Tanveer Ahmed was born in Muslim Bangladesh, but raised in a secular household. Now living in Australia, he writes in The Australian about some uncomfortable truths Muslims must face.
The latest attack in Britain shows how the Islamist threat is being driven by something much grander than mere foreign policy or feelings of grievance. The perpetrators believe they are soldiers in the perceived historical battle between good and evil. [....]
...I believe that theology is central and not peripheral to the problem. It is grounded in history, but the sparks have been generated by the information age.
I can see that what we now call extremism was virtually the norm in the community I grew up in. It was completely normal to view Jews as evil and responsible for the ills of the world. It was normal to see the liberal society around us as morally corrupt, its stains to be avoided at all costs. It was normal to see white girls as cheap and easy and to see the ideal of femininity as its antithesis. These views have been pushed to more private, personal spheres amid the present scrutiny of Muslim communities. [....]
At its core, Islam is deeply sceptical of the idea of a secular state. There is no rendering unto Caesar because state and religion are believed to be inseparable. This idea then interacts with centuries-old edicts of Islamic jurists about how the land of Islam should interact with the world of unbelievers, known as dar ul-kufr. The modern radicals then take it further, declaring that since, with the exception perhaps of Pakistan and Iran, there are no Islamic states, the whole world is effectively the land of the unbelievers. As a result, some radicals believe waging war on the whole world is justified to re-create it as an Islamic state.
Hat tip: N.S. Rajaram