ISLAMIC EXTREMISM: THE UNTOLD TRUTH
Author: Abdi Rahman Mohamed Jibril
Publisher: Partridge Publishing, South Africa
Number of Pages-189
Available in Hardcover, Soft Cover and as an E-book.
Introduction- Part 1 – please note that this is a summary review of chapter 1 of the book. I will hopefully publish final review of all of the chapters shortly
The following review is based on my understanding having read the above book once. I understand that other readers/reviewers will most likely come up with a different conclusion.
This book is unique in the sense that the Author is Somali Muslim whose views are strong and against what he calls “extremist Muslims as well as mainstreams Muslims” the author does not appear to hide his views; he tells them as he sees them. Unlike some mainstreams, Muslim scholars who argue that terrorism has no place in Islam, the author, states that “All of the killings, hatred, and violence perpetrated by Islamist extremists can easily be justified on the teaching of Islam, especially some chapters of the Holy Quran and Hadiths. I have no doubt that this book will shock and even offend many readers, particularly, those who live the regions the author hails from. This is a book that one will not find the usual politically correct phrases one would normally expect from Muslim writers. The author begins to point the fingers to the teaching of Islam and blames the Koran, hadiths and Islamic scholars and lays everything bare. I am not surprised if he is not labeled as “kafir” because he touched a taboo subjects, and calls the reinterpretation and a review of Islamic teaching.
Overall this book contains Eight Chapters, and I intend to write a summary review of each chapter. In Chapter one, the author talks about how the teaching of Islam impact the thinking of extremist and Muslims (he interchangeably uses these terms). He argues Muslims hold extreme views and such views are supported by the Quran and the Sunnah. He, therefore, suggest that Muslims should remove all the Quranic verses that support fighting and violence from the Holy Book, because, ‘their cause and effects are invalid and illegitimate.’ The author is specifically critical to the Koranic verses on Jihad. He claims that Koranic verses that advocate for peace are not many and well known like those preach Jihad and fighting against the infidels. He claims that Islam feeds Jihad and encourages Jihadists and extremist to wage war, and the result is; torture and human rights violations that take place in Muslim countries.
Chapter one talks about Jihad in more detail. The author states that Jihad is used to fighting against Muslims and none Muslims alike. All Muslims are taught that Jihad in Islam is important that is why they see nothing wrong in killing because it is part of their religious belief. The author reports that the extremists do not read the Koran to understand its aims and values. They are angry and do not appreciate universal brotherhood. He argues that Islam can be truly a religion of peace, but extremists have hijacked it. He, therefore, suggest that the current trend of religious-based violence and hatred by extremists and in many cases many Muslims requires rethinking or reinterpretation of the religion. The author not only proposes the total elimination of verses that promote Jihad, but he is strong, advocating a total reinterpretation of Islamic teachings and adaptation of the United Nations Human Rights Convention.
The author further argues that the literal and clear meaning of the Koranic verses, support the belief of extremists and the source of their hatred is killing is the Holy Book itself. He claims that there is no common policy in Islam that guarantees peace, instead of Islam emphasise fighting and Jihad. He gives a long list of verses from the following chapters of the Koran;
· Albaqarah – 154, 192, 216, 245
· Al-imran -142, 157, 158, 169
· Al-nissa- 74, 75, 76, 84
· Al-maida- 51
· Al-anfal – 38, 39
· Al-towba 5, 12, 13, 14, 23, 36 and 37 as well as 111
The author believes that the above verses on Jihad served their purposed during the life of Prophet Mohamed and are no longer tenable in this day and age. He claims that Islam is not supposed to be a static religion, it has to change and be relevant to the modern world and its systems. He adds that the law of nature applies to Islam, meaning the understanding of Islam by those before us is not the same. He claims that we must not follow the footsteps of our ancestors. Otherwise, we would be behaving like the extremists.
The author talks about how Muslim clerics fail to take the responsibility to convey the true meaning of Islam to their folks. He talks about how Muslims learn the Koran by heart get some basic knowledge of Islam and then give themselves titles such as ‘Sheikh’ and Ma’ allim.’ He argues that there is no well-established system or procedure on how one can obtain these religious titles. Therefore, religious fatwas are the order of the and followers are expected to obey and follow such decrees.
On page 25 the author provides two contrasting claims. He states that the notion that extremist does not follow the true Islam and Islam does not advocate the killing of infidels and is a religion of peace is NOT true, because of extremist, follow the teaching of Islam and are fulfilling the order of their god, according to their belief system. However, on the same page, he states that Islam does not incite envy and hatred for others, but it was made by the people who administered the religion, for a long time.
Interactions with Christians
The author suggests, unlike Muslims Christians rarely expressed hatred towards Muslims. He states that ‘since Muslims consider none Muslims as enemies should they (Muslims) expect the same hatred from Christians? He supports his arguments, by saying that ‘ Christians usually wear a friendly, smile and interact with the without prejudice or hatred’ he tells of how Muslim asylum seekers get everything they need which they could not get from their own countries. He gives an example such as; peace, respect security, freedom justice, education, health services and social welfare. Muslims get all these without discrimination, yet, this is not compatible with what their religion teaches, he claims.
Chapter one concludes that plight of Muslims today is not the oppression from others (none Muslims), but it is due to Muslims not utilizing their own consciences. He gives an example of wartorn countries such as Syria, Somalia Iraq, Libya, and Yemen.