September 11 and political Islam: The elephant in the room

September 11 is upon us, and I expect there will be the usual wishy-washy messages from our political leaders - or none.

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Since 9/11 have we really grasped the reality and enormity of political Islam? What we haven’t seen in the past 21 years is acceptance and acknowledgement that political Islam/Islamism is alive and well.

Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, founder of The Muslim Reform Movement and The American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) defines the difference between Islam and Islamism. He says “Islam is a religion. On the other hand, the defining characteristic of Islamism, or political Islam, is its intolerance of others, even including many Muslims. Islamists glorify violence against all who disagree.” Those of us who have been reminding Western leaders that political Islam was and is the cause of massive violence and destruction around the world, have been called "fear mongers”.

However, all you have to do is take a look around and connect the dots. We (Reform Muslims) had warned that during the pandemic, Islamists were planning and plotting ways to impose their ideology. And that’s what political Islam is – an ideology which can be transferred into action at any time. Take the recent scandal regarding Laith Marouf.

Marouf, a consultant with CMAC (Community Media Advocacy Centre) had collected $133,000 from Canadian Heritage as an “anti-racism” trainer despite having an extensive history of public statements referring to Jews as “bags of human feces” worthy only of a “bullet to the head.” That’s not all. According to media reports, Marouf’s Community Media Action Centre has collected more than half a million dollars in federal contracts since 2015. All this despite referring to Black and Indigenous figures as “house slaves” and slamming Francophones.
Once the story broke, the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion (such irony) Ahmed Hussen suspended the $133,000 contract and his department said they are conducting an “extensive review”. Seriously?

The question is: are they going to mention political Islam as a cause? What else would compel a Canadian citizen to make such antisemitic, bigoted, racist and hateful remarks? These are all signs of Islamism and we need to acknowledge and recognize them. Islamism does not always manifest itself in overt violence but the ideology manifests itself in virulent antisemitism, anti-freedoms, anti-liberty, anti-women and minorities. A recent book by Elham Manea Associate Professor, University of Zurich, Institute for Political Science, International Relations explains non-violent Islamism.

In The Perils of Nonviolent Islamism Manea writes "nonviolent Islamism" is the basic building block that leads to violent jihad. And our misreading of that reality can lead to real harm. “One cannot combat an ideology and fundamentalism by working with the very groups that promote that ideology," she writes. “Further, Western cultural relativism and doctrines of 'multiculturalism' have served us and freedom-loving Muslims very, very poorly”. “This battle,” she writes, is "the global challenge of the 21st century."

But of course, no one would dare mention this in a report for fear of being called an “Islamophobe”. Do you get the picture? Islamists use Islamophobia as a tool to shut up discussion and debate about their ideology and continue to use hate and violence to perpetuate their agenda.

It’s been less than a month since Sir Salman Rushdie was attacked by a knife wielder at a talk he was scheduled to give at the education center Chautauqua Institution in southwestern New York. As the investigation into the motive and intent of the attacker is being unveiled, there are very strong signs that he was radicalized and is an Islamist. But once again, no one dares to say this.

Signs that Islamism is thriving across the globe can be seen in the recent spate of rallies being held in India. The slogan is “sar tan say juda” meaning separate the head from the body which means beheading for anyone who (according to them) insults the Prophet of Islam. I was shocked to see women marching in this rally with cries for beheading.

In Indian media, they understand the concept of political Islam/Islamism because they are facing it every day and fortunately, they are not practicing ‘woke culture’ or political correctness so they call it as it is.

The practice of beheading which was used indiscriminately by ISIS and its followers is a purely Islamist practice and today calls for beheading (as we have seen in the UK and Europe) should be a red flag and wake-up call for us.

Islamism is coming fast and furious. Either we challenge it or stand aside and let it take over.

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  • By Raheel Raza

The ABC's of Islamism

Everything you wanted to know about radical Islam, but were afraid to ask.

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