My madrassa classmate hated politics. Then he joined the Islamic State

…. It was a departure not just of place but also of mind. “The Islam that the Indian [scholars] taught us is totally, totally, away from Islam,” he said, renouncing our joint theological education. The madrassas had not taught him the rules for slavery, jihad or dealing with prisoners of war, he complained.

“I have painfully realized that Indian Islam teaches you to become passive and submissive to infidel, secular laws, which is a kind of unbelief.” And this realization led him to trade the democracy founded by Nelson Mandela for the caliphate of Raqqa in Syria. He surrendered the orthodox commitment about which he had exhorted me and adopted the very idea he had mocked: a toxic version of political Islam on steroids.

…. The Islamic State outlook does not threaten only groups like the Yazidis, Jews, Christians and Shiites. It poses an even greater threat to Islam. As long as mainstream Muslim authorities keep Islamic learning in formaldehyde, they make it easier for many more like Rashid to head for the violent apocalyptic theaters of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

I don’t doubt Rashid’s sincere intention to live a pious life any more than I did when we studied together. But he was able to embrace the Islamic State as its lodestar only because Islamic orthodoxy has not offered a humane alternative.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] This only reinforces my contention after studying the Koran, and the life and teachings of Mohammed, that Islam is a wellspring of bad ideas, incompatible with the modern world, and certainly at odds with western values and culture. Almost without exception every Muslim majority country is backward with dysfunctional societies and governments.

[2ND] Anyone who thinks religion can be used to murder people, to rape people, to behead people, to make life hell for people, has a twisted and sick view about God.

[3RD] We keep hearing that Jihadis are only a tiny minority of the world’s Muslims.

The problem is that the alleged ‘majority’ have none of the passion of this allegedly ‘tiny’ minority. They’d rather just move to Indiana and worry about nonexistent ‘Islamophobia.’ [The Washington Post] Read more

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