LONDON, June 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
Last week's barbaric attacks on innocent British holidaymakers in Tunisia and on Shia worshippers in a Kuwaiti mosque - terror committed shamelessly in the name of Islam - raise the question of how many more such massacres must take place before a resolution to uproot the scourge of Islamic fundamentalism can be sworn.
While media attention might be focused on the responsibility of Western leaders to find better ways of protecting their citizens through intelligence gathering and, perhaps, by supporting a moderate interpretation of Islam, the onus should instead be on the leaders of the Muslim world. They should be compelled to act, and to act urgently, because we have now entered a defining phase for Islam: one where the reputation and even future of the religion itself is in doubt.
The Salafists of the so-called Islamic State behind these atrocities are generally associated with the Wahabis of Saudi Arabia, although it would be scandalous to suggest that the leaders of that country would ever engage in sowing hatred and division among the very Ummah which, as guardians of the holy sites, they are charged to serve.
Thus it must be concluded that the 'radical' renegade Muslims who delight in butchering their fellow human beings have little to do with the true teachings of their religion. For them, as blasphemers, Islam is only a cover, an excuse to conceal their banditry and bloodlust, their hatred of anything "un-Islamic" - even though their victims are overwhelmingly Muslims.
Under the bogus banner of fundamentalist Islam the likes of Boko Haram, Taliban, Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, Lashkare Taiba, Abu Sayyaf, Al Shabaab, Ansar ul-Islam, Ansar al-Sona, Armed Islamic Group of Algeria, Fathul Islam, Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Hizb ul-Tahrir, Muhammad Army, Al Tawhid Al Hijra and tens of other terrorist groups are effectively acting as the main enemies of the world's Muslims by defining the religion they claim to belong to as the propagator of death and destruction instead of peace and justice.
This evil mentality is injected into the minds of ignorant extremists by backward preaching clerics in the very places where they later return to bomb and massacre people, as has been demonstrated in the case of the Kuwait mosque bombing.
No matter how many so-called Islamic State military and training bases in Iraq and Syria are destroyed by Western and Arab warplanes, so long as mosques and "Islamic centers" around the world are run by hate-preaching radical imams, we must expect nihilistic terror attacks to continue.
In Islam's holy month of Ramadan, Tunisia, a victim of many of these terrorist acts, has courageously acknowledged this fact. In an exemplary and unprecedented act, it has now closed down more than 50 radical and hate-spreading mosques.
However, other leaders in the Islamic world need to join in this brave campaign if they feel the slightest bit responsible towards saving their citizens from Islamophobia and the religion itself from becoming a global by-word for inhumanity and destruction.
In reality there are hundreds of millions of law abiding, peace- and justice-loving Muslims around the world who are horrified by the acts of a small minority of bandits and psychopaths whose interpretation of their common faith is criminally un-Islamic and must be rejected before it is too late.
The sympathy shown by many Muslim leaders and communities towards the victims of the recent atrocities, while appropriate, is not enough: action is needed.
It is now time for the responsible political and religious leaders of the Muslim world to address this demand immediately through a united and decisive act of unconditional condemnation of these atrocities. They must also adopt a joint foreign policy to stifle such terrorism in the future.
Whoever plants a bomb in a mosque, the house of God, has no faith at all and, predictably, will one day extend their crime by targeting the holiest Islamic sites in Mecca itself. In a sense, by slowly degrading their religion, they are indeed already doing it.
Vahid Sadeghi Shirazi is the Director of the Centre for the Study of the Middle East.
SOURCE The Centre for the Study of the Middle East