DOHA, Qatar (Christian Examiner) – A female Arab journalist has taken the bold step of criticizing those who make excuses for suicide bombers and jihadists and is pointing out what she believes is the root cause of terrorism: Islam.
Nadine Al-Budair, a Muslim herself, said in her April 3 commentary on Saudi TV – produced from Qatar – that the recent bombings in Brussels should make Muslims feel shame and "stop acting as if the terrorists are a rarity."
"Whenever terrorism massacres peaceful civilians, the smart alecks and the hypocrites vie with one another in saying that these people do not represent Islam or the Muslims. Perhaps one of them could tell us who does represent Islam and the Muslims," Al-Budair said, according to a transcript of the segment produced by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
Al-Budair said apologists for the terrorists have for too long claimed that those who commit crimes are outliers, "highway robbers and homeless alcoholics and drug addicts." She pointed to the countries of Europe, where homelessness, drug abuse and alcoholism are problems. Europeans suffering from these things, she said, do not come to the Middle East to blow themselves up or attack others.
She made a similar point last month when she asked the provocative question, "What if Christians were suicide bombers?"
"It is we who blow ourselves up. It is we who blow up others," she said during the April 3 commentary.
"After the abominable Brussels bombings, it's time for us to feel shame and to stop acting as if the terrorists are a rarity. We must admit that they are present everywhere, that their nationality is Arab, and that they adhere to the religion of Islam. We must acknowledge that we are the ones who gave birth to them, and who have made them memorize the teachings of all the Salafi books. We must admit that it is the schools and universities that we establish that told them the others are infidels."
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Salafism, from the Arabic as-salaf as-saliheen, is the form of hardline Islam that believes in physical jihad and the "purification" of Islam by the removal of other sects, such as Shia Islam. They focus on the first three generations of Islam that spread the religion by forced conversion and conquest. In the early 1980s, there were only a handful of Salafist terror groups. Now, there are more than 50 worldwide, the largest being the Islamic State.
Al-Budair claims that allowing hardline Muslims to interpret the Quran has been a mistake. They have drawn from it fatwas (edicts to kill infidels or opposing Islamic sects) and have made the Quran "intellectually inaccessible."
Al-Budair believes Muslims should be able to interpret the Quran for themselves.
She concluded her commentary by asking why the sheiks, who now publicly denounce bombings, do not take responsibility for their teachings that created the situation.
"Why don't they have the courage to declare that they are the ones who said that jihad is obligatory, and who legalized political wars, using futile and disgraceful exegeses, which permit killing, enslavement, and destruction?"