The Trouble with Islam

[Wall Street Journal] Tawfik Hamid - As a former member of Jemaah Islamiya, a group led by al-Qaeda's second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, I know firsthand that the inhumane teaching in Islamist ideology can transform a young, benevolent mind into that of a terrorist. Without confronting the ideological roots of radical Islam it will be impossible to combat it. While there are many ideological "rootlets" of Islamism, the main tap root has a name - Salafi Islam, a violent, ultra-conservative version of the religion. For more than 20 years I have been developing and working to establish a theologically-rigorous Islam that teaches peace. Some in the West have taken up the chant that Islamic extremism is caused by the Arab-Israeli conflict. This analysis cannot convince any rational person that the Islamist murder of over 150,000 innocent people in Algeria or their slaying of hundreds of Buddhists in Thailand, or the brutal violence between Sunni and Shia in Iraq could have anything to do with the Arab-Israeli conflict. The writer is a medical doctor and Muslim reformer living in the West.

2007-04-04 01:00:00

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