IN THE JOURNAL | INDONESIA 360
The universal values of Indonesian Islamic civilization
January-March 2017
By: Kyai Haji A Mustofa Bisri

Let us begin by regarding the roots of global extremism and Islamophobia. Centuries of conflict have left deep scars upon the collective psyche of Muslims and non-Muslims alike, in many parts of the world. The spread of Islamist extremism and terror in recent decades has revived, and exacerbated, this ancient trauma. And although this long history of conflict is inextricably tied to military and political rivalries – rather than the substantive (ie, spiritual) teachings of religion – the fact remains that Muslims and non-Muslims alike have been deeply enmeshed in nearly 14 centuries of armed conflict.

This, in turn, has led to a biased perception, characterized by widespread stereotyping, unfounded generalizations and prejudice, among Muslims regarding non-Muslims and vice versa. As a result, conflicts that have nothing to do with the substantive teachings of religion are often attributed to religion itself.

The spread of a shallow understanding of Islam renders this situation critical, as highly vocal elements within the Muslim population at large (ie, extremist groups) justify their harsh and often savage behavior by claiming to act in accord with God’s commands, although they are grievously mistaken.



To read the complete article, please subscribe.
THIS IS A PREMIUM ARTICLE
You must be logged in as a Strategic Review subscriber to continue reading. If you are not yet a subscriber, please subscribe to activate your online account to get full online access.
LOG IN


BUY A PDF
Buy a premium PDF version of this article
SUBSCRIBE
Subscribe and get premium access to Strategic Review's content
COMMENTS
Please login to leave a comment