I think the article below reveals a different picture of the current Iraq/Syria situation than the one being portrayed by our politicians. The standard political stance is that members of ISIS/ISIL/IS are extremists and not representative of Islam. And yet, it’s not only young angry Moslem men who are seeking to join the “cause” – according to the article below there are families and women with children who see this regime as a more valid representation of Islam, where they can raise their families away from the perceived spiritual corruption of their original homelands (even Muslim majority homelands).
This morning I heard a TV interview with the Victorian State Premier, mainly about yesterday’s knife attack on two policemen (which resulted in the attacker being shot dead). The Premier said people needed to see themselves as Victorians and Australians first – implying that any “religious” affiliation should be secondary to State and Nationalist identity. In that remark he not only displayed his own ignorance of the importance of relationship with God; he fails to recognise how strongly others (whatever their religion) consider their faith is of PRIMARY importance in their life – that any State or National allegiance is far less important than their allegiance to their God.
As long as politicians underestimate the religious commitment of others – and see that loyal citizenship within this world ISN’T the defining factor for many people, they will continue to ignore how religious faith is a stronger motivation for those people than any supposed loyalty to secular community.
Are ISIS/ISIL/IS extremists or are they following real Islam more closely than the wider Moslem community? Or is real Islam better reflected by the moderate followers of the religion – those that Western politicians claim (or hope?) are the true representation of a religion they (try to) assure us is peaceful?
Maybe a hinted answer to those questions can be found in the response from “western” Moslem communities. There have been a few moderate voices condemning what is going on in Iraq and Syria; voices that point out that the majority of victims of ISIS/ISIL/IS are in fact Moslems, but there are others who are more interested in condemning the claimed victimising of Moslems whenever action is taken to avert known threats from groups or individuals such as the recent plan to publically behead a random victim in central Sydney.
In reality Islam has various forms, covering varying degrees of commitment and expression, often determined by the type of society in which it is expressed. Moderates are more likely to be found in Western nations where Islam isn’t the dominant religion, but its been made clear that not all Moslems in the west are “moderate”.
In the wider world today it seems there’s an increasing move to a stricter, less tolerant expression, perhaps more in keeping with the roots of the religion.
As for my personal view , I suggest we get the most accurate picture of Islam by looking to those countries where Islam dominates and Sharia Law is practiced. How tolerant are those nations and how moderate is their treatment of people holding different beliefs? It is in areas under Moslem rule that Christians face the most persecution and suffering.
Turks leave for ‘family-friendly’ IS group
The Islamic State group is run by religious zealots and marked by war, mass killings, crucifixions and beheadings.
But for a growing number of fundamentalist Muslim families, the group’s territory is home.
“Who says children here are unhappy?” said Asiya Ummi Abdullah, a 24-year-old Muslim convert who travelled to the group’s realm with her infant son last month.
She said that living under Shariah, the Islamic legal code, means the boy’s spiritual life is secure.
“He will know God and live under his rules,” she said.
Ummi Adullah’s story, told to The Associated Press in a series of messages exchanged via Facebook, illustrates how, despite the extreme violence which the radical group broadcasts to the world, the territory it controls has turned into a magnet for devout families, many of them Turkish, who have made their way there with children in tow.
Ummi Abduallah said her move to the militant group’s realm was in part to shield her three-year-old from the sex, crime, drugs and alcohol that she sees as rampant in largely secular Turkey.
Full article here: