Opinion: "The Clash to End All Clashes?"

February 7, 2006

Source: National Review


On February 7, 2006 the National Review reported, "In light of the anger unleashed, National Review Online asked some experts on Islam and/or the Mideast for their read on what's going on and what can/should be done. We asked each: Is this a clash of civilizations we're watching? What can be done? By Muslims? By everyone else?... Mustafa Akyol, a Turkish Muslim writer based in Istanbul, Turkey, responded: 'This rage, then, is not a theologically driven response, but an emotional uproar by people who think that their faith and identity are being insulted. It is in a sense a nationalist reaction � the nation being the Muslim umma... All of this means that an Islamic argument against the current "Islamic rage" can � and should � be brought up by Muslim scholars and intellectuals. Their message should not be "Let's not take God so seriously," but "This is not the way to honor Him"'... Mansoor Ijaz, an American Muslim of Pakistani origin, responded: 'The cartoons were offensive and wrong. But the Muslim world's explosive reaction demonstrates once again the failure of Islam in the modern age � its adherents are prepared to expend seemingly infinite energy in defense of religious beliefs not many of them are prepared to practice. Rectifying the hypocrisy that riddles Islam's efforts to be portrayed in a better light is the fundamental issue at stake for Muslims, not the freedom of the press or the defense of our Prophet (PBUH) through violence and anger... Toleration asks us as citizens of an integrated world not to insult one another's religion. Freedom demands that we be allowed to reject the societal norms of others, and even to insult them, as Muslims often do when they burn an American flag or set fire to an effigy of a political leader they loath. Eliminating the hypocrisy between toleration and freedom should be Islam's goal." The article includes commentary from eleven other commentators from several countries (Syria, France, Denmark, Iraq, the U.S.).