Another terrorist attack has hit France. On traditional and social media, Islamic organizations did not waste time in condemning the vile crime, asserting that Islam has noting to do with any act of violence. The “Not in my name” crowd on Facebook and Twitter has made their presence visible.
Whilst the majority of Muslim believers are peace loving citizens who reject any sort of violence, one aspect remains open to discussion: why do Islamic communities in Europe not report Isis supporters to the authorities ? Is it hard to single radicals out and report them? Is it so difficult to admit there is a problem within the Islamic discourse? If they reject violence tout court , why don't the “Not in my name” people denounce jihadists wherever their strike, even in Israel?
«Self criticism, either personal or collectively, is a value and a practice that does not resonate well among Muslims. They tend to protect the members of the communities, the group they are part of and the reputation of their religion» said Valentina Colombo to Vita International.
According to Mrs. Colombo, who is a scholar on Islamic issues and senior fellow at the European Foundation for Democracy, «we have also to admit that self - criticism is not encouraged and not taught at school. It is not part of the culture. Let me highlight that nobody dares to contradict the veracity of the Islamic texts. Having doubts regarding the faith is forbidden».
In today’s context though, self - criticism is a key factor for confronting terrorism and radicalization. «If Muslim worshippers and their leaderships do not admit there is a big problem related to interpretation of some hadiths or deny the radicalization process within their communities, it will be impossible to confront and fight terrorism. In plain words, it is unlikely that Muslims will challenge a problem when it is not acknowledged, when it is denied, or unravelled with the self - reassuring line “Not in my name”: a phrase that is not enough to exempt the moral responsibility of some Muslim organizations, preachers and politicians».
Mrs Colombo argues that it is time to reckon with the various shades of Jihad à la carte. «There are Muslims who condemn suicide bombers in London, Paris, Brussels and Nice, but they justify and praise suicide attacks or acts of terrorism when they strike in Israel, Syria and Iraq. If Muslims claim to reject violence tout court, they should denounce and reject suicide bombers anywhere in the world, no matter what. No excuses nor exceptions are allowed. There are, instead, Muslim man and women who grew up hearing justifications and appraisal for the crimes committed by the kamikazes in Israel, therefore they are likely to embrace the notion of Jihad à la carte in Syria, Iraq, and Europe. That jihad à la carte notion lies in the back of their mind, because of the preachers and the politicians who justified the use of violence especially by Hamas in Israel. By doing so, they indirectly justify the concept of resistance and jihad in other part of the world».
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