Question 9

Question: How the mothers can so willingly say that they sent their children to battle for various reasons? What in the religion makes people sacrifice their children instead of trying to protect them?  –JKM

Answer: It’s the human social condition. When you have nothing, no hope, no future, and a lot of angst, then religion becomes your sanctuary and your only weapon. One of the clerics in a madressa on the afghan border said it best: "We do not need the pupils to be angry or to hate America, just turn on the TV channel and see the news, its everywhere". With social conditions like these, coupled with the never ending Palestinian crises and the bloody Iraq war, it is inevitable that people gravitate towards forms of extreme expressions which turn up as suicide bombings, or growing militancies, etc. The hypocrisy of the American govt in giving baby milk and blankets to the Lebanese while providing Israel with laser guided weapons is not lost on the Muslim world. It is lost on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and the rest of America. But these things add up and it is not surprising that you have Al-Qaeeda and other extremists trying to be the champions of a Muslim cause. The history is deeper, read up on the history of how the American govt overthrew the democratic govt of Iran to install a ruthless dictator called the "Shah of Iran". Read on the history of Afghanistan on how the American govt dropped leaflets in Afghani schools urging children to do Jihad against the Russians. History doesn’t make for sensational reasoning in the media but people who have been oppressed remember.

I write this all to explain to you that this isn’t Islam that sends people and their children to war or any other religion for that matter. Give the perfect conditions on the ground – in the end religion is just the final step. And yet the "crazed religio-fascists" are still a minority of the minority but they have a big media impact. The only Muslims that people know on average are the ones on TV. And to them, every Muslims is that person. It is very hard for them to imagine that there are people in huge numbers that do not believe in violence *and* are Muslims. Being one of those majority Muslims, I assure you its a very frustrating experience to see yourself presented on TV as the infamous fraction.  –Muhammed

6 Responses to “Question 9”

  1. sidfaiwu says:

    Thanks for your response to this and the other questions. As I read through them, I see a repeating theme. First, I think, “This guy’s not that different from me.” And then I see the larger theme that you write about in your answers. I’d sum it up as “Muslims aren’t that different from everybody else.” It gives me hope that I might be able to travel the world and not worry about everybody immediately hating me for simply being American.

  2. Matthew says:


    It still may not be a bad idea to put a Canadian flag on your backpack. ;-)

  3. itanshi says:

    i’d say it might not be a bad idea to create a way for them to see the alternative

    Muslim history game show?

    heck i still watch jeopardy

  4. Agnostic says:

    Muhammed said:
    “When you have nothing, no hope, no future, and a lot of angst, then religion becomes your sanctuary and your only weapon.”

    This is a fantastic quote…

    Karl Marx once said that religion was “the opium of the people”, this just goes to show that the comment has as much relevance now as it did in Tsarist Russia.

  5. Mohamed says:

    I share the same opinion with brother Muhammed, I’m Egyptian live in USA, I used to see children killed every day, which makes you angry and frustrated at the same time. Frustrated because I couldn’t do any thing to protect this child who died. On the other hand Fox news(The American Usama Bin Laden), I can’t beleive that the American people accept this kind lies, all what they say is anti Islam.

    For the people who scared to travel to the Middle East because they are Candian or USA citizen, give up these ideas, you are welcomed from the people of the Middle East, people like foreigners, they just don’t like USA government.

    My wife is American and she has been to Egypt before and she liked it so much, and she felt safer in Egypt more than USA, I’m not the only case here, I have a lot of Egyptians friends married to American women and they wish if they stayed in Egypt for ever.

  6. sidfaiwu says:

    Thanks for the encouragement Mohamed. Egypt is definitely on my want-to-visit-someday list.

Leave a Reply