MEMRI: Arab Liberal Says Most Islamic Ideologues, Organization Leaders Advocate Violence

In an article titled ‘Who’s Responsible for the Islamic Terrorists?’ that appeared in the London Arabic-language daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, columnist Khaled Kishtainy, of Iraqi origin, discussed the leading Muslim ideologues’ positive attitudes towards the use of violence. The following is the article:

Islamist Talk of ‘Love and Peace in Islam’ is Just a Cover for Violence

“[The phenomenon] called Islamic terrorism has many roots and causes, and much has already been written about this. But I have personal input on this matter.

“I place on the Islamic intellectuals and leaders of Islamic organizations part of the responsibility for [this phenomenon] of Islamic terrorism, as nearly all of them advocate violence, and repress anyone who casts doubts upon this. Naturally, every so often they have written about the love and peace of Islam – but they did so, at best, for purposes of propaganda and defense of Islam. Their basic position is that this religion was established by the sword, acts by the sword, and will triumph by the sword, and that any doubt regarding this constitutes a conspiracy against the Muslims.

“The best proof of what I am saying is the 1984 world congress on ‘The Nonviolent Political Arab Struggle’ in Amman, that was nothing but hypocrisy and propaganda. In the congress documents in the English [version], they published my speech, but they removed it from the edition in Arabic!!! All this was in an attempt to deceive the Westerners, and not in order to educate the Arabs to peace.

“In my opinion, the sword played a minor role in Islam’s triumph over polytheism. Moreover, the Muslims will [only] lose by their adherence to the perception [advocating] violence. This is due first of all to the military supremacy of others, and second because in this generation the alternative of nonviolent struggle is a more effective weapon. I have adopted this perception and called it by the Islamic name ‘Civil Jihad.'”

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