Religion, particularly Islam, has become one of the most difficult subject areas to tackle in recent years. Contemporary culture, whether approached from the perspective of anthropology or theology, psychology or psychoanalysis, evaluates religion with empirical methods. On the one hand, religion is an inwardly experienced and felt phenomenon, one mostly related to life’s permanent aspects.
The violent extremist ideology cannot be rooted out until an effective, coherent, comprehensive and well-reasoned counter-narrative is evolved. For that, all the theological, religious, political, historical, instrumental and socio-psychological underpinnings of the global jihadism have to be counter-argued and dismantled.
The world has judged the two attacks in Paris and Brussels, which claimed a number of lives and damaged property, as associated with Islamic-inspired terrorism. The attacks also delivered the psychological message that acts of terror and hatred can occur even in the most prosperous and highly secured countries that respect diversity and human rights. […]
Rethink Institute has launched a new research program, Future of Islam, to debate and address the most critical questions, share ideas, and offer solutions to salient issues related to the future of Islam and Muslims. Forum on the Future of Islam has been established as the deliberative component of the program whereby prominent experts and leaders meet annually […]
The majority of Muslims openly and loudly reject violent extremism regardless of the religious or ethnic identity of the perpetrator, but that is not what the Western media focuses on. If we closely look into a broad poll, we will see hundreds of Muslim leaders denouncing terrorism, and one of these Muslim voices that we don’t listen to is Fethullah Gülen.
Words fall short to truly express my deep sadness and revolt in the face of the carnage perpetrated by terrorist groups such as the so-called ISIS. I share a profound frustration with a billion and a half Muslims around the world at the fact that such groups commit terror while dressing up their perverted ideologies as religion.
The first motto is well known: The West is immoral and the source of all global menaces. The second motto is more eschatological: The West is collapsing or its collapse will be very soon. I myself remember many famous books and sermons that prophesied the collapse of the West in the late ’80s.
Violent extremism undertaken in the name of religion threatens the basic premises on which dialogue operates, as well as the conditions within which it can grow. In understanding the causes of this phenomenon, with a view ultimately to tackling them, we must first consider the ways that we communicate about and around the subject.
For the radical wing of political Islamism, a democratic regime based on the decisions of the people is blasphemy. It should be ruled out because it was an invention of the Western world. Some subscribers to Islamist movements have always viewed democracy in this way.
The assaults on Korean tourists and a Uighur chef, who were mistaken for Chinese people, in İstanbul last week have shown the extent of damage dealt to this moderate nation of Turks by the Islamist rulers, who provide political clout to hate crimes and xenophobia in order to sustain their waning power in the government.