Muslims are radicalized not because of Islamophobia, poverty or foreign policy grievances, but because of an ideology and theology that must be uprooted if the growing problem is to be addressed, a former radical Islamist said at the European Parliament on Tuesday.
Addressing a conference on European Muslim radicalization, Ed Husain, a senior advisor to the Tony Blair Faith Foundation and former Council on Foreign Relations senior fellow, urged participants to “be honest about the nature of the problem.”
And the nature of the problem, he said, “is not Islamophobia – because it is Muslims who are being killed most by this global surge of extremism and terrorism.” He pointed to Pakistan, where more than 40,000 people have been killed by terrorists over the last decade.
“It is not poverty,” Husain continued, saying that if it were, then Muslims in countries like Mauritania and Bangladesh would be the most radicalized – “and they’re not.”
“In fact, Osama bin Laden, as we all know, was from Saudi Arabia,” he noted, added that there were multi-millionaires now in the ranks of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL).
Husain, a practicing Muslim, told his Brussels audience it was convenient to argue that radicalization was caused by Muslim grievances over foreign policy.
“If it was all about Western foreign policy then why was Belgium attacked [by ISIS last month]” – rather than Israel, he asked.
Some of the grievances claimed by Muslims around the world were also shared by others, he said, citing India as an example.
“Large chunks of India have become Pakistan and Bangladesh. We don’t see Indians going around trying to blow themselves up to regain their lost land.”
The battle of ideas, said Husain, is underpinned by “a combination of an ideology and a theology.”
“The ideology is not Islam but Islamism, a perversion of the faith, a politicization of the faith,” he said, while the theology is “Salafism.”
“Our enemies are fighting a battle of ideas; we cannot fight with a battle of bureaucracy, with a battle of procedures, and a battle of funding,” without understanding those ideas.
Husain listed several key manifestations of the radical ideology and theology:
–“Our enemies approach scripture [the Qur’an and Hadiths] literally,” he said. “Metaphor, nuance, poetry, all of this is lost. And where it says in the Qur’an, ‘Kill them wherever you find them’ you see ISIS and other literally doing that.”
(Husain said mainstream Muslim consensus was “we do not apply those verses in this day and age – they were for a particular time and a particular place and don’t have application now.”)
When poor Muslims in Bangledesh get mad about ”income inequality” or the fact that a non-Muslim starts doing better then they are doing, they simply create an ”offense” against allah, such as drinking water or touching a koran or looking at a Muslim funny, then they mob the ”offender” and kill that person.
Sometimes (if the offenders are female) they rape them to death.
Other times they throw them into oasts (kilns) where bricks are fired and roast them to death.
In other words, poor Muslims in poor countries don’t need to go off on a jihad quest to kill the infidel when they find one.
In Mauritania (sp?) they kidnap infidels when they find them and sell them as slaves after breaking them with brandings, rape, beatings and starving.
So, I’ve got issues with this writer’s major premise.
Poor Muslims in poor countries do awful thing while no one covers their efforts for the international media.
In Muslim countries where the CITIZENS are doing better the NON-CITIZEN Muslims within their borders are treated like dirt.
It is from that huge pool of poor Muslims that ISIS, al Qaeda, and other terrorists gain their armies.
There are over 20,000,000 non-citizen males between 15 and 45 in just the Middle East’s Muslim majority countries.
And those millions can see the better lives of their citizen neighbors every day.
But they can never vote, never got a gov’t job, never get top notch medical care, never get top notch education, never join the society of that country.
Yet they were born there.
So were their parents.
So were, in many cases, their grandparents.
What hope do they have within this system?
So, they go outside that.
They pin their hope on a caliphate.
They go to fight for that goal.
It is revolutionary in that their caliphate will overturn ALL those Muslim-ruled countries.
And, should they die, they get Paradise.
The koran patterns this paradise as a caliphate.
So for the poor Muslim who is without a country, it is a win-win.