cake and eat it too. You can become a martyr – end your miserable life and gain the rewards of the afterlife too. This is like killing two birds with one stone.
Muslims are led to believe that America and especially the Jews who “run the world by proxy” (as the Malaysian PM, Dr. Mahathir said) are responsible for all their miseries. They see themselves as victims. Once they identify their alleged victimizers, they are ready to take their revenge – a revenge that is glorified by all the Muslims and is encouraged by God himself. Here is where the Quran provides them with “guidance” and confirmation. You take your revenge, you end our useless, worthless life, you will be hailed as a hero and you will go to paradise where a bevy of voluptuous celestial “virgin whores” in their see through lingerie is waiting for you to fulfill all your frustrated fantasies. Suddenly you can kiss goodbye all your failures and succeed. What a bargain! How can anyone refuse that?
But that is not all. You also need the support and encouragement of others. You may get cold feet. You need to be egged on, cheered and reconfirmed. This is readily available through mosques that incite hate and encourage martyrdom and the underground network of terrorism that rouse young Muslims to join their campaign of terror and become the next martyr. The whole Islamic ethos encourages you to become a martyr. You have the support of everyone. Jihad and martyrdom are the essence of Islam. Who is that Muslim who can oppose it?
Therefore to say that just by reading the Quran, loving Muslims become terrorists is not entirely true. A whole gamut of conditions must be present for that to happen.
Take the example of becoming infected by viruses. Two persons are exposed to the same virus; one become infected and the other doesn’t. Can we conclude that virus has nothing to do with the disease? Immunities vary from person to person. The person with less immunity will get infected while the one with stronger immunity will not. But ultimately it is the virus that makes people sick.
Likewise, not all those who read the Quran become terrorists. But when all the conditions are met, Muslims become vulnerable. It is like being soaked in gasoline. All it takes is a spark to be ignited and that is what the Quran provides. Others read the Quran and may not be affected. They are like wet wood. They hardly get ignited and worked out by the hate laden verses of the Quran. But if all the conditions are met, every Muslim becomes vulnerable and can become a terrorist.
The problem is that all those conditions that prepare a Muslim to become a terrorist are also caused by the Quran. These conditions are not cultural, ethnic, political or economical. They are religious. The hatred of the Jews and the non-Muslims has its roots in the Quran. Most of the crises that Muslim youth face, like lack of opportunity and loss of hope are also the result of the failure of Islam in solving the real problems of Muslims and particularly the youth.
One more factor that I did not mention but is very important is the lack of self-esteem and the prevalent feeling of worthlessness among Muslims, and Islam’s pedagogic fiasco in rearing confident, positive and successful humans. Terrorists are losers who seek their glory in martyrdom. That too is the direct consequence of the failure of Islamic paradigm.
Therefore, Islam does not only provide the ultimate spark, it also prepares Muslims throughout their lives to become failures, haters and terrorists. It gives them distorted values and trains them slowly to accept stupidity as a praiseworthy sacrifice and murder as a divine act.
Islam is entirely responsible for Islamic terrorism. If we fail to see that, we have failed in our diagnosis.