I think Islam has been hijacked by the idea that all Muslims are terrorists; that Islam is about hate, about war, about jihad - I think that hijacks the spirituality and beauty that exists within Islam. I believe in allowing Islam to be seen in context and in its entirety and being judged on what it really is, not what you think it is.
It may happen that the enemies of Islam may consider it expedient not to take any action against Islam, if Islam leaves them alone in their geographical boundaries to continue the lordship of some men over others and does not extend its message and its declaration of universal freedom within their domain. But Islam cannot agree to this unless they submit to its authority by paying Jizyah, which will be a guarantee that they have opened their doors for the preaching of Islam and will not put any obstacle in its way through the power of the state.
The Sufi Islam practiced in northern India is quite different from the Shi'a Islam practiced in Lebannon, which in turn is different from the Sunni Islam practiced in Pakistan. Even within a single branch of Islam there are customs and practices that vary by region and across time. Thus, the Islam of seventh-century Arabia is different from the Wahhabism that exists today in Saudi Arabia.
There are many lay people and scholars alike, both with and without the Muslim community, who feel that the pure orthodox Islam of the fundamentalists could never survive outside the context of its seventh-century Arabian origins. Apply twenty-first-century science, logic, or humanistic reasoning to it and it falls apart. They believe this is why Islam has always relied so heavily on the threat of death. Question Islam, malign Islam, or leave Islam and you will be killed. It is a totalitarian modus operandi that silences all dissent and examination, thereby protecting the faith from ever having to defend itself.
Islam is a revolutionary faith that comes to destroy any government made by man. Islam doesn't look for a nation to be in better condition than another nation. Islam doesn't care about the land or who own the land. The goal of Islam is to rule the entire world and submit all of mankind to the faith of Islam. Any nation or power in this world that tries to get in the way of that goal, Islam will fight and destroy.
Abul A'la Maududi
Islam has taken everything from its wretched believers. They are robbed from their identity and self pride. All they have now is Islam. That is why Islam for Muslims is more than just a religion. It is their identity. When you criticize Islam, they perceive it as an attack on their identity and cringe with pain. They take that not only as an insult but also as an assault on their person. Like a corned animal they become vicious and fight back with all their might - a fight of survival. That is why you see such a violent reaction to a few silly cartoons.
Many of Islam's apologists insist that suicide bombing is not Islamic because the Koran forbids suicide. Mmm-hmm. So where are all the Muslims gathering in mass demonstrations to vehemently condemn this practice that slanders their religion? Why does contemporary Islam promote 'martyrdom' as the highest duty of Muslims? Why are photographs of suicide bombers plastered everywhere in Beirut? Because Islam is what Islam does.
So I asked Dr Ceric if he thought there was a conflict between European values and Islam. 'Not at all, ' he said. 'Respect for other religions lies at the heart of Islam. And the principle of democracy is even anchored in Islam.' When I looked surprised he explained: 'Go right back to the origins of Islam. After Muhammad died, how did his followers seek his successor? They consulted with each other and chose his closest friend Abu Bakr in a democratic vote. Democracy is absolutely Islamic.
Anti-Islamist Muslims - who wish to live modern lives, unencumbered by burqas, fatwas and violent visions of jihad - are on the defensive and atomized. However eloquent, their individual voices cannot compete with the roar of militant Islam's determination, money (much of it from overseas) and violence. As a result, militant Islam, with its West-phobia and goal of world hegemony, dominates Islam in the West and appears to many to be the only kind of Islam.
The behavior of the Taliban as well as their extremist attitudes do not correspond in any way with a tolerant Islam. We have always been opposed to extremist tendencies of Islam and we still are. We have not stopped insisting on defending an Islam of tolerance which would be profitable to every Muslim, in Afghanistan and in the whole world, and we will always defend it.
Ahmad Shah Massoud
Adanya keragaman dalam Islam sungguh pun dasar utama dari ajaran islam ialah tawhid, yang mengandung arti penyatuan, telah terlebih dahulu disadari ulama-ulama Islam sendiri. Salah satu dari ulama itu adalah Syah Waliullah dari India. Ia menyadari bahwa Islam yang dianut dan diamalkan di Arabia ada perlainannya dengan Islam yang dianut dan diamalkan di India. Ke dalam Islam India telah masuk unsur-unsur adat-iatiadat India. Islam di Arabia mempunyai corak Arab dan Islam di India mempunyai corak India. Di dalam Islam terdapat kebudayaan yang beraneka ragam.
Gustave E. Von Grunebaum
We know they have nothing to do with Islam because our politicians keep telling us that, and they are all Islamic scholars. (They are, aren't they?) Yes, the violence is coming exclusively from Muslims, but only because their religion (the one that has nothing to do with Islam) tells them to kill unbelievers, meaning people who don't follow the religion with a knife to our throat that has nothing to do with Islam.
Islam's middle position can be recognized by the fact that Islam has always been attacked from the two opposite directions: from the side of religion, that is too natural, actual, and tuned to the world; and from the side of science that it contains religious and mystical elements. There is only one Islam, but like man, it has both soul and body.
I don't find any difference between Islam and Islamic fundamentalists. I believe religion is the root, and from the root fundamentalism grows as a poisonous stem. If we remove fundamentalism and keep religion, then one day or another fundamentalism will grow again. I need to say that because some liberals always defend Islam and blame fundamentalists for creating problems. But Islam itself oppresses women. Islam itself doesn't permit democracy and it violates human rights.
Political correctness is a major defect of the western ethos. Some Western countries have even passed blasphemy laws that would put you in legal hot waters if you say anything negative about Islam. This means that the truth about Islam cannot be said but Muslims are given total freedom to spread their religion with lies. Islam thrives were truth is suppressed. That is one reason that westerners convert to Islam. They are lied to. How do you expect a society to survive when truth is banned and lies are allowed?
The world of Islam is a world completely distinct from ours. Muslims have a different set of values. They look at the world through the contorted mirror of Islam and everything they see is warped. That is the only reality they know. Islam is their only point of reference. Therefore when they commit the most dastardly acts such as murder of school children, they genuinely don't know that what they are doing is evil.
The first thing Islam does is to destroy the self image of the believers. It convinces them that without Islam they are worthless creatures only fit for hellfire. It tells them that their culture is jahelyyah (ignorance) and their ancestral religion was taaghoti (satanic). They are made to despise their identity and selfhood and seek their glory in their submission to Islam and slavery to its deity who was Muhammad's own alter ego.
I've always maintained there is no incompatibility between Islam and democracy. The Europeans in general confuse Islam and Islamism. Islamism is a political movement that instrumentalises the religion to get to power, which has nothing to do with religion. Islam here in Tunisia is a religion of openness, of tolerance.
Beji Caid Essebsi
When people talk as if the Crusades were nothing more than an aggressive raid against Islam, they seem to forget in the strangest way that Islam itself was only an aggressive raid against the old and ordered civilization in these parts. I do not say it in mere hostility to the religion of Mahomet; I am fully conscious of many values and virtues in it; but certainly it was Islam that was the invasion and Christendom that was the thing invaded.
Gilbert K. Chesterton
The Iranian people were converted to Islam not very much longer after the conquest of the Arab world by Islam, but they refused to adopt the Arabic language, and it's a great point of pride to them that Persian culture and the Persian language and Persian literature survived the conversion to Islam. And the conversion to Islam also was for most of them not the Sunni majority form, but the Shia one. So there's a great discrepancy between Iranian society and many other of what we think of as Arab Muslim States and systems.