Middle East studies in the News
Bigger Enemies From Within, Islamic Scholar Tells Muslims [on Tariq Ramadan]
by Zurairi Ar
Muslims with misguided views on Islam are a greater threat to followers of the faith than non-Muslims, renowned religious academic Dr Tariq Ramadan said today weighing in on "jihad", or the Islamic holy struggle.
The professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies in Oxford University also chided some Muslims for being obsessed with judging and declaring others as infidels so as to appear superior, rather than to spread better understanding of shared values among the people of the world.
"We bring it to the struggle, all the people of principles. It's not us-versus-them; it's us with the shared values against the people who don't respect our values," Ramadan said in his speech on titled "The Quranic concept of jihad and how do we rise above its misinterpretations".
"Don't be mistaken as to who are your enemies. Many Muslims who don't understand Islam are much more your enemies than non-Muslims who understand your principles."
The Swiss academic also claimed that "social jihad", or the struggle for social justice, equality and freedom, is the most important dimension of the Islamic holy struggle.
He claimed that Malaysian Muslims who only fights for the sake of their own in the country do not understood the meaning of "jihad" if they do not empathise with the plight of Muslims elsewhere.
Ramadan also criticised the way Malaysia dealt with criticism by censoring ideas rather than proposing counter-arguments, and cautioned against Muslims imposing their views on others.
According to Ramadan, many Muslims are obsessed with the difference and so-called superiority of their faith over others, which included carefree labelling of non-Muslims as infidels.
"We're not here to impose values, we're here to spread better understanding of better values," said the academic of Egyptian descent, referring to Islam's status as "mercy to the world".
Non-Muslims, especially Jews and Christians have at numerous times been labelled as "enemies of Islam" by Malaysia's foremost Islamic authorities, especially in its officially-sanctioned Friday sermons.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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