One of the common criticisms made against Islam by orientalists and the neo-atheists is that, Islam is a religion which was spread by sword. The Prophet of Islam is painted as a blood thirsty warlord, an expansionist villain with a taste for power. The Quranic position with respect to the use of violence is clear: interested parties can easily check it out. Violence can only be used as self-defense. In fact, Islam instructs its followers not to answer injustice with injustice and recommends that it is better to forgive (Quran 5:8 & 5:3). Ironically, those who make such a devious criticism against Islam seem to have no problem with spreading “democracy” by bombs. Why is there a double standard?
The neo-atheists, Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris have continuously criticized Islam as a perilous ideology which had expanded from Indonesia to Spain by the use of violence. By providing some random and out of the context quotations from the Quran their assertion is insidiously sold to the credulous audience. Yet, these three peace-loving pacifists had no problem in supporting the Gulf War. Their message is clear. Islam is a supreme threat, not to atheism, but to the entire “free world”. How so? Violence is dreadful, Muslims are violent and they are out to convert us by force. Their goal is to replace the Constitution with Sharia law, and establish a radical Islamist caliphate.
On the other hand, when it comes to the Occident, the perspective drastically changes. Thanks to a systematic brainwashing campaign, the American public overwhelmingly believes in the use of violence to bring peace, stability, democracy and restoration of human rights. They believe that one can achieve such a soothing goal by bombing nations into annihilation. Violence against defenseless people is suddenly altruistic. The democracy and human rights loving West is the philanthropic crusader, fighting for the best welfare of the oppressed Arabs and Afghans. “War on Terror” is a humanitarian approach to free the enslaved primitive masses from tyranny.
Needless to say, such an endeavor can only be implemented by a cunning system which is founded and operates on fabricated pretexts, mendacious lies and hypocrisy, immune from shame with no trace of inner guilt.
For example, the invasion of Iraq and Libya was protrayed like it was all about liberating Iraqis and Libyans, as if their B-52 bombers were dropping ballot boxes. While, in essence, it is about destabilizing the region, pilfering their national resources and protecting Israeli hegemony in the region. The question worth asking is: who is indeed the inheritor of a culture of violence: the vile Muslims or the magnanimous Imperialist West?
Violence is pervasive in American culture and this pervasiveness is not limited to their jingoistic military approach outside of their borders. It also consumes its own flesh from within. It manifests itself in their love for guns, in the popular sports and entertainments. Even their conflict resolution approach lacks diplomacy and is based on violence. The preemptive strike is always the preferred course of action. The U.S. has the highest rate of homicide among the industrial countries. Repeated tragic mass shootings in American schools and public arenas are one of the side effects of this violent gun culture. Mass shootings have become a fact of life and a nightmare for every parent in America, with no effective remedy in sight. Why is the U.S. unlike other industrial nations suffers so much from this plague? As Malcolm X commented on JFK’s assassination, chickens always come home to roost, meaning that violence is the concomitant result of the climate of hate and violence. Such an outcome is indeed an inevitable consequence of the social web of cause and effect. If you constanly speak in the language of violence, you are promoting this language indiscriminately.
To embark upon this appalling problem, the sought out remedy is to arm the school teachers to protect students. Evidently, the proposed solution to tackle gun violence is based on violence, just the same way as liberal democracy is supposedly exported at gunpoint. All essential perquisites and the social web of cause and effect are seemingly unrecognized or deliberately ignored. Indeed, the proposed solution of arming teachers with guns is not out of concerns for saving innocent lives. Those who put profits above Iraqi lives cannot suddenly feel pity and put American lives above profit. One cannot expect any other solution from war profiteers. In fact, the proposed solution is an evil genius approach to double the profit margin for NRA, while looking concerned and proactive. The militarization of schools cannot avoid carnage; it makes further horrible tragedies inevitable. The American politicians including the President have no power on their own, they are a mere front. All are subservient to a global system of violence and exploitation. Their actions are not about finding a viable solution for our social ills, but to protect the corporate profits. Agendas are set; policies are dictated by the elites, private financial institutions and corporations behind the scene. Western “democracy” is nothing but disguised dictatorship, a flawed hypocritical system, no better off than totalitarianism.
Until America espouses the global justice and extend its circle of compassion and fairness to the entire international community, and all living beings, they will not find peace at home. As Malcolm X prudently pointed, the two are unavoidably intertwined.