"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Suicide Bombings and Muslim Identity

"Sayyid Qutb, one of the most influential thinkers in the Islamic world, and the father of modern Islamism among the Sunni, wrote, "The Koran points to another contemptible characteristic of the Jews: their craven desire to live, no matter at what price and regardless of quality, honor, and dignity." This statement is really a miracle of concision. While it may seem nothing more than a casual fillip against the Jews, it is actually a powerful distillation of the Muslim worldview. Stare at it for a moment or two, and the whole machinery of intolerance and suicidal grandiosity will begin to construct itself before your eyes. The Koran's ambiguous prohibition against suicide appears to be an utter non-issue. Surely there are Muslim jurists who might say that suicide bombing is contrary to the tenets of Islam (where are these jurists, by the way?) and that suicide bombers are therefore not martyrs but fresh denizens of hell. Such a minority opinion, if it exists, cannot change the fact that suicide bombings have been rationalized by much of the Muslim world (where they are called "sacred explosions")...

If all Muslims had responded as Turkey did (where a mere 4 percent think suicide bombings are "often" justified, 9 percent "sometimes," and 7 percent "rarely"), we would still have a problem worth worrying about; we would, after all, be talking about more than 200 million avowed supporters of terrorism. But Turkey is an island of ambassadorial goodwill compared with the rest of the Muslim world...

A significant percentage of the world's Muslims believe that the men who brought down the World Trade Center are now seated at the right hand of God...

For devout Muslims, religious identity seems to trump all others. Despite the occasional influence of Pan-Arabism, the concept of an ethnic or national identity has never taken root in the Muslim world as it has in the West. The widespread support for Saddam Hussein among Muslims, in response to the American attack upon Iraq, is as good a way as any of calibrating the reflexivity of Muslim solidarity. Saddam Hussein was, as both a secularist and a tyrant, widely despised in the Muslim world prior to the American invasion; and yet the reaction of most Muslims revealed that no matter what his crimes against the Iraqi people, against the Kuwaitis, and against the Iranians, the idea of an army of infidels occupying Baghdad simply could not be countenanced, no matter what humanitarian purpose it might serve. Saddam may have tortured and killed more Muslims than any person in living memory, but the Americans are the "enemies of God."...

Samuel Huntington has famously described the conflict between Islam and the West as a "clash of civilizations." Huntington observed that wherever Muslims and non-Muslims share a border, armed conflict tends to arise. Finding a felicitous phrase for an infelicitous fact, he declared that "Islam has bloody borders"

--- The end of faith : religion, terror, and the future of reason / Sam Harris


Interestingly, this book is in the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library, and one of its tags is "Religion -- Controversial literature"
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