Is Islam being portrayed unfairly? What needs to be done for the sake of Islam? By Robert Terpstra


A number of incidents within the past six months have once again magnified the potential the part that Islam despairingly plays out its role in a Western world-dominated globe. Often times, the image innocently cast is despicable, baseless and bordering on racial hatred and indecency. What few realize in Western intellectual circles and in the minds of the ‘man on the street’ is that their actions, and perhaps more so, their words, could be irreversible, fracturing the divide between the grossly separate schools of thought until the prospective generations-long ‘war on terrorism’ ceases.
The Clash of Civilizations argument has been well-documented, the thought that, what the burgeoning world’s population, concentrated in the Muslim world and expected to reach 9.2 billion people by 2050, will be facing. The proposed thesis, first outlined in Foreign Affairs by Harvard professor Samuel P. Huntington, predicts a struggle between the ideologies of Islam and Judeo-Christianity rather than long forgotten trench warfare and the highly unlikely, although hinted, nuclear threat occurring within the regions of the Middle East, Europe proper and the Indian subcontinent.
The unexpected blip on the radar screen â€" the isolated events enraging the Muslim world over, perhaps, were not so much as expected, certainly not tolerable, and undoubtedly unnecessary when descendants of the Prophet Muhammad are under the most acute microscope any one faction, in the short history of mankind, has ever been examined.
Take for example, the infamous case of the radical Dutch parliamentarian, Geert Wilders most known for his outspoken views on immigration reform, something certainly the Eurozone, notably France, the U.K. and safe havens for northern African refugees on the coast of the Mediterranean are, as a gross understatement, not handling appropriately.
To recap, Wilders has concocted a poor attempt at producing a flawed message conveyed to a mass audience. Apart from the terrible timing, the means in which he flamboyantly went about the project and the disgusting intent, Wilders certainly missed the mark. The great divide between Europeans and for that matter anyone with access to YouTube â€" the vehicle in which it was transmitted, expanded further and out of little necessity.
Previously, the dangerous decision in a move by diplomate superieur, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, was the request for immigrants to definitively prove their ancestral origin in exchange for citizenship. The man primed for the position and predicted by the Economist to assume the position since perhaps during the time of de Gaulle or Mitterand should know better. Nevertheless, Sarkozy seems more intent on his attendance at state dinners with Queen Elizabeth II and Mu’ammar al-Qaddafi then promisingly tackling the issue of Muslim immigration.
One need only think back to the Paris riots in 2005 and make the conclusion that President ‘I do not like ze look of zees’ Sarkozy was more interested in cementing his seat in the Elysee Palace than finding a solution to the ‘Islam question’ â€" now, a strikingly more important solution required than the ‘Jewish question’. Is it any wonder that in Damascus, Syria, at the Arab League Summit, comprised of the 22 Arab League states, that the two-state solution of ‘Isralestine’ was skirted over, while Libya’s Qaddafi made the biggest impression, unfortunately unrealized naively by the leaders at the time, stating that Arab disunity is at an all-time high. If this is in fact correct, and it does not take a doctoral candidate in Middle East studies (or for that matter, one of six, yes, six, graduates in Arabic studies in the U.S. this year) to identify this, that perhaps Islam is being portrayed unfairly, simply because the Muslim world cannot agree on a common understanding.
How many times has one heard that radical Muslims are not the face of what the Koran lays out for a devout Muslim â€" that this holy book and the hadith lay out tolerance and exclude hatred and the killing of innocent human beings? According to Lexus-Nexus, lots.
Perhaps this is where shariah law may be of some help. It is no wonder, reports Daily News Egypt based in Cairo, that 66 per cent of Egyptians and 60 per cent of the citizens of Pakistan (nearly the same numbers in Turkey), want shariah to be their sole lawmaking body. As law professor Noah Feldman points out in the New York Times, perhaps two-thirds of the Muslim world is thinking sensibly. They are looking for stability, for an outlet, something to track, dictate and manage their daily affairs the way they see fit. This could prove incredibly important in Turkey, a country that provides a bridge between east and west, the only Muslim nation in NATO, responsible for offensives in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Balkans. Looking optimistically to join the European Union (EU) by 2015, this nation, its ideals may soon be the trailblazer that once again integrates the Muslim world into the fold that has so wrongly be discriminated and tortured for its innocence.
So in effect is Islam being portrayed unfairly? The answer is a resounding ‘yes’. Is ‘Huntington’s Disease’ curable? This will be up to the people of Islam, lawmakers in Cairo, Ankara and Islamabad, people within the Mahdi Army, Sadrists, Sunnis and Shias, heads of state to anwer. Unmistakeably, however, a large responsibility also lies on the shoulders of the West, something we have categorically overlooked, and for far too long.

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