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ISLAM AND THE INTOLERANCE PROBLEMS
The article that we have analysed was entitled Islam and The Intolerance Problem which was written by Cathy Young. Before we go further on the analysis, we would like to introduce the writer briefly. Cathy Young writes a weekly column for Real Clear Politics and also a contributing editor at Reason magazine. She blogs the article at http://cathyyoung.wordpress.com/. This article originally appeared at Real Clear Politics. This article emphasises on the Muslim world and the intolerance problems of Islam that have been debated globally.
Nowadays, Islam is considered as an intolerance religion because of some characteristic of the teaching that had been corrupted by some of the authorities in some countries. It became worse day by day and the latest issue is on the attempt of murder of an American Congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords, after the murder of Salman Taseer, governor of the Pakistani province of Punjab. These murder cases have awakened the intention of the people around the world on the intolerance of Islam as a religion. Salman Taseer being murdered by his own bodyguard because he had spoken out against Pakistan’s blasphemy laws and in support of Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman sentenced to death for allegedly insulting the Prophet Mohammed.
This phenomenon of harsh sentence cannot be ignored on the discussion of Islam and the intolerance of religion. The controversy over Cordoba House, the planned Islamic culture centre and mosque near Ground Zero, turned into a debate about Islam and “Islamophobia”, the hatred and scared of non-Muslim towards Muslim because of violence and cruelty of some Muslims especially the Islamist. “Anti-jihadist” who lead the anti-mosque campaign such as bloggers Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs and Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch, routinely blamed Islam as inherently and uniquely evil, oppressive, and violent. In contrast, there are also pro-mosque activists that argued that the violent extremism in Islam today was as much of a fringe phenomenon as in Christianity of Judaism. But the murder tragedy of the governor of Punjab buried the views of the pro-mosque activists as there is not a single majority Christian nation today that executes or imprisons people for blasphemy or apostasy. It is very different with majority-Muslim countries that punished these offences with death including Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan.
The example of Islam intolerance is on the case of Aasia Bibi, a rural labourer, was asked to bring water to a group of other women with whom she was working in the fields. Some of the women refused to drink the water after it had been touched by an “unclean” Christian. Bibi got into an argument with them and defended her faith, and was repoted for blaspheming against Mohammed. The mother of five was sentenced to death after an injustice trial which she apparently had no access to a lawyer. Even in the Muslim countries that have no such punishment, for the example Egypt and Jordan, over 85 percent of the population support capital punishment for anyone who converts from Islam to another faith. Including some reputed “moderates” such as Yusuf al-Qaradhawi, continue to defend the death penalty for apostasy.
All of these accusations and so called of the intolerance aspect of Islam cannot be considered as originally Islamic evils. The Bible also calls for blasphemers and idolaters to be put to death in language similar to that of the Koran. Capital punishment for offences against religion was the norm in Christian Europe for much of its history. During the Middle Ages, most Islamic states treated religious minorities with considerably more tolerance than did Christian rulers, in contrast with the statement of Spencer and other propagandists of the “Islam is evil” school. Not many decades ago, Catholic vs. Protestant enmity led to deadly violence in Northern Ireland. Today, violent extremism on the Indian peninsula comes not only from Muslim militants, but majority comes from Hindu according to reports that some of the terrorist attacks blamed on Islamist in the past decades were actually the work of radical Hindu network.
However, the fact that in majority-Muslim countries there are violent and it has become a massive and severe problem. There are many reasons for this phenomenon to be happened. One of the reasons is that those authorities intended to follow the cruel ways of punishing rather than following the Koran. In many parts of the world including Pakistan, repressive and corrupted regimes have for decades used Islamist indoctrination as a means of controlling the populace. Also in modernize Malaysia and Indonesia, where the law formally guaranteed religious freedom and equality which promote peaceful and harmony between religions in the states. However, in practice, Sharia Courts have the power to stopped ones to change their faith or marry non-Muslim.
As modern Islam is not monolithic, they are many Muslims condemned terrorism. There are Muslims who volunteered to serve as human shield for Christian churches in Egypt after church bombing by Islamist fanatics. The early Muslims acted more peacefully and tolerant towards other religions but sooner it became more militant ones. They believed that in order to believe on the Muslims and accept the fact that they are not terrorist that prefer violence, the Islamic states must ensure that the non-Muslim has the rights to practice their religion freely and peacefully.
In our opinion, often in the current society, Islam is mistaken for terrorism. This is mainly because some of the practices do not follow the order of the true religious taught by Prophet Mohammed in accordance to Koran and Sunnah. Some of today societies always take revenge solely based on their own logic of which is irrelevant for the first place. The reasons why we are saying this because Islam never teaches us to easily killed off a person as we value the sanctity of Islam a lot.
Life is a very valuable in the eyes of the Almighty. It is a precious gift from Allah that we have to treasure, keep and cherish. This is why Islam traces on the taking care of ones’ life and never to violate the value of it, but to certain extend Islam does allow death sentences. This is at par with the Sharia Law. Until to what degree can a person take away someone’s life? This is only happen when someone has violated and taken away someone else’s right to live brutally and intentionally. This kind of person deserves to be treated similarly. Repentance is the core and the base principle on punishing someone according to Islam. If a convict or a criminal has repented and really regretted his action, he should be given a second chance to be a better person. If we did not allow a wrongdoer to repent, this is what triggers the anxiety and fear among people of other religions towards Islam which is very well-known as Islamophobia. On top of all, we the Muslims should really change the perception of other people from different religions by first thing, change the irrelevant practices that would never taught by the prophet neither has it been said anywhere in the Koran. We should let other people to practice their religions freely and never blasphemy one’s faith. At the same time, shows the beauty and the attraction of the good thing in Islam as the only true religion. Muslims have to understand their own religion deeply and spread the beauty through daily routines. Lastly, the act of preaching with the most accepted ways is something that a Muslim must never forget.