Is it a clash of ignorance or truly a clash of civilisations? Recent terror attacks have once again opened a can of worms, rearing their ugly heads in every conversation, most, eager to paint radical and mainstream Islam with the same broad brush strokes, while others still debate the inadequacy of the idea of ‘Islamic terror”.
After the attacks in Paris, BBC presenter Andrew Neil called the ISIS – Islamist Scumbags in an uncompromising and passionate opening to a political current affairs program. Almost immediately, he was criticised and he had to spend the next few hours defending himself on Twitter, trying to explain what he meant. And while terrorism is not an Islamic phenomenon by definition, it cannot be denied that over the last few years, the majority of terrorist activities have been perpetrated in the name of Islam. This has sparked a fundamental debate both in the Muslim world and in the West, about these acts and the teachings of Islam.
Kindle Magazine takes a look at this supposed link between Islam and Terrorism. Is there a link? Or is there none? Or are we employing a fundamentally wrong vocabulary here?
“In merging Islam and terror, the current discourse does two disservices at one go – it dehistoricises Islam as well as terror. That terror as a political weapon has a history independent of Islam is glossed over,” says Tanweer Fazal.
Hypocrisy and double standards are the most obvious traits of our global political class and the large chunk of the liberal mainstream media. Many other shocking truths have spilled out in 2016 – perhaps the most important year in the political history of 21st century, since 2001, says Devdan Chaudhuri.
Queer people have in recent decades been one of the less talked about victims of what is generally called “Islamic terror”. Udayan Dhar speaks to some of those who have a personal stake in the matter, and muses on what the future holds for LGBT people in Muslim societies.
The location of the terrorists, who involved in the Dhaka attacks, in the upper echelons of the country’s socio-economic hierarchy shook an amnesiac and indolent class-consciousness, painting an unsavoury picture of overlooked social realities, says Sohini Chatterjee.
The Western world, which had by now declared the ‘death of God’, found it deeply disturbing, how Muslim societies upheld the banner of God (or so they themselves assume), and hence an antithesis to its notion of Modernity, thinks Ayesha Begum.
Every time an attack takes place, among the flurry of narratives that accompany it, a prominent one is that Not All Muslims are Terrorists. Another one, which follows directly in its toes is that Terrorism Has No Religion, says Titas Bose.
Beheadings may have a long history, but the transmission and consumption of films shot exclusively for this purpose form a recent phenomena and one that makes us interrogate some deeply rooted ideas. One wonders what (if, at all) is Islamic about such spectacles when only a tiny portion of fundamentalists commits such acts of terror, says Anwita Ghosh.
“I strongly believe that there is a lack of information and most importantly lack of correct information.” Omar Hafiz spoke to Pratiti Ganatra about the idea behind his peace project Athwaas – it’s execution and the unexpected popularity and appreciation it received.
Harsh Snehanshu weaves a simple fictional tale about a resolute Brahmin household hosting a Muslim family for dinner, highlighting the prejudice that is inherent in our society.
“When his bushy grey eye-brows rose up and his cheeks puffed with the impact of the first pedal on his bicycle, history was made. Amma, after a decade of cold-war with his in-laws, in the attire that all undisguised commoners of downtown Srinagar could afford in that March of 1996, pedalled to the place where 30 years ago in the finest attire he ever wore in his life- he was awaited for, as a groom,” writes Jamsheed Rasool in his short story based in Srinagar, Kashmir.
Tabish Khair, poet, novelist and critic has written various books, including the poetry collections, Where Parallel Lines Meet and Man of Glass and the novels, The Bus Stopped, Filming, The Thing About Thugs and How to Fight Islamist Terror from the Missionary Position. In town to talk about his latest fictional offering – Jihadi Jane at the Kolkata Literary Meet 2017, Tabish Khair took some time out to talk to Pratiti Ganatra.
“And I think what women everywhere need and women particularly in India need – is to be given choices, to be given some options and to have enough knowledge so that they can make educated choices,” says Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.