Muslims in the west, Islamic cultures, and the ‘Trojan horse’ theory

Empowering Weak & Oppressed

Anisa Abd el Fattah

Sha'ban 23, 1420 1999-12-01


by Anisa Abd el Fattah (Features, Crescent International Vol. 28, No. 19, Sha'ban, 1420)

Zionists in America have been very busy. Of the many campaigns they have mounted to demonize Islam and Muslims, probably the most insidious has been their campaign to demonize Islamic culture. Through the feminist movement, and other such movements, they have wrongly associated Islamic culture with female genital mutilation, forced piety and other inhumane crimes. They have charged that Muslims are not capable of structuring civil societies because Muslim governments reject their model of majority-rule democracy, and because many Muslims - this author included ï refuse to accept that we must prove civility by mimicking the west when we have superior methods at our disposal. Many of us are not convinced that ‘traditionalist Islam’ has failed. We believe that it has yet to be properly implemented.

There have been numerous articles published in leading magazines and periodicals in America that cast Islam as a ‘Trojan horse, saying that Islam hides behind a pious demeanor; yet the true story about Islam is told through its culture, and according to zionists and zionists sympathizers that culture is brutal.

Unfortunately, many of the charges levelledd by zionists and others in America against Islamic culture are being supported by the tall-tales of Muslim feminists and other discontented Muslims. The reason for this is not that these discontented, misdirected Muslim souls are dishonest, but that that they know so little about Islam that they are unable to distinguish the effects of secular corruption in the Muslim world from Islam. In their attempts to speak out against what we all agree are grievous injustices, not only against Muslims but against all humanity, they are exploited by anti-Muslim and anti-Islamic propagandists. In doing so, they unfortunately lay themselves open to the charge that they are anti-Muslim themselves.

Having said that, it is not the fault of zionists, zionist sympathizers or discontented Muslims if we have allowed our culture to be retarded by corruption and defiled by irreligious practices. It is our own fault when we speak irresponsibly, and make statements out of personal anger that misfire and smack honest Muslims in the face, giving the world grounds for seeing us as barbarians and misfits.

The real culprits for the plight of the Muslims are the secular Muslim governments who have forced Islam out of the public sphere in the Muslim world, and have promulgated secular civil law that is not Islamic and does not work in Muslim societies leading to all sorts of social disorders that are then blamed on Islam. These secular governments accept whatever policies are fed to them by western governments while collecting billions of dollars in foreign and military ‘aid’, claiming that they are fighting the ‘Islamic threat’.

The answer to the question of how so many Muslim governments can be so cosy with the zionists lies in the fact that their attitudes towards Islam are very similar. Both see Islam as a threat to the stranglehold they desire, and have held collectively over the Muslim peoples and the Muslim world for centuries, while draining their resources and destroying the people with illiteracy, ignorance, poverty, dependency, and hatred of religion. Religion is often blamed for being “backward” and holding Muslim civilization captive, when the opposite is true. Islam has influenced the Muslim world less and less since the period of the Right-Guided Khulafa, fourteen hundred years ago.

That said, it is clear that the answer to the problems that Muslims face and the attack that Islam is under at the hands of its foes, is not to be found in looking to the past, or at least not in looking to the past to lay blame. The future for Muslims and Islam will be found in the teachings of our learned scholars and ulama, who after many centuries are free to write and teach pure, authentic Islam. These men and women are able not only properly to re-educate Muslim people, they are able to spread the truth about Islam and Islamic culture to the world, countering the false claims and charges held against Islam, that should be rightfully placed at the feet of the dictators and despots. These despots and dictators have usurped authority over the people and the land, and have worked consistently to destroy Islam. Blaming Islam for their own policy failures, and sometimes for their opportunistic injustices and corruption, is just another policy intended to weaken Muslims, and reduce the threat that genuine Islam poses to their dominance.

An Islamic answer to these issues, however, may take time to emerge, considering that our scholars working towards these ends are often working with little or no support from their communities, and under the most difficult of circumstances. Meanwhile, however, we do not have to sit idle. Instead, we can begin to reeducate ourselves and reacquaint ourselves with the real Islam. We can muster the courage to reject cultural traditions that violate Islamic principles, and conduct personal inquiries into the truth. We will find our faith and happily learn that much of what we have been taught is Islamic has nothing to do with Allah, Rasool-Allah (sa) or Islam, and much more to do with politics, whether it is village politics, tribal politics or national politics.

If we want the world to see the true beauty and power of Islam, the people of the world must see it in us and the way we live our lives. Yet we cannot reflect this beauty and power until we capture it and experience the personal effect that it can have on our lives, our communities and our countries. Ultimately “the buck stops here”; the responsibility for this work must be accepted by each and every one of us individually. If Islam is a Trojan horse in the west, it is so not because Muslims are hiding in its belly; it is simply that we do not realize how much we have allowed our deen to erode and how deeply our cultures have been damaged by this erosion.

Many Muslims remain unaware that the way in which the world perceives us as Muslims is largely based on the way in which is sees and experiences our culture and our societies.

The same, having said that, is also true of western culture, of our experience of Americans and westerners in the world, and our judgements about them. The west is in decline for reasons similar to those to which we attribute the decline of Islamic culture in the Muslim world. An appreciation of the role of culture in shaping our conduct and our societies would also help us to understand and deal with westerners more sympathetically, which can only be good for the task of teaching them about the virtues and qualities of Islam.

Muslimedia: December 1-15, 1999

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