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ISIS Violence Against Non-Sunni Muslims Will Speed Up Modernisation of Islam

by Charanjit Singh Arora

posted in News and Society

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ISIS is in the news for violence in the Middle East, and Africa. It is spreading its tentacles in Europe, Australia and Asia. It has successfully wooed educated young Muslims in the UK, France, Netherlands, and Australia, who are participating voluntarily in Syria and Iraq. How ISIS has successfully motivated the young Muslims - men and women - to leave a comfortable life for a religious war is a unique exercise in human resources management. Humanity should have nipped ISIS in the bud. Believers in ISIS are barbaric in their approach towards dissidents. The issue is more important than the Ukraine crisis. The developed countries have to take initiative and stop this menace to humanity. ISIS is nurturing itself on devotion of ignorant, and illiterate Sunni Muslims, who believe whatever the fundamentalist religious teachers speak about their religion. Their teachings aren't always in conformity with the Qur'an.
1. ISIS is in the news for its violence against non-Sunni Muslims and non-Muslims all over the World. The killings by ISIS, in Tunisia, Libya, Nigeria, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Egypt, will impact tourism industry in these countries directly. As a corollary, it will affect tourism industry in other Muslim countries as well - Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Morocco, and other Middle East countries.
2. These countries offer more tourism-value for the money, with their rich archeological heritage. But with the danger of terrorism looming large on the horizon, tourists will avoid the countries. Maybe terrorists will learn their lesson, and avoid killing the goose which lays golden eggs for their countries' economy. ISIS may change its strategy by increasing its activities in developed countries, where the deterrent is, an efficient and professionally managed security force.
3. The Muslim countries are rich; their oil based economy is strong, and religious cohesiveness is exemplary. In developed countries, attendance in churches is dwindling among younger generation, where as among Muslims, attendance in mosques and participation by younger generation in rituals such as a month-long Ramadan fasting is meticulously observed.
4. ISIS has a strong dedicated following of Sunni Muslims. They have successfully motivated Muslims in all countries to join ISIS in its war against non-Muslim religions, non-Sunni-Muslims - Shias, moderate Sunnis, other Muslim sects, and countries which are hostile to ISIS: US, UK and France. Developed countries are losing the battle in media, and have failed to adequately influence moderate Muslims, against terrorism and fundamentalism.
5. ISIS has an advantage. It is easy to brainwash illiterate people, who will do anything for their religion. The West has yet to learn, how to counter the social media effect of ISIS on illiterate as well as educated Sunni Muslims. A suggested strategy is as follows:
Don't laugh at others
* The West believes in freedom of speech. It is good to laugh, but it is better to laugh at ourselves, and our religion's irrational beliefs and rituals. We should not laugh at others' beliefs and rituals. All religions have irrational rituals and beliefs. The West has blundered by drawing caricatures of the Muslim Prophet, on the pretext of exercising freedom to speech and expression. This has alienated even educated Muslims in developed countries.
Use media to explain Quran to Muslims
* Western media has not talked or interacted with Muslims directly. It has written about Muslims, for others. To win over moderate Muslims, it is imperative that the Western media interacts directly with Muslims all over the World, to explain Qur'an.
Intra-religion violence may help finding the solution
* The World is not winning its battle against ISIS terrorism and fundamentalism. The silver lining is that the intra-religion violence will force the Muslim clerics of all sects/sub-sects, to sit down together, and modernise the Islam religion. They should update Qur'an, which is unlikely, as God's word b; or they may approve, ignoring the controversial verses of Qur'an..
* This problem is bigger than any other problem being faced by humanity, as on date. It needs more attention, as the future of humanity is at stake.
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