Stands >2005 Stands >The Stand of Jamadi'II 19 1426H /July 26, 2005 A.D.


Fundamentalism, terrorism and Islam

Sayyed Fadlullah: The West should first admit that it is responsible for creating a favorable environment for terrorism.

Asked in his weekly seminar the following question :How does Islam view so-called fundamentalism?

The Religious Authority, Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah, said:

The term fundamentalism was produced in the West, and promoted in the East, like many others, to serve the international interests without having to be objective or realistic.

Therefore, we do not accept the use of these terms, since they do not reflect the religious and political realities in our Islamic and Arab world.

In addition, we have our suspicions in the intentions of those who promoted them, since they aim at distorting many firmly established facts in our Islamic and Arab world.

We have always called our intellectual, and journalists to use terms that were produced by our Arab and Islamic environment, not because we are fanatic, but because they are more realistic in reflecting the political and cultural state of the nation.

But, in any case, we can point out to two kinds of fundamentalism: the first represents the holding first to the Islamic fundamentalism to accompany the new developments in society and life. It inspires the profound, thought, and the tolerance and openness that marked the early Islamic experience that created a pluralistic society of many sects and schools of thought, by means of translation and interaction with the other civilizations. Such fundamentalism could only be viewed with respect and appreciation.

The second kind of fundamentalism is that of suffocation, rigidity and unconscious fanaticism to the past. It treats everything that belongs to the past with a sacredness that does not differentiate between what is good in it and what is not. It is as if they want the clock to run backwards, and they live in total isolation and a perpetual clash with the others, whom they tend to accuse of unbelief, and consequently justify killing him. This is the second kind of fundamentalism, which we have reservations on calling some of its violent parties, for we do not find anything in our Islamic heritage that justifies their criminal and barbaric acts.

We believe that the best way to control this kind of devastating violence is by going back to the original and truly Islamic principles of mercy, lenience and dialogue as the major means of conducting relations with the other.

Based on this, we have always said that fundamentalism which means not recognizing the other, or using unjustified violence is rejected by Islam. And we have seen that it is rejected by various Muslim circles before being condemned by others.

But the problem lies is the Western circles turning a blind eyes towards the Western and especially the American role in creating and nourishing these mentalities and these groups before they turned against them.

Thus, we ask the West, to acknowledge this responsibility in creating these groups, as well as its consequent responsibility in creating a hostile Arab and Islamic responsibility through its oppression to Arabs and Muslims and support to Israel, before it initiates any reforming movement or calls for to confront these radical ideas ..

The problem does not lie in the academic curriculums in some of our Islamic countries, but rather in the state of turmoil in the political environment of these countries, which the American Administration and those who stood with her created, at the expense of the Palestinians, the Iraqis and the other people of the region.

We are against minimizing the problem or partitioning it by claming that the conflict is an internal one inside the Islamic reality or due only to the misunderstanding of certain Islamic texts. It is as if the West wants to deny its responsibility over the creation of this bloody atmosphere in the region that has reached Europe of late.

Therefore as we condemn these criminal acts against Muslims and recently Europeans, we welcome some of the views that are voicing the truth, such as the statement of the mayor of London who said that Britain would have produced a large number of suicidal bombers, had it been under foreign occupation and suffered as much as the Palestinians did for three generations.

We welcome this logic and emphasize that this is the point addressing the problem should start with.

On the other hand, we want our people to go back to the original principles of their religion that call for mercy with the others, whoever they might be.

We have entered a phase of challenge that threatens our very existence and our religion. It is a question to be or not to be in the face of the American and Israeli occupation that wishes to steal from us all that we have been left with.

On the other hand, we have entered a phase of real challenge that will preserve Islam of any distortion and prevent those who have undermined it from talking in its name, and from those who wish to liquidate it.