Islam Muslims And The Us Essays On Religion And Politics

The refusal of the UK to allow Shamima Begum, the school girl who left London in 2015 to join ISIS, to return to England is the most recent example of the fear of home-grown terrorism and the enemy “within”.That she appears to endorse a violent Islam and is lacking in remorse has not helped her cause.Since its beginnings in the Arabia of the 7th century CE, the religion of Muhammad the prophet had pushed against the borders of Christendom.

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On the one hand, the growth of terrorism has moved the imagined military threat of Islam from the borders of the West to its very centres – to London, Paris, New York.

On the other hand, Islam is now seen as a cultural threat as much as a military one.

The success of Christianity, having renounced the sword, was due to divine favour. This Western image of a benign, peaceful Christianity against a malevolent, violent Islam was a mythical one.

With few exceptions, its proponents ignored both the violence that often went along with the spread of Christianity and the religious tolerance that often accompanied the extension of Islam.

Cut to the 21st century and a post-imperialist age, and Muslim nationalisms are again on the rise, not only in the Middle East and North Africa, but in Indonesia, India and Pakistan. The myth of Islam as essentially violent has re-surfaced.

But, interestingly, it has done so in a different way.

The image of a vibrant, active, progressive West against a passive, inert Islam was congenial to colonial enterprise.

Ironically, the religion of aggressive action now came to be viewed as passively stagnant, decadent and degenerate, ripe for domination by an assertive West.

This was, of course, part of an argument about the relative truth of Christianity and Islam.

According to this, the success of Islam was due solely to the sword.

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